Residents demand restrictions on Caen Hill stretch
Residents who live alongside Caen Hill in Devizes have demanded that it should be restricted to a single carriageway to cut speeds and increase road safety.
Muriel and George Walton, who have lived in the pretty cottage at the corner of Caen Hill and Marsh Lane, Rowde, for 16 years, have been putting up with increasing traffic noise and more frequent crashes.
In a letter to Wiltshire Council’s highways department over the countywide review of speed limits, Mrs Walton wrote: “On a summer’s evening motorbikes can be heard revving up at Seend Fork with the intention of opening their throttles as they reach our home and the dual carriageway.
“The noise is horrendous. Our spaniels howl along to it.
“I recall on one occasion when a van leaving Marsh Lane to cross the dual carriageway and turn right had a motorbike planted right inside it with only the back of the bike visible.”
There have been countless crashes along the stretch of dual carriageway, some of them fatal. Mr and Mrs Walton support the reduction of the speed limit on the road from the national 70mph to 50mph, but they suggest going a step further.
Mrs Walton told the Gazette: “We can’t see the point of the dual carriageway. Any traffic speeding up the hill is then bottle-necked into a single lane and a 30mph zone. This encourages further speeding in order to be at the top first.”
The Waltons suggest closing off one of the carriageways that could then be used by cyclists and pedestrians, particularly children, “who would then be safer than with the current road layout”.
Another local resident, Patrick Dawe-Lane, has circulated a letter to his neighbours and parish councils, which is being supported by Rowde Parish Council.
Mr Dawe-Lane wrote: “The volume of traffic using the dual carriageway has increased considerably since it was opened in the early 1980s and so has the average speed of vehicles using it.
“The volume of traffic using the junctions off the dual carriageway has also increased, meaning that the national speed limit of 70mph is no longer acceptable and should be lowered to reduce the risk of further serious accidents occurring.”
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