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Campaigning mum to keep up the pressure
Tuesday, 08 May 2012
AN Axminster woman has triggered the next phase of her road safety campaign after a planning application was delayed.
Devon County Council says the project is still in line with the timetable, but Clair Lawrence is not convinced.
Clair says that people approaching Stoney Lane via the footpath running alongside Axe Valley Community College’s sports field risk being hit by cars when checking if it is safe to cross.
She says she has had two close calls herself when taking her son to Axminster Primary School.
Devon County Council has confirmed that the plan is to remove part the hedge along Stoney Lane and create a footpath.
Clair launched a petition for a temporary lollipop person last autumn, and attracted 256 signatures.
The petition was apparently lost or mislaid by officials in County Hall, but Claire kept on campaigning.
A lollipop person never materialised despite money for infrastructure being found and the search for a volunteer having a promising start.
Clair’s second petition was for a definite footpath completion date, which amassed 265 signatures.
It also generated a letter, dated March 14th, from a County Hall highways officer, saying: “I am able to confirm that a planning application for the scheme is being prepared for submission in April 2012.
“Subject to planning approval, and the completion of the legal agreement with the community college, it is planned to construct the scheme during August 2012.”
But the planning application was not submitted in April, and a county council spokesperson said: “There has been a small delay in applying for planning permission, but we are hopeful this will be submitted in the next couple of weeks, so we are still on track for construction in August time.”
Clair said: “It has been going on for so many years. The delay is expected.
“There is always something that is going to come up, which is why I’m on the next phase of the campaign.”
She has taken to handing out fliers headlined “Please Help Me”, asking members of the public to either phone a particular highways officer or visit the county council’s weekly highways surgery in Axminster and demand a progress report.
Clair distributed 180 fliers on Wednesday of last week and said: “The more of us that enquire, the more chance we have of this actually being completed.”
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