UPLYME parish councillors are hopeful that proposals to improve pedestrian safety in the village may come to fruition over the next year.
The Uplyme Neighbourhood Plan contains the aspiration to improve safety on the narrow stretch of the B3165, near the junction with Crogg Lane, by providing a footway.
This would provide a safe scheme for pedestrians, particularly schoolchildren walking to and from The Woodroffe School.
Safety is presently compromised by walls on each side of the road and restricted sight lines. Large articulated vehicles occupy the whole width of the road and some have to use the wrong side of the road to get past the small traffic island, which was installed to slow down all traffic.
The parish council has had difficulty in progressing this aspiration due to lack of funding in Devon.
Uplyme’s county councillor, Cllr Ian Hall, has been actively attempting to progress this issue and local resident Simon Williams has independently been emphasising its importance to Devon County Council.
Now Devon County Council and Dorset Council are working together to discuss the possibility of obtaining match-funding the scheme in the next financial year’s capital programme, with both Cllr Hall and Dorset councillor Daryl Turner working with officers on the project.
Uplyme Parish Council will also be expected to contribute Community Infrastructure monies.
Devon County Council will consider committing Local Transport Plan funds in next year’s programme to refresh the footway design to ensure the delivery of a safe scheme for all road users.
The scheme will then be presented to the parish council and is expected to gain their formal agreement to contribute to the scheme.
Devon County Council would then be able use £40,000 of its Local Transport Plan funding towards the cost of the scheme and, whilst timescales cannot presently be set in stone, it is likely to be towards the end of 2021/22.
Uplyme Parish Council said they are very grateful to Cllrs Hall and Turner for their support for this “much-needed project”, which they described as an “excellent example of joint working across county boundaries”.