Signs of success at ‘danger junction’

Councillors hail Westleigh traffic lights a ‘resounding success’.

ROAD safety improvements at a dangerous Bideford junction have been hailed a ‘resounding success’ by Devon County Councillors.

Five months since the completion of a �630,000 traffic light system at the A39 Westleigh Junction, the council said there had been no reports of significant delays since it opened last December.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, the council’s cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “The junction has been a resounding success.

“Anecdotally we’ve heard that some drivers feel safer when driving through the junction, but it will be a couple of years before any data can be analysed meaningfully to support the early positive indications of improved safety and improved traffic flow.”

An average of 18,000 vehicles use the stretch of road every day and concern from some quarters that the traffic light scheme could cause long delays appears to have been unfounded.

Northam and Bideford town councils both expressed a preference for a roundabout, one of a number of options considered at the time.

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Fremington Rural county councillor Rodney Cann said: “I have had nothing but praise regarding the junction from many quarters – it has been successful far beyond my expectations.

“Most drivers feel confident when using the junctions and the predicted long delays are in practice minimal.

“There was a small army of critics and a number of councillors from the Torridge side who said lights would be disastrous and criticised me personally for supporting the scheme.

“These critics have remained strangely silent now they have been proven wrong.”

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