Action taken at Teignbridge crash hot-spots

Schemes designed to make main roads in Newton Abbot and Teignmouth safer have been agreed.

Councillors on the Teignbridge Highways and Traffic Orders Committee on Thursday backed plans that would ‘cut casualty severities’ on both East Street in Newton Abbot and on the A379 Shute Hill in Teignmouth.

The proposals are designed to improve safety for road users and pedestrians and follows ten ‘injury collisions’ in the last five years at the Newton Abbot site, and five ‘injury collisions’ at the Teignmouth location.

At East Street, the scheme seeks to widen the entrance to the Sainsbury’s site by removing a section of the gate post and wall, and to increase the visual impact of the ‘Puffin’ signalised pedestrian crossing, new LED signal heads, road markings and contrasting coloured high friction surfacing are included within the scheme.

The East Street junction that will be improved
The East Street junction that will be improved
(Image: Daniel Clark)

The signal-controlled pedestrian crossing will be relocated 1.2 metres to the east of the current position. Traffic bollards will also be proposed, in an attempt to deter overrunning of the pavement, which is a real problem

Explaining the plans, James Anstey, traffic engineer, said: “Over the five year period 2015-2019, ten injury collisions were recorded in a cluster site on the A381 East Street corridor in the vicinity of the Union Street and Scott Close junction and pedestrian crossing. Two of these collisions were serious in severity – one involving a vehicle failing to stop for a red light at the crossing and colliding with a mobility scooter crossing the carriageway and one involved a mobility scooter driving off the footway whilst passing a pedestrian and being struck by a passing vehicle.

“The other eight recorded collisions were slight in severity, with six involving a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian, and two of these involved children entering the carriageway into the path of approaching vehicles.

“One involved a pedestrian being struck by the wing mirror of a passing vehicle, two involved pedestrians being struck by a vehicle whilst using the existing signal-controlled pedestrian crossing, and one involved a vehicle over running the corner of the pavement and colliding with a pedestrian, whilst it was turning left into the Sainsburys junction.”

Cllr Gordon Hook, who represents the Newton Abbot South ward, said: “This is an increasingly dangerous junction, with a busy GP surgery, a Sainsbury’s story, a pharmacy and sheltered accommodation, and a significant number of accidents are reported.

“After being concerned about this junction and aware of huge safety problems for years I sincerely hope these proposals will make the area much safer, and part of the problem is the traffic has increased on the junction but this is a very real step forward.”

A previous crash on East Street in Newton Abbot
A previous crash on East Street in Newton Abbot

Cllr Jackie Hook, who represents the Newton Abbot North ward, added: “I welcome the scheme and it will really help with the safety of vulnerable road users as all ten accidents involved pedestrians. That is unacceptable so we need to do more and I hope this will encourage more people to walk to school.”

For the scheme on the A379, Shute Hill, in Teignmouth, the existing Zebra controlled crossing will be converted into a traffic signal controlled Puffin crossing.

The scheme includes enlarging the existing central traffic island on the east of the proposed crossing and construction of a new traffic island on the western side of the proposed crossing, and will include resurfacing of the A379 and the provision of new high friction surfacing and lining for the Puffin crossing.

Mr Anstey added that over the five year period 2015-2019, five slight severity injury collisions were recorded, with three of these recorded collisions involved a vehicle failing to stop at a Zebra crossing, which then collided with and caused injury to a pedestrian using the crossing.

One recorded collision involved a cyclist shunting a vehicle that had been waiting at the Zebra and one involved a cyclist being struck by a vehicle turning left onto the A379 from the Waitrose car park, he added.

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Cllr Sylvia Russell, who represents the Teignmouth ward, said: “This is a very busy road. I support this and pleased that this at long last is a reality.”

Both schemes were unanimously approved by the Teignbridge HATOC, with the Teignmouth scheme to start this month, while the Newton Abbot scheme is still awaiting Listed Building Consent being granted by Teignbridge District Council before work can begin.

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