Hitchin residents speak out as town’s speeding concerns ramp up

Residents and councillors are concerned about excessive speeding on Hitchin's Bearton Road. Picture:

Residents and councillors are concerned about excessive speeding on Hitchin's Bearton Road. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Residents and district councillors have criticised the number of speeding vehicles on a busy Hitchin road, as newly released police data suggests their concerns are valid.

Two North Herts District councillors have promised to push for more action from the county council, as residents call for more deterrents to be put in place on Bearton Road in the town.

Resident Ross, who set up an online action group, thinks the 20mph limits have made no difference on the road.

He said: “I live in the section where cars park on both sides of the road, and it feels as though we are dicing with death when getting in and out of our cars.

“I have young children and I do get very concerned when trying to get them into the car. I have waved to a number of drivers to slow down and am almost always faced with aggression.

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Ross is arguing for average speed cameras to be placed along the road to deter those who might want to break the 20mph limit.

“I’d like to see average speed cameras along the road, similar to those implemented on residential roads in Bedford. Or even basic speed camera road signs and a police speed gun used regularly.

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“I feel these are simple and cheap ways of tackling the issue.”

According to figures released by the police, the average speed on Bearton Road in the 20mph zone is 29 miles per hour.

In an even more damning statistic, 37 per cent of vehicles travel through the speed-limited areas at between 30 and 40mph.

Bearton Road has now been referred to a meeting of Herts County Council’s Speed Management Group – to determine if different road layouts could be considered and funded.

Ian Albert, NHDC Councillor for Bearton Ward said: “Bearton Road, and the roads around it, remain a major problem where far too many drivers are ignoring the speed limit and causing terrible risk to the lives of residents, especially those with children walking to and from school.

“It’s not even drivers that are ignoring the 20mph limit, there are over a third of the journeys along the road exceeding the former 30mph limit. That is not acceptable.”

Cllr Judi Billing, who also covers the ward, added: “I was delighted to be able to establish the 20mph zone in Bearton Ward in 2017. It covers 26 roads and has mostly made a positive difference to everyone’s lives.

“Clearly, more needs to be done to reduce speeds and I’m pleased that the police have made it clear to HCC that something more radical needs to happen.”

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