Battle for road safety measures

PUBLISHED: 12:08 14 February 2008 | UPDATED: 12:57 06 May 2010

A CAMPAIGNING councillor is so worried about road safety near a village school that he has asked the police to step in to carry out more speed camera checks. Despite his efforts over seven years to have traffic-calming measures introduced in Brewhouse Hil

A CAMPAIGNING councillor is so worried about road safety near a village school that he has asked the police to step in to carry out more speed camera checks.

Despite his efforts over seven years to have traffic-calming measures introduced in Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead, St Albans District Councillor Chris Oxley has failed to persuade Herts County Council to take action.

He said: "I keep coming up against a brick wall with officers telling me over and over again that there are no funds available to put in a pedestrian crossing"

He pointed out that a man had both his hips broken after he was knocked down in an accident outside St Helen's School in September last year and feared that it could be a child next time.

At the recent meeting of the district council's highways joint member panel, officers presented the results of speed counts showing the average speed along that road was around 30 miles per hour.

They also produced accident records showing that only three people had been injured there in the past five years.

The statistics meant that no funds had been earmarked in the near future to fund a pedestrian crossing there.

But Cllr Oxley maintained the speed averages were misleading because you only needed one vehicle travelling at speed to hurt someone.

He said as far back as November 2000 a survey showed a majority of residents had requested traffic calming and a 20 mph limit on Brewhouse Hill.

Cllr Oxley said he was disappointed with the attitude of the council officers and the fact that Wheathampstead parish councillors had not attended the meeting.

He added: "This contrasted with the very supportive approach from district and county councillors of all parties who were voting members and who themselves had experienced the problems and recognised the urgent need for action."

A police spokesperson said: "We will be stepping up our presence on this section of road and using laser speed-enforcement guns in the hope this will act as a deterrent to motorists tempted to go too fast.

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