Torcross residents have handed in a petition urging the authorities to introduce safety measures to slow speeding traffic into the costal village.

The petition, launched by local couple Charlie and Emma Wilson, was presented to County Hall last week after attracting 200 signatures.

The Wilson’s home lies directly on the edge of the A379 road as there is no footpath leading into the village, and Mr Wilson is asking the council to introduce safety measures, which could include better signage (roundels), VAS (vehicle-activated sign) cameras, newly-painted rumble strips and even speed bumps to slow motorists down.

“This is like the Isle of Man TT warm up on a weekend for motorbikes,” said Mr Wilson, adding that drivers also habitually break the speed limit “first thing in the morning” and during the night.

“We have no natural pinch points where cars have to slow down as we have the widest and straightest bit of road by the bend here. (Drivers) come down from Dartmouth way, they see the straight and they floor it. We are the only village with really rubbish signage, and no VAS camera.”

He added: “All we’re asking is to be treated like any other village.”

The road between Kingsbridge and Dartmouth also lies adjacent to Slapton Ley Natural Nature Reserve, which is the largest natural freshwater lake in the south west and a wildlife haven for many types of birds.

Inevitably, speeding traffic has also led to the deaths of animals, Mr Wilson said. “We have ducks and swans, and early this year we had seven ducklings, but by the end there were three because the others ended up squashed on the road.”

From left to right: Charlie and Emma Wilson, and Mark and Elaine Owen
From left to right: Charlie and Emma Wilson, Mark and Elaine Owen (RT)

Mark Owen, who also signed the petition, claimed that motorists were often driving at more than twice the speed limit through sections of the road.

“At the weekends, coming through the top of the bend a lot of people are doing 50-60 (mph),” he said, adding that unwary pedestrians, especially during the busy summer season, risked getting run over.

Mrs Wilson added: “A dog that came out of the gate here got hit by a car and was killed last year. That could have been a child.”

Julian Brazil, the head of South Hams District Council, has backed the petition. He said: “I fully support Charlie and Emma. We should all be working together to make our roads safer. In turn this will encourage more walking and cycling.”

The timing of the petition coincides with national Road Safety Week. Devon and Cornwall Police issued a statement last week saying officers would be out in force across the two counties from November 19–25 in a bid to slow drivers down.

Across the UK, police figures show that travelling too fast or exceeding the speed limit was a contributory factor in 25 per cent of deaths where an officer attended the scene of a collision.