At a meeting last Friday between Neil Parish MP, Axminster, Hawkchurch and Uplyme Councils with Nigel Dyson of Highways England, details of a revised and improved scheme for the junction were unveiled. All present expressed their thanks to Mr Dyson and the MP for all their work, which had resulted in a significantly better proposal than originally offered 2 years ago.
Councillors and the MP were delighted to hear that a signal-controlled pedestrian crossing was planned east of the junction, to allow safe crossing by the Raymonds’ Hill Post Office, and it was suggested that this might also leave occasional gaps in the traffic to allow exit west from the side roads.
Other features of the plan included improved signage – including vehicle-activated signs that would flash warnings of traffic waiting to emerge to drivers exceeding the 40MPH speed limit, longer turning lane markings on the side roads, the extension of the 40MPH limit further west towards the Axminster turning off the bypass, and A35 road markings to give the impression that the carriageway was narrower to slow through-traffic.
All this work, costing an estimated £250,000, is expected to start in Spring 2016. The meeting was disappointed to hear that requests to move the bus stop and widen the side roads to allow shorter queues had been ruled out at this stage despite repeated requests to consider them, but agreed that it was important to give the go-ahead for works on the A35 to begin as soon as possible. Councillors reserved the right to follow up both issues with Devon County Council Highways after the main work was done, should it prove necessary.
You can download a copy of the proposed plan here (PDF).