|26.06.2012 - Update Report 07 - Presentation to RBWM cabinet|
Presented to RBWM cabinet by Louise Shenston
I am a member of the Oakley Green, Fifield and District Community Association and Spokesperson for the Roads & Transport Work Group.
The Community Association carried out a Survey in 2009, a copy of which you each have. We were delighted to receive a response from 74% of our residents.
The results of the survey overwhelmingly indicated a number of areas of significant concern to the residents of Fifield and Oakley Green, one of which was the NEED for new lower speed limits on all our roads, the most urgent of which being - Forest Green Road.
The speed limit on this road is currently 60 mph.
We have been campaigning to get the speed limit reduced to 40 mph for over 2 years and in April this year, in the space of 2 weeks, we collected 447 signatures on a petition asking for a reduction in the speed limit to 40 MPH.
Ward Councillor David Coppinger presented the petition to a Royal Borough council meeting on 17th April this year which is why we are here tonight.
The Royal Borough has now issued a report on the subject which states that:-
“Based on Department for Transport (DfT) advice, a lower speed limit could be justified given the bendiness and limited forward visibility along this section of road. There is also intermittent frontage development which further supports speed reduction measures”
“Based on the physical characteristics of the road, the DfT guidance would suggest that a lower speed limit would be more appropriate”
However the recommendation is for a reduction to 50mph.
This would be a complete waste of TAX PAYERS’ money and would not have the desired effect as the report goes on to say that 85% of the cars are currently driving at speeds of around 50 mph anyway. This is TOO HIGH.
Too High for the topography of the road - it narrows in places and there is no footway.
Too High for the vulnerable road users
Too High for the residents
There are in fact 9 blind bends on the 1.6 mile stretch of road.
One is yards from a road junction and a small Business Park containing 5 separate businesses including a very busy veterinary practice.
One is yards from The Horse Rangers – a children’s charity with a membership of 160 children, all of whom ride
One is yards from popular Boarding Kennels
One is yards from a Residential Care Home
There are also 2 public houses, one on a road junction and one at the top of a hill with “limited forward visibility”.
All of these premises have a constant flow of incoming and outgoing traffic.
The road is a continuation of Oakley Green Road, which is subject to a 40mph speed limit and has a similar topography.
There are a high number of vunerable roads users - The Horse Rangers take young riders out on the Forest Green Road 5 times a day every weekend, with up to 8 horses each time.
It is popular with other horse riders, cyclists, joggers, motor cyclists and dog walkers, not to mention those residents who, without a bus service on the road, need to walk to Holyport, or Fifield, to find a bus stop!
There are numerous residential access points and more houses being built.
The majority of the residential properties do not have sufficient turning room, so owners either, need to back in, or back out, of their driveways, adding to the hazards which drivers of cars travelling at 50 mph have to react to.
AND there are many, points of access for slow farm machinery, which is a major hazard.
The paper also states that:-
The number of injury road crashes along Forest Green Road is around 50% higher than the national average for rural roads. There have been 14 crashes on Forest Green Road over the five year period 1/5/2007 to 30/4/2012, resulting in 3 serious and 19 slight injuries.
However, we know that the number of accidents on this road is significantly higher, as collisions which only involve damage are not recorded!
My own car was a complete write off when I was hit by a car, whilst stationery on the road outside the Sun & Stars Public House. The accident was not recorded.
Whytehall Cottage has had 3 cars plough though their hedge over the last 3 years, only 2 of which were recorded. You have a photo of the damage caused earlier this year.
They have now replaced the hedge with a wall which means the next accident will inevitably be more serious!
The owner of the property next to Foxliegh Grove Nursing Home is so fed up with repairing his wall, that he hasn't bothered this time!!
The paper goes on to state that:-
1. Reduced vehicle speeds will improve road safety and perceptions of road safety for local residents.
2. Reduced vehicle speeds will improve the environment for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders using Forest Green Road.
I should add that a reduction in the speed limit would also reduce the carbon footprint in the parish.
The Consultation Draft of the Local Transport Plan which was published by the borough in March this year states:-
The Local Transport Plan reflects the Council’s core values as set out in the Corporate Strategy, namely:
• Putting our residents first
We would therefore ask you to do just that and listen to your residents. They want the speed limit reduced to 40 mph