A NEW TRAFFIC island being built to serve a planned new housing estate has been condemned for making a busy junction dangerous for drivers and pedestrians.

The refuge for pedestrians is now being built at the junction of the Bishopsmead Estate and Plymouth Road (A386) by Baker Estates before they build homes on the opposite side of Plymouth Road.

What was a T-junction has now become an offset crossroads with the traffic island in the middle of Plymouth Road - the main and busiest access road into Tavistock. When finished the island will effectively become an obstacle for drivers coming out of the quiet estate route of Hawthorn Road and turning right towards the town, across cars coming in and out of Tavistock.

Ingrid Westington, of Oak Road in Bishopsmead, has called on highways engineers to think again and replace the island with a roundabout or traffic lights: “Even though it’s not finished, the traffic island is already a hazard to us if we want to come out of the estate and go into town. We have to cross two lanes of traffic on the main Plymouth Road and wiggle round the island.

“So, instead of getting across fast to avoid holding up or being hit by faster traffic we have to take a risk and slow down to make sure we can get round the island. We already have to take into account that drivers coming on the right often seem to be going much faster than the 30 speed limit to get out of town. As well as drivers from the left also going too fast. Now it’s extra dangerous to make that turn by making sure we can get round the island and not hit it. There’s also no obvious place for pedestrians to get on and off the island without it being risky.”

Her partner David Andrew has added reasons to worry about traffic safety on Plymouth Road after he was forced to give up work due to a traffic accident on the roundabout at the juncton with Brook Lane near the cemetery. He was driving when he was involved in a collision with a car and had to give up working as a painter and decorator.

He said: “I know Plymouth Road can be dangerous because of what happened to me. The new traffic island is goiung to make things more tricky for drivers, not safer as they intend. It’s in the wrong place for people to cross, it’s too close to the middle of the junction and makes life harder for pedestrians and for drivers.”

A Devon County Council spokesperson said: "The pedestrian improvements on Plymouth Road are being constructed and installed by Baker Estates, the developer of the new housing development. "Public representations over the suggestion of a roundabout were discussed and considered by West Devon Borough Council's Development Management Committee at the time when planning permission was granted for the current scheme.  "The scheme has undergone an independent Safety Audit and is being constructed in accordance with the terms of the planning permission granted by West Devon."