Stop speeding and improve road safety in Bredon

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I grew up in Bredon, and have fond memories of running around the village with my friends, exploring the beautiful surroundings in total safety.  After a few years away, my husband and I relocated from London back to Bredon with our daughter in 2015, as we wanted her to attend the local primary school and have the same safe village childhood I did.  However during the three years we have been here, I have seen a rapid increase in the volume and type of traffic coming through our village.  On a daily basis, I see huge lorries, and cars rush through the village, and it's obvious many vehicles are using Bredon as a short cut to avoid traffic in Ashchurch, M5 and surrounding roads. Bredon has four access points, so we have speeding traffic coming from all sides. I certainly wouldn't feel safe allowing my daughter to play by the main roads.

The issues I would like to highlight (and also from talking to other local residents) are that motorists are not adhering to the speed limit of 30 miles per hour.  Whilst many motorists do (from what I can see) adhere to driving safely, many do not, and whilst I don't have a speed gun, it's obvious there is a complete disregard for the 30 mph limit. Especially during the hours of 7.30am-9am and after 5pm. In fact the flow of traffic is constant.

Also 30 mph is fast for a village where children are concerned. It has been noted in a survey conducted by ROSPA (available from me upon request) that when areas were reduced to a 20 zone, accidents and deaths were dramatically reduced. At the very least we need traffic calming measures implemented as the 30 zone is just not being enforced.

Our Lollipop Lady, Mrs Greenwood does an amazing job of helping the children cross safely in between the Royal Oak pub and the Hair Salon every day, yet even there I have observed motorists not stopping straight away.  We would be lost without her, but she can only there for school hours.

 Bredon Danger spots are currently:

1. Entrance point of end of Westmancote to Bredon (by the Moretons):

Speed limit reduces from 40 down to 30. Motorists do not slow down and as there is no 'slow down' before you hit the 30 zone it is difficult to suddenly reduce 10 mph with little notice. This is the edge of Queensmead where many children play. As the 30 signage starts here but is then not visible until after the bend motorists use this to their advantage and speed both ways. It's only when I have physically stood in the road and waved them to slow down that (some) have braked-a sign of speeding.

2. Entrance Point to Village from Kinsham/Cheltenham Road:

Kinsham is a 30 mph but the gap in between Kinsham and Bredon is 60 mph so motorists, whilst speeding through Kinsham (most do 40 mph at least) also, then do not slow down as they come along the Cheltenham road into Bredon-they just keep going at least at 40 mph+.

3. T-Junction at Kemerton Road/Cheltenham Road (by Doctor's surgery):

This has traffic coming 3-ways and visibility is poor for residents/children crossing. There have already been accidents here and people drive too fast. The dropped kerb position does not allow visibility for oncoming traffic from the Cheltenham road. I always have to step into the road to check, before allowing my daughter to cross. Cars also speed past children disembarking and waiting by their school bus from the Middle School.

4. Pavement outside Bredon Pottery (opposite side) and down the lower end of High Street towards the Tithe Barn:

The pavement is not wide enough for parents with buggies and can be an extremely dangerous point during the school run. There is an issue with being able to widen the road, but if motorists slowed down it would be safer here for children to walk without risk of getting hit by a vehicle. I feel this needs further investigation, given the amount of wasted space on the other side in the Pottery car park which is very rarely used.

5. Eckington T-Junction:

Children have no way of crossing safely to access the park. If we had a crossing here or further down by the Village Hall, this would also slow the traffic and perhaps discourage motorists from using the village as a short cut. Drivers accessing the Eckington road also speed here.

I think the following areas need reviewing:

Speed traps: Safer neighbourhoods to support us on this regularly. Their response on this was "we have done this but then motorists just revert back to speeding when we go". This is not acceptable. We need more of their presence, as our 'Safer Neighbourhood' Team. I can't see much support from them regarding road safety matters.

Signage/speed monitors: The signage is not strong enough to highlight the speed limit and the presence of children in the village. This urgently needs addressing.

Pedestrian Crossing:

I propose we have one installed by the Village Hall to allow safe access to the park and Football and Rugby clubs, on the Main Road. This would also be a hindrance to traffic using Bredon as a short cut and may discourage them.

20 Speed Limit on our C roads/unclassified roads:

I believe all connecting village roads within Bredon that are not the Main Road/Cheltenham Road should be made a 20 zone. Many drivers continue to speed through the estates and it's a danger zone for children playing, especially with the volume of parked cars. 

We will soon be met with an influx of new houses built in Ashchurch and Mitton (approx. 1500 if Barratt Homes get their way).  This will have a huge impact on traffic coming through the village.  It's imperative that we take action now to secure a safer area for our children.

Currently there are some funds available so let's use this money for our children whilst we can. £1000's has been spent in Bredon on lovely bus stops for our Pensioners, and updating our Sports Clubs, but now it's time for the roads and child safety to become a priority and money to be allocated.

Traffic is only going to increase, and whilst we cannot request a static camera installed until there are two deaths (yes two deaths), let's try and prevent that happening before it's too late.

I hope I can count on your support. I have spoken to Councillor Hardman and I have his full support to help me argue this case, however I need your help to make that happen.

Thank you for your support.

Jo Lawlor (Mrs)