Businesses and residents support Stevenage road safety petition

Damaged gate outside the Thomas Alleyne Academy following an accident

Damaged gate outside the Thomas Alleyne Academy following an accident - Credit: Archant

An “alliance” between groups representing residents, businesses and a school has been called for as part of a road safety campaign.

Councillor David Kissane from Stevenage Borough Council made the suggestion at a meeting held last Thursday which discussed how to make Stevenage High Street and the surrounding area of the Old Town a safer place.

A petition was launched by The Thomas Alleyne Academy last month calling for a reduced speed limit, improved road markings and the installation of a higher kerb amid concerns about the number of accidents in High Street and James Way.

Representatives from the school, the Old Town Business Partnership and the Old Town Residents’ Forum were present at the meeting held at Springfield House in the High Street, as well as a number of Stevenage councillors.

Cllr Kissane said: “This is an ongoing issue that has plagued this town for more than 20 years. I hope that, through holding this meeting, we will be able to bring together enough people who, for different reasons, support the changes outlines in The Thomas Alleyne petition and perhaps we can form a strong enough alliance that we may finally be able to get something done.”

Cllr Kissane said that when he contacted the Royal Society of Prevention of Accidents, the organisation said it would not be possible to reduce the road’s speed limit to 20mph unless it could be demonstrated that cars already travelled there at an average of 24mph or lower.

Cllr Jim Brown said: “This policy just seems to say: ‘If you don’t have a problem - here’s the solution’. I think one of the core problems with this road is the fundamental issues with the design of the one-way system and the way it shoots people out on a bend onto such a long stretch of road. This is what leads to accidents at the top end. It is simply just too tempting for people to speed up there.”

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The petition has now received 750 signatures and is due to be put forward for consideration by Hertfordshire County Council’s Highways and Waste Panel.