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Lickey End go-slow protest

Posted on April 30 2005 at 2:50:40

Protesters

Road safety campaigners in Lickey End are close to their target of 1,000 signatures on a petition which they plan to hand to Bromsgrove District Council and the local MP.

The Lickey End campaign began when resident John Harris wrote to local newspapers and West Mercia Police pleading for something to be done about the vehicles racing along Alcester Road and the A38.

Describing the situation as “an accident waiting to happen”, John pointed out that Alcester Road contains not only a school but also a church, social club, shop and recreation ground, and asked: “Can we afford a child’s death on our conscience?”

Just two days after his letter was published, six-year-old Cara Standham had a near miss on the zebra crossing outside her school, Lickey End Primary.

Her mother Stella, who says she only just managed to pull her to safety, joined forces with John to form the campaign group Traffic Calming and Road Safety in Lickey End.

Local residents are backing the campaign, which aims to implement John’s suggestions for further traffic calming measures in the village.

John and Stella want speed cameras to be installed on the Alcester Road and A38, and a 20mph speed limit to be imposed outside the school.

John explained: “An attempt to slow the traffic was made some two years ago when ‘traffic calming’ measures were built around the Lickey End Primary School.

These were initially successful, but they have now become almost meaningless to some motorists, who drive over them without even checking their speed.

“The problem often starts at the M42 Island at the Harvester. Some vehicles think that they are still on the motorway and come down the A38 (Birmingham Road) and the B4026 (Alcester Road) at a ridiculously high speed, without any regard for the road conditions.

“The Birmingham Road is within a 40mph limit, but some cars have been known to do in excess of 70mph and the average speed outside the rush hour appears to be around 50mph.

“The obvious answer is to erect speed cameras in both stretches of road. These, together with warning signs and a 20mph past the school, will have a dramatic effect on vehicle speeds.

“It is appreciated that it will require financing, but the safety benefits must surely outweigh the funding.”

After Cara’s near-miss, John wrote a second letter, saying: “Whilst I derive no satisfaction from saying ‘I told you so’, isn’t it now time to take the problem seriously and put in some drastic traffic calming measures on the Alcester Road and School Lane?”

John says that Julie Kirkbride – Bromsgrove’s Conservative candidate in the General Election – has already offered support for the campaign.

“The only people who appear to be unconvinced is the Highways Partnership,” he added.

“How can they say the area around the school is not recognised as a problem, when the overwhelming evidence points to Lickey End as being highly dangerous, particularly to small children?

“Are they going to wait for a death before some action is taken? If the only way that the Lickey End residents can make their area safe is to organise a petition, so be it.

“What a pity that it needs such an effort to be taken seriously,” Mr Harris added.

Above: John Harris with Stella Standham and daughters Cara (left) and Isabella by the zebra crossing outside Lickey End Primary School.

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