Budleigh traffic lights upgrade branded 'waste of money'

PUBLISHED: 16:18 26 October 2017

The junction between High Street and Station Road in Budleigh Salterton. Picture: Google

The junction between High Street and Station Road in Budleigh Salterton. Picture: Google

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A Budleigh resident has said that the ‘thousands’ spent on new traffic lights at a busy town centre junction could have been spent on health and social care.

Residents in Budleigh Salterton have raised questions about money spent on an ‘unnecessary’ traffic lights upgrade.

Work to improve the traffic lights system in place at the junction between High Street and Station Road is due to finish at the end of this week.

It has left some residents questioning the need for the change when the previous lights were not faulty.

One resident, Ian Vale, told The Journal he had been told by a contractor that the work will cost ‘thousands’ in tax payers’ cash.

Devon County Council has confirmed that upgrade has set the authority back ‘in the region’ of £24,000.

Mr Vale, of Fountain Hill, believes the money could have been better spent on health and social care.

He added: “From my point of view, no one can understand why the old traffic lights were being replaced by new ones.”

The county council said the figure was 
for the new traffic signals, the civil engineering and the hire of the temporary traffic lights.

A spokesman said: “We can keep electronic equipment going for some time past its design life, but it experiences an increased fault rate, and it becomes harder to get spare parts for it.

“So we’ve a traffic signal replacement programme to deal with older equipment. And that’s why we’re working on that replacement.

“If we allow signals to fail, we’d have to install portable signals until we could arrange for new replacements, and that can take time, running up unnecessary costs for the portable signals on top of the replacement costs.

“It’s better to have a programmed replacement to deal with old equipment.

“This new equipment is more resilient and more cost effective to operate.”

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