Traffic signals are to be installed at a bridge in Chudleigh Knighton next month (October) in order to improve safety, reduce congestion and protect the structure.
The Grade Two listed Newbridge in Clay Lane has been struck 20 times since 1999, often leading to costly repairs and lengthy road closures while repair work is carried out.
Poor visibility on the approach to the bridge, due to the structure’s humpback profile and the alignment of the road, are among the main factors which contribute to the collision record. Increased traffic flows are also causing congestion at commuter times which is exacerbating the problem.
We will start installation of the traffic lights on Sunday 10 October and work is scheduled to be completed by Saturday 6 November. Clay Lane will be closed for the duration of the work, and a signed diversion route has been agreed with Highways England along the A38 between the Chudleigh junction and Drumbridges junction.
A number of different measures have been considered during the design of the scheme, but traffic lights were seen as the best option.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, our Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:
“There have been three collisions on the bridge itself since 2017 alone, and it’s largely due to motorists not being able to see vehicles approaching from the opposite direction. Although vehicles will have to stop and wait when the traffic signals are red, traffic flows at peak times will be better than the current situation where vehicles often have to wait or reverse when faced with oncoming vehicles. These lights have become essential not only to protect this historic Grade Two listed structure from being struck by vehicles, but also to improve safety on this part of our road network.”
Councillor George Gribble, our Councillor for Bovey Rural, said:
“This traffic control over Clay Lane bridge is and has been necessary for a long time now following accidents and many concerns expressed by drivers, including HGV drivers who are also frequent users of this route, some having damaged the bridge and structures itself.”
Councillor Jerry Brook, our Councillor for Chudleigh and Teign Valley, said:
“The safe flow of traffic will be welcomed by everyone with the installation of the traffic lights, and hopefully it will bring an end to the historic collisions and the unnecessary damage to the bridge. Thank you to Devon County Council for taking action on this matter.”
Power supply for the lights has already been installed by Western Power Distribution.