It may have taken 18 months, hours of discussion, many meetings and individual and organisational commitment, but we are now at the point where
the final piece of the traffic management strategy is being put in place – our illuminated signs at the points of entry from the A43, will be operational from the end of the month.
Those of you involved from the beginning will remember the high levels of concern amongst residents about safety in the village because of the speed and weight of many vehicles travelling down our streets. Parked cars were being damaged by oversize vehicles, roads and sewers were giving way under the repeated weight of traffic; much to the concern of English Heritage, the Cross became vulnerable to the continual vibration from traffic and there were several near misses where vehicles mounted the pavements without thought for the pedestrians walking there. Nobody wanted speed bumps or the loss of parking near homes, but nor did we want to feel that it was not safe for our children to walk to school.
Through questionnaires and consultation across many residents’ groups, it became clear that the issues needed to be tackled across the village as a whole. Residents, the Parish Council, the Borough Council, the County Council, Boughton Estates, Northamptonshire police and Geddington school all contributed to the debate as we looked at ways to improve safety within a realistic budget. Thank you to all of you who gave your time, your ideas or your expertise, as we searched for a solution.
The result was a ‘limited’ area where speed bumps would not be used as a traffic calming measure.
However there would be:
- new controls to ensure a reduction in overweight vehicles using West Street, Grafton Road and Queen Street.
- improved lining as a safety measure for the narrowest part of West Street, the area around the school and at the junction of Grange Road.
- a 20mph speed limit, given the consensus that reduced speeds around the village would minimise the risk of fatal accidents for pedestrians.
As discussions got underway it was clear there needed to be compromises or adaptations to plans to avoid unnecessary costs. However our new illuminated, combined speed and weight restriction signs mean a reduction in street furniture and a very effective reminder of the need for care on our narrow streets, particularly where footpaths too are narrow or non-existant. By being prepared to see the bigger picture, we have succeeded in implementing a strategy to improve conditions for all of us, wherever we live in the village.
Support for the changes has been overwhelming. On behalf of the residents who raised the issue initially, thank you to our councillors, the police, the bus companies, the parents, the headteacher and school pupils (especially class 6 who posted a 20 sign in their window), the Boughton Estates team, the brewery drivers,the post office, those of you who felt strongly enough to display interim ’20’ signs and, most of all, thank you to those of you who daily drive with care through the village.
really is plenty and will help us keep people and places safe for the future. Thank you all.