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Drivers are ignoring 20mph limit, say residents
1:00pm Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
NEW 20mph speed restrictions in Broadgreen have failed to have an impact on cars speeding and using the area as a rat-run.
In July, calls to reduce the speed limit on the side streets such as Broad Street and Gladstone Street were implemented after a long campaign by residents.
But now they say nothing has changed and tougher measures need to be put in place for those who flaunt the restrictions.
Karen Coulthard, 51, of Broad Street, said: “It is an accident waiting to happen. I do the neighbourhood watch in the area and it is too dangerous. Someone could get severely hurt if cars do not slow down round here.
“It has been happening for a number of years. People were campaigning for the 20mph speed restrictions to be put in for years, but now they have got it drivers are not paying any heed to it. When they first started putting it in we thought maybe it might work, but it hasn’t yet.
“I know the police have a lot to do and you can’t put the blame onto them, but kids play round here and it’s very dangerous for them. There is a play area just on the corner, they kick their balls into the street and will run across the road when ice cream vans turn up.
The roads begin to fill during the post-work rush hour, when Karen claims drivers use the network in Broadgreen to avoid the clogged arterial routes through town.
“It starts as soon as the traffic starts to build up on Fleming Way with the rush hour traffic,” she added. “Cars then take shortcuts, using these streets as rat runs.
“The council have done all they can, and it is the drivers who are at fault. If you speed you deserve every punishment you get. We have to educate the drivers somehow. They possibly need to face a heftier fine before they hurt some innocent people.
“We have seen cars come out of the side streets and have an accident with vehicles in the on-road bays because they cannot stop.”
Coun Bob Wright, (Lab, Central), said he has had reports from residents of taxis ignoring the reduced speed limit.
“The 20mph speed restrictions have been causing problems, because people just do not abide by them,” he said.
“You will see taxis going down those side roads at far above the speed limits.”
A spokesman for Connect Cabs, one of a many cab firms in Swindon, said: “All our drivers have to be registered with the council before they go out on the streets. They are also all CRB checked and nowadays they have to have a driving test before they start employment. They also have rules tests, including general Hackney rules and private hire rules.
“Lastly they all have a knowledge test so they are aware of the local area, so they will all know where there are speed restrictions and will be able to read the road signs.”
A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Speeding on any road is dangerous and can have serious consequences for both the driver and passengers in the car and other drivers in the area.
“Reduced speed limit zones are in place for a reason and to make that stretch of road as safe as possible.
“By ignoring this reduced speed limit, these drivers have put their own safety and the safety of other drivers on the road at risk.
“Speeding through these zones is a serious offence and those caught will be punished.”
A spokesman for Swindon Council said: “The scheme went in during July, so it is early days at present. We always monitor how effective any traffic scheme is over time, and this will be no exception.
“We work closely with the police, who are responsible for enforcement, and we are both aware of local concerns as we have discussed them with residents at recent meetings of the Central Locality. It’s as a result of those concerns that the limits were installed in the first place, but it can take time for things to fully take effect.”
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