LITTLE JOHNS CROSS HILL – Petition for Traffic Calming Measures

Its gratifying to receive notice of a petition organised by local residents – today I received the following:

Ben Bradshaw has advised me to forward this petition on to you as the hazard down our road seems to be increasing, due to the speed of traffic. Accidents have occurred and the potential for another is imminent.

The present signs are being ignored and speed bumps seem to be the only deterrent together with a strict enforcement strategy.

ALL the residents are in consensus on the need to act in time ! Their comments are attached which show their depth of concern over this issue.

We would be grateful for your assistance in this respect to achieve an improvement.

LITTLE JOHNS CROSS HILL – Petition for Traffic Calming Measures

The undersigned residents of the above rod have been concerned for some time over the potential danger of their road usage due to speeding traffic, mainly from non-residents – especially in the restricted top no access and below (at “Twisted Oak”) with time-zone restrictions laid with signage a few years ago.

LITTLE JOHN'S CROSS HILL Access only sign [20 May 12]
Sign at entrance to Little Johns Cross Hill from Dunsford Road
The danger is mainly due to the hill where traffic turning into the road from Dunsford Hill accelerates downhill regardless of the speed limit, They also drive up the hill too fast as it narrows in width towards the brow of the hill, causing potential peril to pedestrians where there is no footpath for the last 80 yards.

Hence we implore the council to install some form of speed curtailment such as speed bumps (reference Barley Lane as an example) and we suggest 2 be the minimum: one placed across the road at No.19 just down from the brow of the hill some 100 yards from the Dunsford Hill junction; and  another uphill of the private road spur junction (leading to several houses) opposite No.15. Note speed bumps exist on this private road and also on Barley Lane’s hill leading to the Dunsford Hill junction already leaving Little Johns Cross Hill similarly “unprotected”.

The restricted access has been ignored and through traffic often passes at speeds of 40-60mph, making residents’ access onto the road a hazardous endeavour. There are a number of driveways on the uphill side of the road with “blind entrances” and the downhill side homeowners cannot access their driveways safely from both traffic directions. Near misses occur frequently to vehicles and where no footpath exists on the school route to `Ide, children are put indanger. For example, on 30 July 78 vehicles came up the hill between 17:15 and 17:45 compared to just 19 between 1630 and 1700. This is due to the road being used as a “rat run” to overcome congestion in the “rush hour” caused by the poorly-designed and difficult junction connecting the old A30 (Ide Road) to Pocombe Bridge onto Dunsford Hill. There should logically be a similar “No Access” sing at the bottom of the road to match the one at the top.

The undersigned residents therefore need an upgrade to restore their safe use of their road where the access are blatantly flouted. We therefore request that the council should install speed bumps as this is the only way to control the impending hazard which will inevitably result in a serious accident. Due to the consensus of the residents, we would suggest there is no need for the normal lengthy and costly consultation process over these proposed traffic calming measures/speed bumps as it simply an obvious means of safety improvements and accident prevention.

I have told the lead petitioner that, since this is a matter for the Highways Authority (which in the case of Exeter is Devon County Council),  I will leave it to Cllr Roy Hill to explain to the residents the process of presenting the petition to the next Full Council Meeting which will held on 01 October 2015

I expect this issue will then be placed on the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC] on which I currently sit as a representative of Exeter City Council. I have guaranteed the residents of my full support when I comes before Exeter HATOC.

Some thoughts:

Although not actually a part of the Exeter Green Circle 12-mile walking route, Little Johns Cross Hill runs close to the 3-mile  Alphing Brook Walk section and I’ve often seen horse-riders on the road – due to the nearby riding stable.

Lack of maintenance of the verges and hedges on the lower part of Little Johns Cross Hill often reduces the road almost to a single track, making walking increasingly treacherous.

Many of the residents commented that the restricted access isn’t working, probably because the junction at Pocombe Bridge doesn’t allow free flow of traffic – at least one asked if a roundabout, rather than a T-junction, would be more suitable here.

The County of Devon (Balls Farm Road Area, Exeter)(Prohibition of Motor Vehicles and Access Only) Order 2008 come into force on 28 January 2008.

Under this order
“no person shall, except upon the direction or with the written permission of a police officer in uniform or of a traffic warden, cause or permit any motor vehicle to proceed in the length of road specified in Schedule 1 from 7am to 9.30 am Monday to Friday; and
“no person shall, except upon the direction or with the written permission of a police officer in uniform or of a traffic warden, cause or permit any motor vehicle to proceed in the length of road specified in Schedule 2, except for access to adjacent properties.”

Screen shot 2015-10-01 at 07.13.25

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23 thoughts on “LITTLE JOHNS CROSS HILL – Petition for Traffic Calming Measures

  1. 1) The speed the cars go up and down LJXH blatantly breaking the speed limit is a danger to pedestrians and residents trying to get out of their drives.

    There is another consideration which should be taken into account. LJXH is part of the city Green Space walking route which the council has promoted in the past; many walkers still walk this route.

    Also there are horse riding stables near-by and horses regularly use the road.

    If nothing is done to decrease the speed of vehicles, a serious accident could occur.

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  2. 5) Can be really dangerous when doing school run. We walk from top of LJXH to Ide and cars do whizz past, with no regard for the children’s safety.

    Something is needed to stop the fast speeds cars can – and do – reach along this pavement-free lane.

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  3. 10) The road is especially hazardous upon exiting my driveway as traffic (mostly non-resident) accelerates from the brow of the hill towards my “blind” driveway – often well in excess of 30mph. It’s a daily “near miss” scenario, and some form of speed calming needs to be emplaced. Speed bumps seem to be the obvious solution.

