The Gulworthy Cut
Survives - Until next time.
Final update - 20 Feb 04:
At a well-attended meeting of the West Devon HATOC (Highways &
Traffic Orders Committee) at 2:15 pm today in Okehampton, the
weight of objections received from you, the public, persuaded
the highways officer to recommend deferring implementation of
the traffic order.
The committee agreed to defer the Order.
The hassle may not be quite all over yet, though. Here are the
detailed recommendations that were agreed:
It is recommended that members consider whether the
proposed Prohibition of Motor Vehicles Order is deferred and
the site monitored.
HATOC agenda and minutes can be found at:
It is recommended that the minor road network in the area be
reconsidered along with the proposed improvement at Gulworthy
It is also recommended that officers consider and, if possible,
implement cost effective measures to keep traffic to its
correct lane so the double white lines at the end of New Bridge
are not over-ridden, and to re-assess and amend the signs at
the Gulworthy Cottage junction if they consider changes are
The devil is, as always, in the detail. First, "deferred" means
that the Order remains valid for 2 years and need not be
readvertised if it is subsequently decided to implement the
Second, it is by no means impossible that, as part of the
proposed improvement at Gulworthy Cross, the notion of closing
the short cut could be reintroduced. That will depend on the
accident record. If there are no more injury accidents
associated with the short cut, it will survive. So the message
there is take care , especially at the top,
where rear-end shunts have caused all this schemozzle in the
Third, it is quite likely that the build-out at the bottom of
the hill will be reinforced or modified to make it more
difficult to take a run at the hill. There is therefore a
danger that the little strip of double-lineage may be more
rigorously enforced. You have been warned.
I take some comfort from this story and its outcome. It shows
that public participation in the democratic process can work
and does sometimes change the minds of councils and their
officers. I hope that the publicity that I gave to the issue on
this web site helped to persuade some people to write in: it
was the strength and numbers of objections that persuaded
officers to go out and look again. They found and reported that
some 75% of the traffic eastbound on the A390 uses the short
cut. Without all the letters and email to the County Solicitor,
the Order would have been confirmed and the Gulworthy Cut lost.
20 Feb 04
Updated 14 Jul 04