Fears for pedestrian safety as traffic speeds through Devizes
A serious accident is feared by residents of Bath Road, Devizes, as traffic hurtles past their homes, sometimes at almost twice the legal speed limit.
The protesters say they have to cope with lorries that thunder past in the early hours of the morning and, except at peak times, vehicles travel along the stretch of road between Prison Bridge and Caen Hill typically at between 35mph and 45mph.
Ray Rogers, who represents a group of 15 residents, says they often count 15,000 vehicles a day passing their homes.
He said: “We tried Community Speedwatch to begin with but because we all had to wear bright yellow coats, they could see us coming and vehicles passing us would flash their lights at traffic coming in the other direction, so it was a total waste of time.
“I bought myself a speed gun and checked the traffic for myself. There are cars going through here at 60mph. It is nothing to see three or four cars following each other through at 50 to 55mph.”
The neighbours have set up their own unofficial traffic count and found 850 to 1,280 vehicles passing every hour - 15,000 a day.
Mr Rogers said: “We know we live on a busy road and we accept that but we want people to observe the speed limit.”
Recently, the Gazette reported a campaign by town councillor Judy Rose to have a pedestrian crossing installed in Bath Road, which would have the effect of slowing traffic down and this has the backing of Mr Rogers and his friends.
Wiltshire councillor Philip Whitehead, who has responsibility for roads in the county, has taken on board the fears of residents and set in motion the process that could lead to a crossing.
He told the Gazette: “We plan to do Metro counts on Bath Road to get some accurate figures on speeding.
“We will also carry out counts of pedestrians crossing the road, especially to get to the Spar shop.
“On the basis of those figures we can work out what kind of crossing is needed, whether an informal crossing with just markings on the road or a light-controlled Pelican crossing.
“I understand it must be very frustrating from the residents’ point of view. It all seems to take ages and they want something done now. But we must be sure we are doing the right things before we start spending public money.”
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