Latest figures show 33 people have died on the road in North Devon and Torridge in the past five years

Two dozen people have died on North Devon’s rural roads in the past five years, according to new figures.

A Devon County Council report has flagged the area up as the second highest fatality rate in the county. Nine deaths were recorded in Torridge.

A new THINK! Campaign has been launched, urging drivers to slow down on rural roads, anticipate hazards and brake before bends.

A ‘rural road’ is classed as any road between towns except motorways and the council said most collisions had occurred on faster, wider carriageways in open country.

The council’s Road Safety Statistics Year End Report using Department of Transport figures showed there had been 254 collisions in North Devon last year, with a total of 60 people killed or seriously injured (KSI). Torridge saw 127 collisions and 27 KSI.

It flagged up dangerous roads including the A361 North Devon Link Road between Bishmill Gate and Tiverton, which saw seven collisions last year.

The B3343 from Woolacombe to Mullacott Cross was also cause for concern with eight crashes.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “Even if you think you know a road like the back of your hand, you can never be sure what’s around the corner.

“So let’s keep our rural roads safe for everyone too. Please take care, and keep your speed down.”

Superintendent Andy Munday, North and West Devon police commander, told the Gazette: “It’s 
terribly distressing to see the frequency of serious injuries 
or fatalities, so we heavily support any initiative to improve road safety.

“Just this last weekend we have had two very, very serious collisions on the A39 and it just goes to show that we can’t be complacent about road safety in North Devon.”

Four people are still recovering in hospital following the A39 collisions.