14 October 2015
More than 100 drivers warned by police on use of Exeter’s ‘rat-run road’
Drivers are turning from Ide Lane into Doctors Walk/Balls Farm Road even although the latter is a ‘no entry’ between 7am and 9.30am on Mondays to Fridays.
This week local police officers and PCSOs were out in force to warn drivers about their behaviour.
Registration numbers and addresses were taken and when the officers repeat the operation in the coming days those found offending again will receive a fixed penalty ticket.
PC Julie Chapman, who led the operation, said: “About 20 per cent of the drivers have said that they were not aware of the restriction.”
There are two signs at the entrance to Doctors Walk from Ide Lane.
PC Chapman added: “This is a planning issue; the county council has put in the restriction but there needs to be a sit down of everyone concerned to have a look at it.”
Putting a barrier across the road was proposed some time ago but, according to Roy Hill, county councillor for the area, local residents were undecided as to the best location for it.
Speaking of the amount of traffic using the restricted road Robert Turland, who has lived in the area for eight years, said: “It is getting worse all the time”.
Cllr Hill said: “I am going to arrange a meeting between councillors and the county council and I will have a word with Cllr Jill Owen, chairman of Exeter’s highways committee.”
The restriction came into effect in January 2008 but drivers habitually ignore it as they seek to shave minutes from their morning peak hour journeys.
Local residents have long complained about the dangers of using the road because it is narrow and children use it to walk to school. The problem has become worse in recent weeks with the one way traffic system which is now in place on Dunsford Road.
PCSO Darren Walllis said: “With the road works on Dunsford hill people need to leave an extra 10 minutes early and not use this cut through. We need to come up with a long term solution.”
A Devon County Council spokesman said: “The police should be applauded for providing a presence and carrying out enforcement to prevent vehicular access along Balls Farm Road during morning commuter hours.
“Hopefully regular enforcement will deter motorists from flouting the restrictions. We regularly liaise with the police on matters of road safety and are always prepared to do so on this issue.”