Dovery Down and Heathwood schools support petition calling for Heath Road to be made safer

'Safety in Heath Road must be improved' say campaigners
'Safety in Heath Road must be improved' say campaigners

Hundreds of concerned parents and school staff have signed a petition urging for Leighton’s Heath Road to be made safer for young children, arguing that cars “travel over the 30mph limit”.

320 people have signed a petiton submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council asking them to introduce a 20mph speed limit and yellow lines outside Heathwood and Dovery Down lower schools.

One letter read: “We are most concerned that it is only a matter of time before an accident happens especially given that in the 2/3 of a mile stretch of Heath Road... there are three schools, six bus stops, a school, a crossing... and a playground...”

Additional measures called for included: discouraging parking near Heathwood’s zebra crossing, improved school signage, a school crossing patrol, a new pedestrian crossing at Dovery Down, coloured surfacing, cameras, and speed humps.

However, the council has noted that there are already slow warning signs in place, with “little scope” to improve them, and that patrols are unlikely as parents are with children.

They concluded: “Reducing average speeds on Heath Road to 20mph would require extensive physical measures or the installation of safetycameras capable of monitoring average speeds. At issue is whether the considerable investment this would require could be justified against other competing schemes designed to reduce collisions.

“A review of Heath Road should take place once the eastern link road, serving the Chamberlain’s Barn development, has opened. In the intervening period, the case for introducing waiting restrictions on Heath Road in the vicinity of the zebra crossing will be progressed.”

Between 2011 – 2016 there were five reported vehicle collisions in the vicinity of either lower school. None of these involved pedestrians.