A LONG campaign to slow down traffic through Mary Tavy is celebrating the green light to install new limits.

There have been regular accidents at the junction by the pub as traffic either turns right off the main road coming from Tavistock, or out of the junction onto the busy A386.

Calls for the speed limit near the accident blackspot junction were previously rejected by highways officials because the area did not qualify under national criteria. Mary Tavy Parish Council has long looked for support for a 40mph speed limit to be introduced on the approach to the village on the A386 from Tavistock.

The notorious right-hand turn by the Mary Tavy Inn has seen many collisions with some minor injuries. Councillors wanted it to become 40mph from the ‘Welcome to Mary Tavy’ sign at the Tavistock end up to where the 30mph limit starts beside Station Road — so traffic can gradually slow down. Councillors have previously been presented with a petition comprising 470 signatories for a 40mph limit.

When polled by the parish council it was clear that the majority of locals were concerned that a speed limit of 60mph was too high for this stretch of the A386. To press the case, the parish council raised a petition, requesting a 40mph limit. Nearly 500 signatures were obtained and the petition was presented to the county council, but the parish council was again told that no action was necessary.

Disappointed but undeterred, the parish council turned to their West Devon borough councillor, their Devon county councillor, their MP and the West Devon Highway and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC) for help. With everyone’s support, further assisted by CCTV footage of serious accidents provided by the owners of the Mary Tavy Inn and site visits by key people, it was finally agreed in a Devon County Council Cabinet meeting earlier this month that a deviation from policy would be approved — with the case for a 40mph limit being accepted.

Mary Tavy Parish Council has been told that the new speed will be implemented in the 2024/25 financial year.

Councillor Jane Dunn, chair of Mary Tavy Parish Council, said: ‘The positive outcome was a long time coming, but was the result of the perseverance of so many people who worked closely together.

‘The efforts of parish councillors past and present, our Devon county councillor Philip Sanders and our former West Devon borough councillor Terry Pearce should be recognised as should the owners of the Mary Tavy Inn and local residents who gave their support and encouragement.’

Devon county councillor Philip Sanders said: ‘I am delighted county highways officers and the safety officers have recognised our case that this is an accident blackspot which can be made safer bt speed reduction. We’re indebted to parish councillor Paul Reid who persevered.’