Father's plea for drivers to slow down in town

A WORRIED father has made a desperate plea for drivers to reduce their speed in Topsham - fearful that otherwise someone will be killed.

A WORRIED father has made a desperate plea for drivers to reduce their speed in Topsham - fearful that otherwise someone will be killed.Jack Russell, of Denver Road, is concerned about the number of motorists who drive fast in the town.The motivational speaker, who has a 19-month-old child, urged vehicle-users to be more aware of hazards, notably of pedestrians walking the streets and 20mph speed reduction areas to be put in place.He said: "You can't use zebra crossings without having the feeling that you are putting your life at risk."Concerned about the issue, the campaigning 42-year-old produced 'slow down' signs to warn drivers and installed them on lamposts and on the side of a railway bridge on Denver Road.Jack said he had consulted Exeter City Council about the signs and his fears about speeding motorists, and received their support.He added: "We have a potential death waiting to happen which is why I started to take action by putting signs up."Jack, who teaches kayaking, sailing, climbing and mountaineering, said he felt safer undertaking those activities than when crossing roads in Topsham.He thought there were a few areas of concern in the town. And, as an example, he said: "People to try to race the lights (on Station Road) as the train barriers come down - the roads, generally, are over-saturated."The big worry is that elderly people or children could get knocked down."Percy Giles, police community support officer for Topsham, said 'speeding was a real area of concern'."Exeter, Denver and Elmgrove Roads are just some of the areas that residents have raised a particular sense of worry about.""We have been taking out a non-enforceable advisory machine onto the roads to warn motorists of their speeds."The device provides police with a mean average-speed that drivers travel at through a particular area and has a large monitor which indicates drivers' speeds as they pass by. Percy said he would continue to use the equipment in Topsham.One concerned homeowner in the town, who refused to be named, said people drove at speeds of up to 50 miles per-hour on the road where she lived."Drivers are just not thinking," she added. The woman said that people were driving at such a pace that she would often find nuts and bolts which had fallen off wagons near her home."People use Denver Road as a rat run to avoid using the level crossing on Station Road which it runs parallel to," she explained.