Lights improve safety at danger junction

Joseph Bulmer

THE controversial new traffic lights system at the notorious Westleigh junction on the North Devon Link Road came into operation last Wednesday and has been declared a “vast improvement.”

Devon Council Council will, however, be monitoring the �640,000 scheme in coming weeks.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “Improving safety at Westleigh Junction has been a priority for the County Council and this new layout is a vast improvement, which provides a long term solution in achieving that. We will be monitoring the lights to ensure everything is running smoothly, but I’m delighted to see the scheme has been completed on budget and ahead of schedule. I would call on motorists to take time to familiarise themselves with the new layout over the coming weeks.”

The choice of the scheme has been controversial, with concerns from the Torridge side over potential tailbacks, especially in the busy summer months.

Northam and Bideford Town Councils expressed a preference for a roundabout, which would have cost �2.4 million.

County and North Devon councillor Rodney Cann, who pressed for the traffic lights scheme, told the Gazette: “My initial reaction is that the scheme is working very well, with traffic flowing smoothly, little delay and eliminating the confusion that did exist at this junction. I feel it will be quite capable of dealing with our summer traffic and that it is a big improvement to the safety situation. No junction of this kind is totally accident proof, but I believe this has made major advances in safety.”