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The A361 North Devon Link Road typifies the government's half-baked attitude to road planning in this country. It is a comparatively new road, opened in 1983, and between the M5 and Tiverton it is dual carriageway, but then for some totally incomprehensible reason it diminishes to single carriageway all the way to Barnstaple. Although there are a few overtaking lanes, it is totally inadequate at peak holiday times, and they've slapped speed cameras along it to make your journey even more fun.
In this photo a long queue has built up behind a tractor whose bloody-minded driver has decided to plod along the A361 at 15mph rather than use the perfectly adequate B roads and minor roads that run parallel to it. He's also made no attempt to pull into the layby he has just passed.
Our advice to drivers using this road at peak times is to consider using the old B roads which are now so free of traffic that they can actually be quicker and far more pleasant to drive along than the A361 — an absurd situation caused by incompetent planning.
The only good thing we can say about this road is that the rest area at Knowstone (having toilets, cafe, picnic tables, and a large car park) is a fine example of how to provide proper rest areas on main roads.
Photos of the road.

Contrast this with the A30, photographed near Okehampton, which is a proper dual carriageway between the M5 and Cornwall, although itself spoilt by single carriageway sections east of Honiton and on part of Bodmin Moor.
2009-01-19
Justice — But Only If You Fight For It
A driver has spent a year and £1200 proving his innocence after being charged with driving at 98mph near Plymouth. Despite the video evidence submitted by the CPS being a joke, magistrates told 21 year old Dale Lyle from Bristol to prove his claim that his old Honda Civic wouldn't even go that fast. So he had to buy back from the person he'd sold it to, and pay for an independent driving expert to push it to the limit on a test track. 2007-02-08
Arrogant Cop Refuses to Accept Error
170 drivers prosecuted for exceeding a temporary 40mph speed limit on the A30 at Whiddon Down between January 2006 and January 2007 are to have their points cancelled and fines refunded after a court ruled that the speed limit was not legal.
Yet despite this, Ch Insp Steve Torr of the force's Criminal Justice Department, said "The fact remains that each of these drivers was exceeding the speed limit".
Well that's just the point isn't it Chief Inspector? They weren't, because the temporary speed limit did not exist in law. You can't have it both ways. Plymouth Humps Wreck Bus
Speed Humps on Dunnet Road in Plymouth apparently caused the wheel to fall off a number 47 bus. Fortunately, no-one was injured.
Nurse Jailed for Telling a Fib
In one of the most blatant examples yet of how drivers in Britain are being persecuted by the authorities, a nurse has been sentenced to six months in jail for lying about who was driving a car caught doing 51mph in a 40mph limit.
Such an absurd and inappropriate punishment is not about justice at all, it is purely about making an example out of her, in order to intimidate other drivers into just paying up rather than defending themselves.
Speeding Charge Dropped After Photos Demanded
Police have withdrawn a speeding prosecution without explanation after a driver asked for photographic evidence of the 'offence'. Whilst driving through roadworks on the A30, driver Martin Shirley was surprised to see a speed camera flash as he was carefully observing the 30mph speed limit. When a notice of intended prosecution arrived he asked to see the photographs. The police responded by saying they had made a mistake, and dropped the charge.
The moral of this story is simple: always ask to see photographic evidence of any alleged speeding offence.

Starcross Limit Declared Illegal
A 30mph speed limit on the A379 at Starcross (Map) has been declared illegal by a judge at Totnes Magistrates Court. Four drivers had appealed against speeding convictions alledging that the 30mph speed limit had not been posted in accordance with legal requirements, and that therefore it did not exist in law.
The judge agreed stating that the speed limit had not been properly signposted, street lighting was inadequate for a speed restriction to be applied, and that road markings were incorrect.
The case will affect hundreds of drivers prosecuted between June 2002 and the present date; including holiday makers en-route to Dawlish.
Many drivers believed the speed limit was 40mph and had driven past the speed camera van in the belief they were completely within the law. Others thought the road was NSLA (60mph).
The section of road where the speed camera van was situated is entirely rural. On one side there is a field seperated from a pavement by metal railings, on the other side there is undergrowth right up to the edge of the road. There are no buildings, and thus 30mph is an entirely inappropriate limit for the road. No driver seeing this road would expect the limit to be 30mph.
The Devon & Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership, seemingly missing the point completely, could only come up with the utterly irrelvant comment that no driver had challenged their speed.
Drivers are advised to write to the Devon and Cornwall Camera Safety Partnership if they feel they have been wrongly convicted.

Cretins in Charge
Those in charge of the Wonford 'Home Zone' scheme in Exeter have installed massive steel daggers 6" wide and up to 5 feet tall in the middle of the road. Home Zones are a nonsensical concept designed to obstruct cars and encourage children to play in the road. Some utter dimwit has authorised the installation of these massive daggers, which children will find irresistable to play upon. Any fall onto one of the daggers from the dangerous structure could easily be fatal. The lunatics have finally taken over the asylum.
Send your comments to: homezone@devon.gov.uk.
Residents have also complained about the dismal new lighting installed in the home zone.
Do you live in the home zone? Let us know what you think of it.
 
 
When is a 10mph speed limit not a 10mph speed limit?
The Department for Transport is set to encourage more drivers to treat speed limits with contempt by introducing a farcical 10mph speed limit in Plymouth's home zone — except it's an avisory limit, not a legally enforcable one, the legal limit is still 30mph. The 10mph limit is just about as pointless as the advisory 15mph speed limit along the semi-pedestrianized street ‘The Headrow’ in the centre of Leeds — which all the bus drivers ignore completely. Plymouth's home zone is centred around Herbert Street between Albert Road and the Dockyard station. If you're in Plymouth pop along and have a look.
 
 
Parking Ticket Bureaucracy
Residents in Dawlish are having an uphill fight with petty bureaucracy following the actions of one incompetent police officer. On 12th March 2003 the officer issued parking tickets to a number of residents vehicles parked on double yellow lines. He did not bother to read the signs that stated the lines were only in force between May and September. After being told by one resident, the officer claimed there was nothing he could do as he had already written the tickets out, and she would have to take it up with the court. She complained to the ticket office and after several weeks they condescendingly agreed to scrap the ticket, but offered no apology. Other residents who took no action because they knew they had not broken the law have been threatened with warrants and bailiffs letters, despite the police and magistrates clerks being made fully aware of the situation. It would appear that the age old principal of 'innocent until proven guilty' does not apply to car drivers.
 
 
Dartmoor 40MPH limit
Much of Dartmoor now has a 40MPH speed limit. Whilst reducing speed to 40 or lower in the presence of ponies or sheep is an entirely sensible precaution, a blanket 40mph at all times is absurd. This limit is patently ridiculous on open stretches of road where there is clear visibility and no hazards for miles. Such silly speed limits do not improve road safety because they encourage drivers to disrespect all speed limits, and also to drive at 40MPH on Dartmoor no matter what hazards may appear. Previously, on approaching ponies, drivers might have slowed from 60 down to 30 or 20, but now they just go past at 40 because some clown has told them that it is a 'safe' speed.
 
 
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