Newport rat run drivers face action

POLICE are threatening to take action against rat-run motorists who continue flout traffic restrictions in the Rumsam area of Barnstaple. Early morning and rush hour restrictions were put in place in October 2007 at Chichester Road, Clinton Road, Fortes

POLICE are threatening to take action against "rat-run" motorists who continue flout traffic restrictions in the Rumsam area of Barnstaple.

Early morning and rush hour restrictions were put in place in October 2007 at Chichester Road, Clinton Road, Fortescue Road, Hillcrest Road and Orchard Terrace to prevent drivers from attempting speedy access to Landkey Road or from parking within the restricted area.

The access only traffic order applies between 7.30am and 9.30am and from 3pm to 6pm, Monday to Friday, but officers who regularly patrol the area of Bishops Tawton Road and Chichester Road have recently received complaints from concerned residents regarding the speed and number of vehicles flouting the order.

Barnstaple Police Sgt James Tarr said the illegal access increased the risks to both pedestrians and other road users within the Rumsam area. "Enough is enough," he said. "The restrictions have worked to a certain extent but recently people have forgotten about them.


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"We'd rather educate motorists than enforce, but we have enforced the order in the past and will continue to do so if drivers continue to ignore the restrictions."

Fed up Rumsam residents petitioned Devon County Council in 2007 to impose access restrictions during peak traffic hours.

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North Devon Councillor Newport ward member Cllr John Matthews said that the council took action after conducting its own survey.

He said: "On average, the county council gets around a five per cent return on traffic surveys sent out to members of the public; in this case, it received over 75 per cent which just goes to show the strength of feeling on this one.

"It's sometimes the small things that annoy people rather than the big things."

Fellow Newport Cllr Mike Harrison said the restrictions had had some impact although he was still getting complaints from residents.

Sgt Tarr urged motorists who use the route to make themselves aware of the restrictions to ensure they do not risk being prosecuted. He said officers from the Newport Neighbourhood Beat Team would be regularly visiting the area of Rumsam to take enforcement action against motorists who ignore restricted access signs.

PCSO Alistair Summers of the Newport beat team added: "The increase in patrols is being conducted in response to calls from local residents.

We believe that they will help to reduce the risk of injury and possible collisions and reduce the volume of traffic flowing through the area.

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