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King’s Sutton residents must prove need for 20 mph limit on dangerous “rat run” road

December 10th, 2016

  • Northamptonshire Highways has turned down the parish council’s request for a reduced speed limit on Astrop Road despite two accidents involving children at the play park this year
  • The parish council will appeal the decision but evidence that speeding in the village is an issue that residents actually care about will be key to persuading Northamptonshire Highways to change its mind
  • It needs just 10 people to commit to a few hours’ traffic monitoring to collect the evidence needed to support the council’s campaign for reduced speed limits
  • The council will launch a petition to provide further evidence of residents’ support for the introduction of a 20 mph limit along the full length of the Rec

King’s Sutton parish councillors are once again appealing for residents to take positive action to address the perennial problem of speeding drivers in the village by taking part in Northamptonshire Police’s Speed Watch programme. “King’s Sutton residents have complained for decades about speeding vehicles in the village,” says councillor for traffic calming and highways, Richard Sykes, “particularly on the roads used every morning and afternoon as a ‘rat run’ by drivers to get around rush hour snarl ups at Adderbury. Unfortunately, we always seem to struggle to get people to take positive action to address this issue.

“Northamptonshire Highways have refused the parish council’s requests in recent years for reduced speed limits on Mill Lane and Astrop Road, partly because there’s so little evidence to support our case. Oddly, they’ve agreed to 20 mph limits in The Knob and Richmond Street, where we need them less. However, we will continue our campaign for a reduced speed limit in Astrop Road where, for the safety of the village's children, we need it most. We’re looking for just 10 residents to step up over the next week to help monitor traffic speeds in Astrop Road and other speeding hot spots in the village. If we can’t persuade that many to take part and help gather the necessary evidence, though, it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever get speed limit reductions where we really need them.”

Road accidents and dangerous parking at the Rec

In the wake of two road accidents in Astrop Road involving children at the play park last summer and amid mounting concerns about dangerous parking in the area of the Rec, parish councillors met at the end of August with officials from Northamptonshire Highways in the hope of finally getting something done about these issues. At that meeting, parish councillors discussed with highways officials a number of practical traffic calming and other road safety measures that might be introduced in the area of the Rec. These were reported to the full council at its monthly meeting in September and after some debate, councillors agreed to press for a permanent 20 mph speed limit on the two roads bordering the Rec – Astrop Road and The Knob – and in Richmond Street in the area of the school. They also decided to revive an earlier bid to introduce double-yellow-line parking restrictions to improve visibility for drivers emerging from Glebe Rise into Astrop Road.

After a meeting of its road safety panel in October, Northamptonshire Highways informed the parish council that it would support the reduction of the speed limit to 20 mph on the Knob and Richmond Street because these are routes that children use on their journeys to school and local facilities. However, members of the panel would not support a reduction on Astrop Road because in their view a 20 mph limit would have to be enforced by physical traffic-calming measures requiring third-party funding. King’s Sutton parish councillors maintain that a reduced speed limit is absolutely necessary along the full length of Rec since there is a very real danger of serious injury or even a fatality occurring in the future as a result of road traffic accidents involving children using the play park. Councillors will therefore continue to campaign, they hope with the support of local residents, for a 20 mph limit on Astrop Road.

If you are interested in supporting the council’s campaign for safer speed limits along the Rec, please contact Michael Bailey, Community Speed Watch coordinator, on 01295 816911 or use the link below to send him an email.

Click here to contact Michael Bailey by email.

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