June 19 2013 Latest news:
Friday, January 4, 2013
A newly-created ‘hump’ on East Budleigh Bridge may have to be lowered because it could damage cars and be used as a ramp by ‘boy racers’.
Month-long strengthening work on the 17th century listed bridge was finished the week before Christmas, following a month of disruption to the village.
Highways chiefs said that the work was ‘essential’ after a crack had been found in the structure - blamed on HGVs travelling along the B3178.
Engineers added a steel-enforced ‘concrete saddle’ to the underside of the structure, inadvertently creating a speed hump.
This has had the unexpected side of slashing the numbers of speeding vehicles through the village, which has been welcomed by both chairman of the parish council Steve Baker and county councillor Christine Channon.
But the police are concerned that the bump could also have the opposite effect and be used by ‘boy racers’ as a ramp.
Some motorists have also complained that, despite them driving over the bridge within the speed limit, the ‘hump’ has scraped the underside of their vehicle.
Parish council chairman Mr Baker said: “There are concerns regarding the height of the bridge.
“I have been in touch with our Police Community Support Officer who was concerned that boy racers would launch off the bridge.
“However, this is now a natural speed restriction and, if correct signage is placed near and on the approach to the bridge, it will calm the traffic - and that can only be a good thing.”
County councillor Christine Channon said the bridge might have to be closed again for a short period to lower the height of the hump.
She said: “I do have some concerns that it is too high and it could damage vehicles. I have talked to county highways about smoothing the top of the bridge a little.”
She added: “But East Budleigh has had a problem with speeding cars for a long time and my personal view is that it acts as a natural road calming measure.
“The effect has been fantastic - drivers have been forced to slow down.”