Average Speed Cameras to be installed on South Devon Highway

South Devon HighwaySouth Devon Highway

Posted on: 12 September 2018

Devon County Council has agreed proposals to install Average Speed Cameras on the South Devon Highway.

The £285,000 scheme to reduce speeds on the A380 was unanimously backed by the County Council’s Cabinet today (Wednesday 12 September).

Local concern has been raised about speeding traffic on the South Devon Highway since the road opened in 2015. A scheme to locate cameras at four locations on the route to enforce the 50mph limit was referred to Cabinet after the Teignbridge Highways and Traffic Orders Committee had approved the principle of the camera installation at its meeting in July.

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “I had tasked our officers to look at speed enforcement on the South Devon Link Road and it has been considered several times by the Teignbridge HATOC in order to address the concern of local residents. Not only does speeding traffic put other road users at risk but it also creates noise during unsocial hours. Mobile enforcement was considered but would require hardstanding laybys, and the preference was for average speed camera technology. Now that it’s been approved by Cabinet we can move forward and obtain and install the technology.”

Councillor Alistair Dewhirst

Councillor Alistair Dewhirst, Devon County Councillor for Ipplepen and The Kerswells, said: “The South Devon Link Road has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in South Devon, and many for the better, but some people’s lives have been severely blighted by noise and pollution from the road. The road has a 50mph speed limit which everyone ignores, and we’ve had terrible accidents with people driving at inappropriate speeds. We have to do something about it and my residents welcome this.”

Councillor Gordon Hook

Councillor Gordon Hook, Devon County Councillor for Newton Abbot South, said: “It’s absolutely right that we should go down this path and the sooner the better. But we also need other measures with better signage starting sooner, and there could also be more tree planting to reduce the noise from the road. It will bring some relief to those people who are suffering.”

The average speed cameras were considered to be the most efficient way of enforcing the 50mph speed limit on the road in order to improve safety, while also tackling air and noise pollution. The cameras are expected to be installed by the end of the year.

The scheme is supported by the Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership, and Devon and Cornwall Police, who have stated that enforcement would be beneficial in reducing the traffic speeds on the new stretches of dual carriageway which opened in 2015.

5 comments on “Average Speed Cameras to be installed on South Devon Highway

  1. Mike, - Kingsteignton says:

    About time that average speed cameras are to be installed, i travel this road a lot and drivers fly past me at 60mph , 70mph with no intention of the 50 mph limit.
    Total disregard of the Law , they know the Police cannot monitor this stretch of road 24/7.
    I broke the speed limit doing 37 mph in a 40 mph zone 3 years ago and chose to go on a Speed Awareness Course.
    It was the best 4 hrs learning circle i have ever attended, as i never forgot what on tutor kept saying to us – SPEED KILLS . This will happen on the Devon Highway sooner or later , so come on Devon County Council , get those Cameras up and running.

  2. Stuart Moon says:

    As with almost all new schemes the project is built down to a price.

    The local authority is then stuck with applying all the correcting actions to reduce the environmental impact and meet environmental standards, this should have been better considered when the initial design was passed.

    Similarly traffic calming/speed limiting, soft and hard landscaping should have been part of the minimal environmental impact considerations not part of remedial actions.

    10000 vehicles passing through Kingskerswell will still be 10000 vehicles on the South Devon Highway. Designing in traffic management is more cost effective than a quick fix knee jerk reaction.

    Designing a road to look like it will handle national speed limit is flawed thinking, designing a sinuous track with no clear forward views controls road speed via caution and uncertainty.

    Agreed a new road attracts a percentage of new traffic, but the road design has to be such that the increase does not impact on the through flow. It is only when the design flow is exceeded that the 50mph limit becomes self policing due to congestion.

    Modern trunk roads need intelligent thinking away from a straight line A-B solution which encourages speed, changes of direction, adverse camber, close placed hedging etc could have been employed to slow vehicles.

    If Lane one was converted to an emergency ‘hard shoulder’ or congestion management lane operated at peak times with CCTV control the overall effect would still be a lower speed off-peak travel.

  3. Anon says:

    I don’t design roads, but I have used many roads which are probably older and actually more geographically and physically constrained than the South Devon Highway. Large parts of the SDH are more than capable of being operated at national speed limit. Perhaps the road should be renamed to “Slow Way” as part of the £280,000 spend. However I will concede that some parts should rightly have the 50 Mph speed limit, such as the Penn Inn section until the first Kingskerswell junction.

    I guess that in a few years once the road has gone into the usual Devon neglect, perhaps it will be less attractive to motorists and the problem will simply go away.

  4. anon says:

    As a dual carriageway, motorists expect the this stretch of road to operate at National Speed limits. This was clearly how the road was originally intended, otherwise it would have been constructed as a single carriageway.

    Noise pollution is going to be the only thing tackled by enforcement of the speed limit, but slowing the speed of which a vehicle is travelling is not going to have any significant reduction in sound, especially if the vehicle is a noisy motor bike. Instead the noise pollution should be tackled by increasing tree growth along the route and surrounding fields. Or if noise from the road is significantly worse at night time – close the road at night!

    I am sure that people living along the A30 route which has a concrete surface would also appreciate a speed reduction and enforcement. Implementing the enforcement on the South Devon Link road will set a precedent for other roads to have a speed reduction too. For example, I can hear the M5 at night time, there would be public outcry to any plans to reduce the speed limit of the motor way.

    • Thank you for your comments and observations.
      Geographical and physical constraints mean The South Devon Highway is not suitable for a national speed limit. The safe speed limit is 50mph. We are introducing average speed cameras to improve safety and traffic flow on the road, as well as address the issue of noise and air pollution.
      It is common practice to have speed limits lower than the national speed limit for certain road layouts and roads in urban environments, even if they have more than one carriageway. For the safety of all road users, motorists should adhere to the speed limit for the road they are travelling on, and drive appropriately for their type of vehicle and the conditions.

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