Simon Galton

Liberal Democrat County & District Councillor Learn more

A47 – Road Safety

by simongalton on 11 June, 2010

Some time ago I requested a report to the Harborough Highways Forum on  the current road safety situation on the A47 including accident trends since the introduction of fixed and mobile speed camera plus changes to signing and lining about seven years ago. More recently local residents in Skeffington have been campaigning for a 40mph speed limit through the Village so I thought it would be useful to provide a brief overview of where we are with this request.  

On the 26th of May, the County Council’s Highways Forum for Harborough received a report on ‘A47 – Road Safety’. It outlined the current situation and provided some evidence on current accidents and injuries and possible causes.  

I am sorry to say that the report did not recommend a reduction of the current 50 MPH limit to a 40 through Skeffington. The report focused on the overall reduction in accidents and the need to rectify ‘various minor matters’ that would improve some aspects of safety.  

Needless to say I am disappointed at the conclusions of the report, although it does acknowledge that some of the speed and traffic volume data are several years old and additional data is being collected. This will be used to undertake a final assessment later this year. Secondly, as required by Department for Transport guidance which says local authorities should discount 15% of vehicles travelling at the highest speed, the report admits many drivers break the speed limit passing through the village. Whilst the report highlights the improvements made since 2003, local residents understandably feel it has not taken account of their concerns. 

 

At the Highways Forum meeting, after hearing a strong case presented by local residents, I proposed that notwithstanding the data, further consideration should be given to lowering the speed limit to 40mph as had been done in many other villages throughout Leicestershire in that late1990’s. At that time the A47 was a trunk road and the County Council could not change the speed limit in Skeffington but since then it has been de-trunked and is now the responsible of the Council. I am pleased to report that members of the Forum backed my request and voted to refer the report back; this is the first time I can think off where this has happened.  

The consequences of this are unclear because the Forum does not have the power to request officers to proceed with a Traffic Regulation Order. County Council officers are therefore considering what should happen and will report back to the next meeting of the Forum in September.  With the backing of the Highways Forum, I hope local residents still have a chance to get the speed limit reduced to 40 MPH, as clearly the strength of feeling on this issue means it won’t go away easily.  

Simon Galton

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