Residents “fearing for their lives” as HGVs make life a nightmare in Bampton
A notorious road used by HGVs and trucks has residents “fearing for their lives” in Bampton. Speaking at Bampton Town Council’s meeting on Wednesday, December 2, Tim Hagon, who lives on Castle Street, said the situation needed to be dealt with.
He said: “I’ve had a camera set up for a couple of weeks now to get some evidence on the problem; it is becoming unbearable. “With online shopping, we’re getting more trucks coming through. It’s not only small ones, they’re huge, and they’re coming over our pavement.
“It’s only a matter of time before somebody is killed.” He said that vehicles had bumped off pavements and had damaged the surface. “We quite honestly fear for our lives here,” Mr Hagon said. “We shouldn’t have to come out of our front door wondering if this is the day we’re going to be squashed.
It’s getting nuts. “It’s not a question of double yellow lining everything because two trucks will not fit on the road anyway. “We are genuinely frightened coming out of our front door.”
Mr Hagon said he counted up to 20 HGVs or more every day.
“We’re talking enormous great Dutch lorries. We’re talking Marks and Sparks Pantechnicons. “Why do they have to be here?
There’s so much traffic that doesn’t need to be coming through. It is nonsense.” He added that residents could not tend their window boxes for more than half an hour without having to go inside to feel safe.
Councillor Lucy Bull also expressed concerns. “This has worried me for the many years that I’ve lived here,” she said. “I wondered if there was anything we could perhaps do. “We are collecting evidence, and I know there’s a WhatsApp group amongst the residents of Castle Street to send photos.”
She urged County Councillor Polly Colthorpe to get a representative from the Highways Authority to see what residents had to deal with.
“I don’t know how many more times we can sit in meetings, saying we worry that someone’s going get injured or killed,” she added. Councillor Nick Bull added his fears for children walking along the road to access the new Motte and Bailey play area. He said: “It was bad enough before, but now we’ve got this amazing resource that we are sending children up, and we know it’s very dangerous.”
Councillor David Whiteway added: “It strikes me that there doesn’t seem to be any reason for these lorries to come through Bampton.
“We shouldn’t be on the way to anywhere they are going.” Polly Colthorpe, Devon County Council member for Tiverton West, said that residents on Castle Street had complained about the traffic ever since she had been on the county authority. “I have brought various people, including the safety officer to Bampton before and they have not been convinced.
I can try to do it again. “We do have a problem,” she said. “It’s a road and traffic is allowed to use the road. We can’t pick and choose between which traffic uses which route.
“I have recently had the same thing because somebody has taken a large piece out of Bickleigh Bridge again. It’s something which happens regularly, and the residents of Bickleigh and Tiverton Town Council are constantly asking me why we can’t redirect the traffic to go somewhere else. The fact is that it’s the A396.
It’s an A road, and you can’t pick and choose what traffic uses you’re A roads.” She said that responsibility was with the truck driver and the company which owned it, now with Devon County Council. “It may be that there are things they can do and I can ask them again and point out again that there are problems on Castle Street.
“The only thing I can think of that might prevent any mounting of the pavement are those little concrete humps along the edge. They would take up quite a lot of the pavement, and that would not make it easy for the pedestrians to use. “Frankly, I’m not terribly hopeful, but I can ask.”
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