A PETITION to make roads near Ilminster safer has launched this week.

Kingstone Parish Meeting is asking Somerset County Council (SCC) to introduce traffic calming measures to make the road from Ilminster to Kingstone, as well as Moolham Lane and Mill Lane.

They are also asking Avon and Somerset Police to enforce 7.5 tonne weight restriction on the roads.

Avon and Somerset Police has said they are encouraging residents to report the incidents, so they can be dealt with. 

The petition states that these roads are narrow, unlit, with no footpaths and have a current speed limit of 60mph.

Pippa Sage, who helped to start the petition, said there are “several things” making these roads unsafe, including vehicles travelling too fast, and lorries in excess of 7.5 tonnes breaching the weight restriction.

“Residents are becoming increasingly concerned about the speed of traffic using these roads, the total disregard for pedestrians, who have been fearful for their safety and the appalling rudeness some drivers,” said Ms Sage.

“The only direct road access from Kingstone to Ilminster (and Dowlish Wake) has to be used by both pedestrians and vehicles alike.

“The road currently has a 60mph speed limit, no footpath, is windy, very narrow in places and floods, and in the past few months has witnessed several accidents.

“The concerns have been further exacerbated by the total lack of enforcement of the weight restrictions of 7.5 tonnes brought into place on the Butts (outside the old Police Station) after the bypass was completed. And some years later following a campaign for the Ilminster to Kingstone Road, when a similar weight restriction was imposed on this stretch of road.

"The speeding issues are further compounded by the very large lorries moving - at speed - along these roads on a daily basis.

"A campaign is under way to seek the extension of the current 30 mph speed limit from Ilminster (Townsend) to the other side of Kingstone (about a mile) and to include Moolham Lane and Mill Lane (down into Dowlish Wake) at the Kingstone Cross."

The petition asks Avon and Somerset Police to enforce the current weight restriction, as well as asking SCC Highways Authority to impose traffic calming measures.

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: "We appreciate the community's concern about unsuitable vehicles travelling along that route and would urge all motorists to comply with the restrictions that are designed to protect public safety.

"We're grateful to residents who have reported the issue to us and have provided registration numbers for HGVs who have contravened the regulations.

"That has allowed us to track down those responsible. We found in the majority of cases it was local companies who were involved and a PCSO spoke with the relevant businesses and their managers agreed to instruct their drivers to use an alternative route.

"We would continue to ask people to report registration numbers of vehicles breaching the weight limit to PCSO John Martin through our website so these incidents can also be investigated and appropriate action taken.

"Enforcement through prosecution is an option for any repeat offenders."

A spokesperson for SCC added: "We are always happy to listen to the concerns communities may have regarding road safety and to discuss possible options.

"You can report incidents of speeding or anti-social driving to Avon and Somerset Police by calling 101 or visit the force’s website and log the incident here - Report | Avon and Somerset Police."

To sign the petition, visit change.org/p/somerset-county-council-the-highway-authority-make-local-roads-safer-for-residents-of-kingstone-and-dowlish-wake.