“Following the lack of progress over the last 30 months to fund and install agreed road safety measures in Wilmington, the village action group recently held a meeting with local MP Mr Neil Parish and representatives from Highways England, Devon County Council, East Devon District Council and Widworthy Parish Council to discuss the current position and the way forward.
Highways England has undergone some major staff and structural changes and these changes account for the lack of progress over recent months. However, everyone attending this meeting agreed that Wilmington’s traffic problems are severe and immediate action is required.
Over the past 12 months Wilmington has been operating what has proved to be a very successful Community Speed Watch Scheme. Whilst this has been effective in helping to reduce excess traffic speeds, crossing the road is still hazardous, especially for school children catching buses an there are many roadsides without pavement.
Over the past 30 months or so, Highways England has been examining measures to not only improve the safety of pedestrians in Wilmington, but also to calm the very high volume of traffic that flows through the village. Among the proposals being considered by Highways England are the installation of two pedestrian crossings, an extension of the 30mph speed limit, and the construction of a pavement to the eastern end of the village.
Wilmington is blighted by air pollution, noise pollution, high volumes of speeding vehicles and a lack of pavements to enable residents to negotiate the village without imperilling their lives. The short lengths of pavement that do exist are totally inadequate and in places do not meet with modern standards. The A35 also has to contend with severe flooding every winter or whenever torrential rain is experienced.
In the longer term, The Wilmington A35 Action Group believes that the only real solution would be the construction of a by-pass, to re-route the A35 around the village as was planned nearly 20 years ago. The group also plans to talk to other villages along the A35 with similar problems such as Chideock, Morecombelake, Raymonds Hill and Kilmington.”
On behalf of the Wilmington A35 Action Group.