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Reducing Traffic speeds in Newton Abbot

Newton Abbot residents welcome new speed reduction scheme instigated by Town Council

RESIDENTS in Newton Abbot have welcomed a £10,000 traffic-calming initiative instigated by the Town Council.

New mobile speed indicators, known as Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS), have had their first outing on St Marychurch Road.

They were positioned in a 30mph area close to the junction with Aller Brake Road at a spot popular with walkers who cross to visit Ben Stedham’s Woods.

Approaching drivers were made aware of their speed and urged to slow down.

Those who exceeded the limit triggered an automatic recording with the data being saved for the police and highways authorities when considering schemes such as 20mph zones.

‘The VAS signs are another tool in the box to help us make the roads of Newton Abbot safer,’ said Cllr Mike Joyce who, together with Town Clerk Phil Rowe, successfully requested a £10,000 grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner to cover the cost.

‘The Commissioner was supportive of our scheme as it fits perfectly with her Vision Zero ambition to eliminate road deaths in the county.

‘I’m delighted we can now provide the accurate data we need when requesting road safety measures across Newton Abbot.’

David Samson, one of Newton Abbot Town Council’s Facilities Maintenance Officers, helped erect the signs which will be relocated every 28 days to gather information across town.

‘The feedback from residents has been fantastic,’ he said.

‘They’ve thanked us, saying drivers just don’t slow down when people are crossing the road.

‘They’re really pleased something is being done.’

Roads officer MPC Ian Harvey said: ‘In 2021 we had 47 fatal collisions in Devon and Cornwall and 647 serious injuries, so through education, engineering and enforcement our aim is to bring those numbers down drastically.

‘We get a lot of complaints about excessive speeds in residential areas so if we can use devices such as these to bring down speed then the financial cost is a small one compared to that of human lives.’

Cllr Joyce can regularly be seen around town, helping to implement other aspects of the Community Speed Watch initiative which reports speeding drivers to the police for investigation.

Pictured left – right at the VAS launch are MPC Ian Harvey, Neighbourhood Officer PC Charlie Haggerty, FMO David Samson, Neighbourhood Team Leader Sgt Jason Morrison, Cllr Mike Joyce and Cllr Stuart Hughes of Devon County Council. A mobile speed ‘gun’ is also in position.

For more information please email mike.joyce@newton or call 01626 201120.