Andrew Selous MP has backed calls for Highways England to enforce measures to tackle the ‘dangerous’ A5 in Hockliffe.
At a Hockliffe Parish Council meeting last week councillors spoke with Highways England about the progress of the interim measures being put in place to help ease the problems facing residents.
Councillor Richard Alexander, of Hockliffe Parish Council, said: “Highways England recently repaired the road for us which has been a big help in reducing the noise and they have also made great steps in de-trunking the A5 but this process is a very long one and may take up to three years.
“As you know the traffic in Hockliffe is unbearable and not just for the residents but for the commuters as well, but for us its has become a safety issue. There have been three fatalities and many accidents due to dangerous driving, we want the Highways and police to be proactive and do something to reduces this.
“On the few occasions when there isn’t traffic the road users tend to forget this is a residential area and speed through the village despite the 40mph limit, which in our opinion is too high. Another reason for the reduction in speed is that some of the pavements in our village are very narrow, making it a dangerous to walk alongside speeding traffic.
“We have requested the speed be reduced to 30mph, we have asked for keep clear boxes from the side roads to allow residents to get out onto the road and we have asked for clearer signage saying queues ahead and slow down coming into the village.
“I would like to take this opportunity to state the people we have been liaising with at Highways England, they have been a great help so far but unfortunately we are being told Highways England have their hands tied, and they need to run feasibility reports, get surveys completed by the police and have budget constraints that need approval and all this takes time.
“Its only a matter of time before we experience another serious accident and God forbid another tragedy and loss of life.”
South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous has been supporting the Hockliffe residents in their bid to ease the traffic and noise pollution in the village. He is also supporting the parish council’s latest move in attempting to reduce the speed limit.
He said: “I agree with councillor Richard Alexander and think he makes very valid points, and I have written to Highways England and the Department of Transport to ask them to take action on all three points.
“I think there is preferences to keep major roads at 40mph speed limits but the fact that it is a village and the roads are narrow does raise question over that limit. Given how many hold ups there are on that road, most people won’t really be affected by a 30mph speed limit change
“With regards to the yellow boxes on the side streets, I think residents should be able to easily get in and out of their roads, those boxes do not hold drivers up for long but will just allow people to get in and out of their own roads.
“I thought the requests were reasonable and the traffic has got so bad that it should be more than enough grounds to look at this issue again.
“I think that the building of the A5/M1 Link Road has added to the problems they face and I think there is a very strong case and I will argue that case on behalf of the residents.”
A Highways England spokesperson said: “Highways England are currently undertaking a feasibility study on the A5 where we are investigating improved road signage and road markings through Hockliffe. It will also look at the current speed limits through Hockliffe.
“We are currently collaborating with Bedfordshire Police to obtain speed data for the A5 and will be seeking their support for any future proposals.
“Highways England will be reporting back to the Parish Council in December on our intended proposals to be progress for a funding bid in 2019/ 2020.”