Turks Head plans 'recipe for disaster'

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 June 2015

Councillor Roy Coombs.

Councillor Roy Coombs.

Archant

A Honiton town councillor has expressed his concerns over proposals to install a mini roundabout at the notorious Turks Head junction.

Councillor Roy Coombs said that the new layout at the junction could be a ‘recipe for disaster’ after members were told of the plans at last Monday’s council meeting.

Lewis Ward, transport planning officer for Devon County Council (DCC), told councillors of plans to install a ‘three arm’ mini roundabout, a zebra crossing and two staged pedestrian crossing, with a refuge to keep residents safe.

DCC says that the roundabout will operate within capacity, be the most efficient option at off-peak times and have low maintenance costs.

But Cllr Coombs argued that installing a traffic light system at the junction would be more beneficial for Honiton residents.

Cllr Coombs said it would ‘clearly be better’ to have traffic lights as pedestrians could have more control over the traffic.

He argued if there was a second zebra crossing over Turks Head Lane instead of the roundabout, it would reduce the danger risk of crossing it.

“Having pedestrians having to cross two lanes to get to the refuge if they are walking towards Aldi is a recipe for considerable danger,” he said.

Cllr Coombs added that the proposed layout would be a ‘recipe for disaster’ for pedestrians.

Town mayor Cllr Caroline Kolek said she thought the roundabout was a ‘really good idea’, but admitted she held concerns whether enough has been done for pedestrian safety, adding: “We have to consider the pedestrians of the town and our more vulnerable residents who would be pedestrians who may go down to Aldi.”

Mr Ward said that by splitting the road up into two would make it ‘easier to cross’.

He added that through the scheme, improvements ‘over and above’ the existing features had been provided to pedestrians.

“As well as that, the overarching aim of this is to manage the queue on Turks Head Lane arm,” Mr Ward said. He added that Highways England is ‘desperately concerned’ about queue lengths on that arm of the junction because of the risk of collision on the main dual A30 carriageway.

Go to page ten for more on the proposals.

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