    While these would be suitable at the brow of LJXH, another positioned at the top of Dunsford Hill – near the the junction of LJXH – would be appropriate, as speeding traffic is constantly caught there by the police traps; some of which turn into LJXH and continue to accelerate down the hill towards my driveway.

    In recent days, I have been subject to dangerous traffic up the hill between 5-6pm and have had to take evasive action for myself and others [children and old ladies].

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  4. 11) I think that we should have speed bumps all the way down the hill, not just at the top.

    In the mornings, people use the road as a “rat run” and ignore the restrictions.

    When I reverse into my drive, motorists have no consideration because they are in such a hurry.

    Walkers, children, residents and horses are at risk of being hit by speeding motorists.

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  5. 12) More than 2 speed bumps are needed to protect people living all the way down the hill.

    The access restrictions in the morning DO NOT WORK!!

    Driving out and reversing into our drives is hazardous, to say the least!!

    Speeding motorists have absolutely no consideration for residents, walkers, children being taken to and collected from school, or horses.

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  6. 14) I witnessed a nasty accident when watching a car reversing into a drive, when a speeding car coming up the rammed into the reversing car.

    It was being driven my a young male, who ended up a way past the drive as he was driving at a ridiculous speed.

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  7. 15) Exiting our driveway on foot or in a vehicle is extremely dangerous due to the excessive speed of vehicles driving up and down LJXH.

    Unless some action is taken, a serious accident will happen in the future.

    There is often a speed camera checking the speed of vehicles in Dunsford Hill, but never have the speeds been checked in LJXH.

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  8. 16) Having just lived at this address for only a short time, we have noticed the speed vehicles come up and down the hill during the day and the night, much too fast for the area.

    It is used as a rat run between 07:30 – 09:00 and from 16:30 to 18:00.

    We are very concerned that one day there will be an accident.

    During the day, we have walkers plus horse riders coming up and down LJXH and for most of the time it takes to walk this hill, they have to walk in the road as there is only a pavement on the RHS going down until house number 11.

    Having speed humps near the top of the hill would improve the safety for pedestrians, etc.

    Traffic calming would protect this residential area from through traffic, reduce the noise caused by speeding vehicles, and air pollution.

    I have noticed on several occasions a policeman at the top of Dunsford Hill with a speed camera. Perhaps next time they could be either at the top of LJXH or the bottom with the camera?

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  9. 17) In addition to agreement with those comments mentioned in the petition, I would like to add:

    The amount of traffic in the early evening between 17:00 and 18:00 makes it very difficult to reverse into our drive. People are impatient and loath to stop. [Obviously. driving in and reversing out would be suicidal].

    This traffic often results in 8-10 vehicles queuing at the top of the hill to get out into Dunsford Road, making difficult access for traffic coming into the Hill, as the road is narrow there.

    People often park in this narrow stretch to use the shop and this makes matters worse, especially as there is poor visibility on the corner.

    There is a similar volume if traffic in the morning between 08:00 and 09:00. This is the time when young families are walking to school in Ide, and youngsters are walking to West Exe College.

    Walking on the Hill where there are no pavements is becoming increasingly treacherous. The road is reduced almost to single track in places by growth on the banks, and vehicles still speed past pedestrians.

    We have an almost blind exit into the road from our drive. It has become increasingly dangerous to drive into the road given the amount and speed of passing traffic. There is no pavement on the hill other than the top 200m, where the road is at its widest.

    Anyone using LJXH as a rat run can only be doing so to avoid the queue that inevitably develops at Pocombe bridge.

    Frequently horses are ridden along the road. They come along Hambeer Lane and out on to the Hill at the junction with Dunsford Road. Cars often come round this blind corner at speed.

    Of course, it is equally dangerous for pedestrians coming out of the Lane into the Hill – it is a popular area with dog walkers.

    The ‘Restricted Access’ sign at the top of the Hill is not easily seen.

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  10. 18) We are for some form of traffic calming as there have been numerous occasions when, whilst trying to pull out of our drive, speeding vehicles have passed going in both directions very close,

    Another solution may be to improve the junction at Pocombe Bridge, allowing traffic to flow faster – and hence, traffic will not need to use LJXH.

    The road is now much narrower, due to a lack of hedge/verge maintenance, pushing pedestrians into the road, especially for the old and children who walk to Ide school.

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  11. 19) We agree with the sentiments expressed in the petition. However, we are more concerned with the lower/middle part of the hill.

    Vehicles accelerate away from the bend at the twisted oak [tree], up the hill and achieve their maximum speed around the start of the housing on the LHS, then – being aware of the accesses – appear to ease off.

    The bottom half of the hill is particularly overgrown, narrowing the carriageway by up to 3m and putting vulnerable road users safety at real risk.

    Also I believe LJXH is one of the only residential streets in Exeter without a 20mph limit – an anomaly.

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  12. 20) In essence, we support the idea BUT only so long as the traffic calming covers our section of the Hill as well.

    As it stands maniacs can still roar past our house and only slow down further up the Hill, whereas the danger is much more widespread.

    So speed bumps are needed further down as well.

    In addition, there is danger to pedestrians caused by all the hedges growing over the road and forcing people to walk well into the road; we have complained about this numerous times, but nothing ever happens.

    We hope these remarks are helpful and thank you for raising the issue.

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  13. 22) We both agree there needs to be a traffic calming scheme put into place. We have asked before, but nothing has been done,

    Traffic has increased a lot, and we think it’s time something is done.

    Like

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