High Street smashes spark road safety fears

Northchurch High Street
Northchurch High Street

Pedestrians are living in fear of speeding motorists after a six-year-old was hit by a car and a scooter rider was left critically ill in two separate accidents, a survey suggests.

Northchurch Parish Council chairman Alan Fantham and headteacher of the village’s St Mary’s School Eloise Haezewindt have called for a 20mph speed limit on the nearby High Street.

Sue Moseley, who lives on the road, launched a survey of 236 of her neighbours and others who visit there.

Almost 90% of them said some or most motorists speed on the road.

The figure is split into 47.23% of people who answered ‘most’ and 41.7% who answered ‘some’. Just 11.06% of people said most traffic drives at or below the current 30mph speed limit.

Of the respondents, 68.94% said they have concerns about speeding in Northchurch High Street. A further 25.96% said the risks were to be expected, but only 5.11% said it was safe.

Almost 90% of people said it was ‘important’ or ‘very important’ that action is taken to reduced speeds on the road.

The figure is split into 47.23% of people who answered most and 41.7% who answered ‘some’. Just 11.06% of people said most traffic drives at or below the current 30mph speed limit.

Respondents said cars were most likely to break the speed limit, followed by cars, while motorbikes came in third place.

A six-year-old boy was hit by a car on the High Street while walking to school in March – but escaped with minor injuries. In July, a scooter rider was left critically ill after colliding with a car there.

But Herts County Council spokesman Simon Hoggett said there have been few accidents in Northchurch High Street in the last five years - most of them not caused by excess speed.

He said: “There is no identifiable pattern in the contributory factors relating to the accidents and there are, therefore, no immediate plans to introduce any traffic calming measures.

“We recognise it would be desirable to address all road safety issues.

“However, we have to prioritise our spending for road safety works to those schemes which have the greatest potential to reduce the number and severity of collisions occurring.

“If residents have concerns about speeding on the High Street we would advise them to discuss these with the police and with their local county councillor.”

Dacorum Borough Council recently contacted people who live in Northchurch High Street about its draft Air Quality Action Plan to reduce emissions in the area and improve air quality.

Group manager for regulatory services Chris Troy said: “Local residents have since highlighted to us that they are concerned about speeding traffic in the area.

“We do not have the ability to take action against speeding and have passed on the information to both the local police and Hertfordshire County Council.

“We advise residents to report incidents to Hertfordshire Police and any enquiries regarding traffic calming measures should be directed to Hertfordshire County Council.”

To see the speeding survey, click here