Highways England confirms that Average Speed Cameras could save lives on the A35: work going ahead on scheme which should include crossings in Wilmington and Kilmington
Together with Cllr Andrew Pearsall, Chair of Widworthy Parish Council, and Dr Phil Webber, Chair of the A35 Action Group, I attended a meeting yesterday with representatives of Highways England in Exeter. They presented the draft results of the study they commissioned into the Average Speed Camera option, which have shown that the proposed camera scheme across the 13-mile stretch of the A35 from Honiton to Charmouth, which also includes 2 crossings in Wilmington and one in Kilmington) could have real safety benefits.
HE need to do some further work but aim to put the scheme into their ‘Value Management’ process by the end of the current financial year. A positive result there could lead to detailed design work in 2020-21 and (in the best case) construction in 2021-22.
It will be seen that this is a complex and lengthy process. Nevertheless we were told that the A35 is HE’s top priority for the SW for safety improvements and I am hopeful that this scheme will be carried forward and eventually bring some real benefits to reach the communities in the two villages who are suffering from the road.
Particular takeaways: 1. Collision data show 95 incidents involving injuries and fatalities (excluding the Hunters Lodge area and side roads) in a 5-year period.
2. Speeding through Wilmington is really bad with HE’s survey showing 15% of drivers over 35 mph (eastbound) and 37 mph (westbound) in the 30 area.
3. The next step in Wilmington may be a survey this autumn of residents’ problems and needs in relation to the road.
4. HE have an Air Quality fund but it could only be accessed if EDDC made Wilmington (where air quality levels have exceeded national limits two years running) an Air Quality Management Area.