WHY DO WE NEED A PETITION?
Local people indicated in the Parish Plan Survey that speeding along Bassingbourn Road was one of the issues that they would like to see addressed. In order to try to tackle this issue the Parish Council needs as much support as possible from the community. This petition will be presented to Cambridgeshire County Council to show that there is local support for a scheme to reduce the speed limit along the road.
WHY DO WE WANT TO REDUCE THE SPEED LIMIT?
The road is the principle thoroughfare between Litlington and Bassingbourn used for a mix of purposes, including as a commute route for school children travelling by bicycle, and on foot, from Litlington to Bassingbourn school. Mothers with pushchairs, young children, dog walkers, joggers, horse riders etc also use the route.
There have been some anecdotal reports of near misses involving passing cars in the last year.
The footpath is very narrow and it offers pedestrians no protection from vehicles travelling, sometimes in excess of 60 mph limit.
Horse riders use the road as it offers the only access to surrounding bridleways from a livery yard on Brook Road. Residents have recently reported to the Parish Council incidents of vehicles failing to slow down for horses.
The Department for Transport’s report ‘Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2014’ indicates that 60% of fatal crashes in Britain occur on country roads like Bassingbourn Road and Brook Road. Per mile travelled:
o Cyclists are almost three times more likely to be killed on a country road
o Car occupants are twice as likely to be killed on a country road
o Motorcyclists are more than twice as likely to be killed on a country road
A recent road speed survey commissioned by the Parish Council showed that over 25% of vehicles drove IN EXCESS of the 60mph speed limit. The majority of speeding occurred at a time when children would be commuting to and from school.
The Slower Speeds initiative reports that road crashes are the single biggest killer of school-age children, accounting for two-thirds of premature child deaths.
WHAT DIFFERENCE WILL IT MAKE?
At 60 mph it takes a car driver 96 meters or eighteen car lengths, to stop a car, at 40 mph it takes 36 meters or nine car lengths.
If a vehicle hits a cyclist or pedestrian at 60 mph less than 10% of pedestrians will survive, hit them at 50 mph less than 50% will survive, but at a speed of 40 mph up to 80%, could survive.
BUT NO ONE HAS DIED YET?
One of the most common reasons for telling communities that a speed limit cannot be lower is that 'no-one has died here'. All good speed reduction schemes are implemented on the basis of current risk to life, not on the chance circumstance of whether someone has actually died as yet. We cannot accept that our community may be told that a life or lives must be sacrificed before something will be done. Particularly as those most at risk seem to be our children. There have been near misses and the speed limit is too high considering the poor footpath, and the lack of protection for pedestrians, cyclists and road users alike. It is only luck that no one has died, and luck is no security at all.