Traffic 'mistakes'

SIR - Having read the article No U-Turn in last week s Gazette, I felt compelled to write in support of MP Nick Harvey s viewpoint. Devon County Council s decision not to make a U-turn on its restricted access onto The Square from Taw Vale is simply be

SIR - Having read the article 'No U-Turn' in last week's Gazette, I felt compelled to write in support of MP Nick Harvey's viewpoint.

Devon County Council's decision not to make a U-turn on its restricted access onto The Square from Taw Vale is simply bewildering!

If they are not prepared to accept when they have made a mistake and misspent taxpayers' money, then they should step aside and invite local people with 'common sense' to make decisions for them and find practical solutions to Barnstaple's traffic issues.

A few examples of errors include: removing a right-turn from Belle View Car Park (forcing people to sit in traffic and cross the Long Bridge twice unnecessarily); adding a needless roundabout on Taw Vale at great expense; halving the flow of traffic through Newport having an impact on local businesses,; creating a ghost street along The Strand (surely in making this one-way off the Long Bridge would at least bring back some life to the street and reduce traffic on the Inner Relief Road?).

While it was fair for the county to receive praise on the Downstream Bridge Development, it didn't take a genius to come up with this solution and what a shame it wasn't implemented 15 years ago when costs were much lower.

In a time of financial hardship in North Devon, I believe local residents would like to see their council spending their money with a less cavalier attitude. Perhaps we could sell the unsightly 'Stones' on the Sticklepath roundabout to another unfortunate town and use the money raised to make more sensible changes to Barnstaple's traffic layout?

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Our 'highways authority' have now made several main arterial routes in the town redundant thus increasing pressure and delays on the roads left open.

Surely in an age of environmental concern, (if people cannot be convinced to walk, cycle or use public transport), Councils should create road layouts to allow for shortest possible journeys to be made more easily. Please stop solving one problem only to create two more somewhere else!

I feel sorry for the future highways executives who will inherit an endless list of mistakes from our current decision-makers, ultimately costing the public even more money to put right. Now is the time to swallow some pride, accept that mistakes have been made, and use 'common sense' in future planning.

M Hunt, Barnstaple

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