Residents of a busy Barnstaple rat run have learned the end is in sight for their long running campaign for pavements – but it could take 18 months.

Heavy tipper lorries connected with the Larkbear work for new homes are currently using Old Torrington Road in Barnstaple, adding an extra hazard to residents. Picture: Michelle WardHeavy tipper lorries connected with the Larkbear work for new homes are currently using Old Torrington Road in Barnstaple, adding an extra hazard to residents. Picture: Michelle Ward

Speeding traffic and no pavements or street lights have left some residents scared of walking along Old Torrington Road near North Devon Crematorium.

New developments including the Larkbear urban extension means more than 500 new homes have been or will be built in the area, adding to the volume of traffic.

But campaigners say at long last money for improvements is now in place following 'section 106' funding obtained from developers for local infrastructure and Devon County Council has said improvements will be carried out within 18 months.

The fight to improve safety has been led by members of Tawstock Parish Council, including Helen Blackman, Michelle Ward and parish and district councillor David Knight.

New developments continue to spring up along Old Torrington Road in Barnstaple. Picture: Tony GussinNew developments continue to spring up along Old Torrington Road in Barnstaple. Picture: Tony Gussin

The plans for the new scheme are still in the draft stage, but it is expected there will be pavements along both sides of the road together with pedestrian crossing access points and dropped kerbs, plus a cycleway.

Michelle Ward said: "We would have liked to see it done a bit quicker than 18 months - the residents have been patient enough. They have bought an urban address but they are not connected.

"We are pleased the parish council as a team have brought this to some sort of fruition where it looks as if it's coming together.

"The street lighting scheme has not gone ahead, so we will still not have street lights."

Last year the Gazette reported how one 80-year-old resident was scared to go beyond her front gate because of the traffic, calling it 'Brand's Hatch' in reference to the famous motor racing circuit.

Helen Blackman said the road was becoming quite dangerous, especially with the large tipper lorries currently using it as they work on the Larkbear development.

She said: "You get quite frustrated by the lack of action coming from all levels of local government.

"There's a pervading idea of 'can't do' rather than 'can do', but we as parish councillors are closely in touch with residents and we are here to look after them.