KILL THE SPEED, NOT OUR KIDS!
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KILL THE SPEED, NOT OUR KIDS!
THE HARLOW WOOD COMMUNITY REQUIRES THE FOLLOWING;
1. A SPEED LIMIT OF 30 MPH FROM THIEVES WOOD LANE TO BEYOND PORTLAND COLLEGE WITH AVERAGE SPEED CAMERAS TO ENFORCE IT.
2. PAVEMENT FROM PORTLAND COLLEGE TO OAK VIEW RISE ON THE HARLOW WOOD SIDE OF THE ROAD.
Within three weeks in September, two of our young pedestrians were knocked down by cars on the stretch of the A60 at Harlow Wood. The individuals were; an eleven year old school boy crossing the road from his school bus and a seventeen year old Portland College student on her way home, crossing the road to the bus. They both required hospitalisation. The boy was hit at between 20 and 25mph by a car that had slowed for the school bus. He made a full recovery and is back to playing football for his local team. The girl was hit at 40 mph and is still seriously ill in hospital having suffered fractures and a significant and potentially life-changing head injury.
What was the difference? THE SPEED!
As residents we know traffic often travels at speeds well in excess of 50mph. All the “slow down" signs seem to have little effect.
"85% of pedestrians who are hit by a vehicle travelling between 30 and 40mph die. Only 55% survive between 20 and 30mph. At 20mph and lower 95% survive."
'RoSPA Inappropriate Speed January 2016’
The picture shows the 11 year old next to the spot where he went down. Had his split second decision to turn back to the kerb been different and he’d completed his crossing, he would have been in the path of much faster traffic coming up over the blind, brow of the hill. His decision may have saved his life!
This section of road is very deceptive to a stranger. Having left the 30mph zone of Mansfield, the road builds up to a 50mph zone and the trees of the forest imply a rural area. As residents we know this is far from the truth. There are 133 homes here comprising the Harlow Wood estate, The Spinney development and The Thieves Wood Lane / Rushley Waterworks homes. These are family homes with many young children. Within 1/4 of a mile is Fountaindale School for physically
disabled children and opposite, Portland College for young adults with a wide array of special needs, learning difficulties and physical handicaps. The more able learners from Portland work towards independent living by practising normal activities such as crossing roads. Not only do we have busy pedestrian traffic from the previously mentioned areas but also there are many visitors that cross the road to access the forest to cycle and walk dogs.
THIS IS A BUILT UP, RESIDENTIAL AREA AND AS SUCH, THE SPEED LIMIT NEEDS TO REFLECT
Up and down the country a guidance of 20mph exists near schools where the children do not have the vulnerabilities of the Portland youngsters, so how can a 50mph limit be acceptable here? The residents and staff from the college/school have reported near misses in their cars when trying to get out onto the road. It is notoriously dangerous. There is one pedestrian crossing opposite the college. Many people comment about the safety of such a crossing in a greater than 30mph zone as there is greater risk of traffic not being able to slow down effectively. This is especially so in our case where the brow of the hill obscures the view of the road ahead. The residents in the housing areas beyond Portland cannot use the crossing as there isn’t a pavement on the Harlow Wood Estate /The Spinney side of the road. It would leave the pedestrian scrambling through the roadside vegetation to access the estate with traffic whizzing past alongside. As a result, pedestrians simply take a chance and make a dash for it, hoping for a clear run. At the Rushley Waterworks there is a tiny patch of pavement to step onto at the bus stop but no pavement to the houses. Here residents have to walk on the A60 itself to reach their homes!
A 16 year old boy was killed only five years ago, less than one mile further up the road towards Mansfield, trying to cross the A60. His parents campaigned successfully to get that area traffic calmed. Please let’s get this area made safe before we have another death on the A60.
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