Another reason to have a breakaway eastern East Devon?

Very, very few people in the eastern part of East Devon will benefit from this, yet it is in the EDDC area.

“The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed funding for two major projects in Devon …

[One is £9 m at Sherford new town near Plymouth]

… east of Exeter, the continuing growth and development will receive a £4 million boost, which with £3 million developer contributions will deliver improvements to Moor Lane junction to provide more capacity for traffic using the A30 and from Sowton Industrial estate; extension of the higher quality cycle routes into the city; an additional multi-use car park at the Science Park; plus extension of the electric bike scheme.

The news has been welcomed by Devon County Council, which put in the bids for the DfT funding.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste, said:

“This is great news for Devon. Great for Devon residents, and great for Devon businesses. The £9 million will bring with it improvements in Exeter, and much needed access, and High Street, to the new town of Sherford. Both schemes will be a boost for new housing, jobs and connectivity in Devon.”

Infrastructure: the forgotten need and M5 worst road for traffic jams in 2016

More and more houses, more and more and more cars … tipping point now reached.

“The UK has been confirmed as having more traffic jams than anywhere else in Europe. The Independent Transport Commission has found that the cost of these jams to the UK economy is a staggering £9 billion per year. That’s more than the cost to most European countries combined.

… Looking at vehicles per capita, the UK is 34th in the world. It comes behind France, Sweden, Italy, Luxembourg and Greece, so that doesn’t seem to be the problem. The UK has six million fewer cars than France on its roads. …

Additionally, research by traffic analytics company Inrix shows that, in 2016, drivers encountered 1.35 million traffic jams in the UK. That works out on average to 3,700 traffic jams every day. The estimated annual cost of £9 billion wasted is based on time, fuel spent while idling or starting vehicles in jams and the resultant cost of all that unnecessary pollution.

M5 wins title of “worst traffic jam” in 2016

On 4 August 2016 at the M5 near Somerset, two lorries collided. This created the worst traffic jam of last year, with a 36-mile tailback. It took workers 15 hours to clear the debris. This jam alone was estimated to have cost £2.4 million.

The northbound M6 has three serious traffic jams in the top five worst traffic jams of 2016, while a serious car accident on the A406 was the fourth worst jam of the year.

The causes of the worst queues ranged from fuel spills and emergency repairs to broken down lorries. November was the worst month in terms of the total number of traffic jams. There were 169,000 on the UK’s major roads during that month. April had the second highest number of jams recorded.

UK roads not fit for purpose

Investment has been made to update Britain’s main trunk roads. We are totally reliant on these to get up and down the country. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of traffic on them means that if anything causes the traffic flow to stop at all, there are no alternative road systems nearby for drivers to move across to. Many of the new “smart motorways” being built across the UK are exacerbating the problem because they are built with no hard shoulder in place, just emergency refuge bays provided at maximum intervals of 2,500 metres. …”

[The rest of the article consists of (a) the government saying it is working on the problem and (b) a plea for more roads which hardly seem worth commenting on]

DCC transport supremo Stuart Hughes on the spot next week

“On Monday Devon Live launches a series of special reports into the county’s congestion problems and the impact that pollution is having on people’s lives.

Gridlocked Devon will look at some of the major challenges caused by congestion across the county and find out what is being done to encourage people to use other modes of transport. …

Investigations throughout the week will reveal the attitude of local authorities to sustainable travel and highlight some of Devon’s pollution hotspots.

Gridlocked Devon will culminate on Friday with a Facebook Live debate tackling some of the major travel problems facing the county.

To submit a question email

Perhaps Neil Parish should be spending less time on widening the A303 and more time on making the A35 safer

Many of us know the disaster that is the Hunter’s Lodge interchange near Axminster and its catalogue of accidents and deaths.

Now there have been three serious accidents on the same road, all near Kilmington.

Swire might also start thinking about his side of the A3052, which has seen two accidents (one fatal) at Four Elms in recent days:

Of course, there is no money for road repairs or improvements in East Devon – all money in our area is being poured into roads to Hinkley C, widening the A303 and nationally into shaving off 20 minutes on journeys between London and Birmingham.

Priorities, dear boy, priorities.

Devon County Council councillor responsible for Highways – former Monster Raving Loony Party representative Stuart Hughes:

102 Temple Street
EX10 9BJ
01395 578414

The money is there – just not here!

Sidmouth husting cancelled … so what would we have liked to see debated?

It appears only two of Sidmouth’s DCC candidates were prepared to attend tonight’s husting, which has now been cancelled at short notice – Stuart Hughes (Conservative ex- Monster Raving Loony) and Marianne Rixson (Independent East Devon Alliance).

Such a pity as there are burning questions for the Sidmouth and Sidford candidates, and the incumbent in particular, such as:

Asking Councillor Hughes why he seems to value photo-opportunities and silly songs

over action (for example, Alma Bridge…talk for years…no action)

The state of our roads in Sidmouth and Devon – Councillor Hughes having been in charge of them at DCC for years.

His worrying lack of preparedness about said highways when he should have known the information about them that should have stopped Sidford Industrial Estate ever getting into the local plan – information Sidmouth Councillor Rixson uncovered and used to help to stop it. A story of too little too late.

Councillor Hughes also needs to clarify his views on the NHS. While Sidmouth retains beds in this round of cuts, no-one can predict the future and the hospital will certainly come under pressure with extra patients from Axminster, Honiton and Seaton.

Unfortunately, a vote for Councillor Hughes is a vote for cuts – NHS and just about everything else including social care and education – big DCC responsibilities.

Councillor Rixson, and the local community, stopped the industrial estate. Councillor Rixson is an indefatigable supporter of our NHS and sees the issues way beyond the narrow confines of whipped party politics.

Councillor Rixson is the ONLY credible contender to beat Councillor Hughes, given the results from the 2015 election and to help beat any future cuts in the pipeline.

No wonder other candidates didn’t plan on turning up!

“Nearly 40 million people live in UK areas with illegal air pollution”

Owl says: you don’t hear (current) DCC councillor and its roads supremo Stuart Hughes (Conservative, ex- Monster Raving Loony Party) mentioning this in his election speeches … though you DO hear contender Councillor Marianne Rixson (Independent East Devon Alliance)doing so and drawing attention to its implications for the health of local communities.

“…The extent of the air pollution crisis nationally is exposed in the data which shows 59% of the population are living in towns and cities where nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution breaches the lawful level of 40 microgrammes per cubic metre of air. …”