Residents of Leighton Buzzard street fear a fatality if traffic calming measures aren’t introduced

editorial image

Residents are calling for traffic calming measures on a Leighton Buzzard street before someone is killed in an accident.

They want speed humps along a section of Clarence Road, which is a popular route for pedestrians including schoolchildren.

A petition from people living in the lower part of the road has been submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council’s traffic management team. Clarence Road is a predominantly residential 20mph street linking Vandyke Road to Heath Road, said a report to councillors.

“There are currently three mini-roundabouts along Clarence Road and a raised zebra crossing next to the retail area,” it added.

“The highways officer proposal is to commission traffic surveys for Clarence Road and investigate the feasibility of implementing traffic calming measures. There is currently insufficient speed data available for this road.”

Although the speed limit has been reduced to 20mph it has done nothing to slow down vehicle speeds, according to a resident’s letter backing the petition.

The letter describes Clarence Road as a small residential road with vehicles parked on both sides.

There is one speed hump outside the shops in the upper part of the road, as well as two in an adjoining road.

“The residents of the lower part of Clarence Road are concerned a fatality could happen,” said the letter.

“We desperately need some traffic calming measures put in place very soon before a fatality does occur.”

A new housing estate built off Churchill Road has increased the volume of traffic using Clarence Road.

Team leader traffic management Paul Salmon said the available evidence suggested speeds were averaging just over 20mph in the area.

But Conservative Leighton Buzzard North councillor Brian Spurr said: “I agree, the average speed is 20mph, but it’s not the average speed we want to reduce in the area.

“It’s the fast boys who go down there at some excessive speeds. People are coming down that road at 30mph, which is ten miles above the average, and quite often it’s nearer to 40mph.

“I would ask you to look again at the excessive speed of some of the cars going down there, and the mileage.

“It’s a 20mph zone, or should be, as it is in most parts of Leighton Buzzard.”

Councillor Spurr presented the petition to the traffic management team on behalf of two residents, who were unable to attend Tuesday’s (Dec 18) meeting.

Conservative councillor Ian Dalgarno, who chairs the team meeting, said: “We don’t have specific data on this road. While we have the average figure, I am mindful there are higher speeds that are being travelled down that road. We will commission a traffic speed survey in Clarence Road and investigate the implementation of speeding measures down there, which are to include a revision of the speed limit.

“Once we’ve done that and seen the extent of the issues, we’ll bring a report back to this traffic management meeting.”