Angry Ickleford residents petition against traffic calming measures

A PETITION has been set up by angry villagers against traffic calming measures they say they never wanted. Residents in Ickleford have got the hump over sleeping policeman currently being installed in the village to stop speeding drivers who use the vill

A PETITION has been set up by angry villagers against traffic calming measures they say they never wanted.

Residents in Ickleford have got the hump over sleeping policeman currently being installed in the village to stop speeding drivers who use the village as a rat run between Hitchin and Letchworth.

A questionnaire was sent out by the parish council to residents in 2008 asking them what traffic calming measures they would like to see and councillors insist 80 per cent of villagers backed the plan. But campaigners say it was worded in a way that left them either voting for all or nothing and are calling for Herts Highways to scrap the scheme.

Villager, Suzanne Roynon, who is leading the campaign, said: "We all support the need to take action to reduce speed in the village. However we do not believe the parish council has acted with the endorsement of the residents by supporting the draconian proposal to install so many speed humps.


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"The parish plan did not indicate an outright preference for speed humps and the survey denied residents the option to reject them but accept other choices. Many residents annotated their responses to oppose humps but their comments appear to have been ignored."

Pubs and shops in the village have got behind the campaign and are collecting signatures against the scheme.

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Adrian Johnson who runs a web site design company in the village said: "The parish council keep citing that they are acting in the interests of the majority and yet no-one has been able to find a majority of even one. Ickleford used to be such a pretty village, but now with the proliferation of ugly flashing signs, humps and cushions, it's losing its unique character."

Pixies Florist owner, Georgina Schorrock, said the works were disrupting trade. "The road works are terrible. Nobody knows what's going on. They shut the road on Valentines Day, one of my busiest days, without even telling me.

"My shop relies on passing trade and four massive lorries are parked on the road. If people can't even park they won't come in.

"A lot of people feel conned by the parish council. People want calming measures - but not speed humps."

Leader of the parish council, Philip Crowe, said: "We did have a meeting some eighteen months ago when everything was aired. We had representatives to explain the procedures. Not everyone was in agreement, but this was really one of the only remaining options we had.

"We didn't have any choice - if we didn't go ahead with this we may have lost the opportunity and been accused of doing nothing about speeding.

"To raise a petition now when you have got Hertfordshire Highways entrenched in the village - I don't know what they are going to achieve."

The petition can be viewed at www.mostsimply.com

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