Call for traffic lights to help Exmouth emergency crews

PUBLISHED: 11:40 12 October 2017

Exmouth fire and ambulance station exit

Exmouth fire and ambulance station exit

Archant

Lives could be at risk if a new set of traffic lights is not installed outside Exmouth’s fire and ambulance stations, councillors have said.

Cars queuing to get in and out of Liverton Business Park have been blamed for delaying emergency crews.

Members of Exmouth Town Council voted for a motion calling for traffic lights to be installed at the junction of the business park and Salterton Road.

These would be fitted with an override so crews could ensure they had green lights to quickly exit their stations and respond to incidents.

Councillor Steve Gazzard said: “It’s affecting their response time, there is no doubt, and as we all know time in an emergency means lives.

“Fire and ambulance crews say it’s restricting their ability to get out quickly and promptly.

“Something needs to happen before either there’s an accident with an emergency vehicle hitting something, or something worse happens.”

Councillor Brian Bailey said: “Most major cities and towns have lights on fire stations as a matter of course. Why we haven’t is probably an oversight from some time ago.”

There was a debate about who should pay for the lights, with some councillors suggesting Clinton Devon Estates, which owns Liverton Business Park, should meet some or all of the cost.

Speaking after the meeting, Adrian Pitts, estate surveyor for Clinton Devon Estates, said: “The main road through the estate off Salterton Road is an adopted highway so any traffic changes or improvements to the junction would have to be initiated via Devon County Council, as the highways authority.

“We regularly discuss traffic and other matters with occupiers of the estate, and both the fire and ambulance services have told us that congestion is not causing them an issue.”

A spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) said: “Over the years, the business profile of Liverton business park has increased.

“Traffic flow has increased as a result and long queues do build up at the single point of exit.

“DSFRS would welcome the placement of warning lights at the junction to assist in our appliances negotiating the junction.

“Exmouth is a wholetime and on-call station and our on call staff need to respond to the station to then take the appliance out, which can be more difficult when the traffic is busy.”

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