Ickleford villagers vote on speed bumps

Villagers who voted against holding a poll to remove their recently installed traffic calming measures have been over-ridden by a local law.

Residents of Ickleford and several people from surrounding villages attended a parish meeting on Monday to vote on whether to hold a referendum on the issue.

Over a hundred people attended the meeting which was requested by six of the residents. Those present voted against having the poll by 61 votes to 52.

However, under the Local Government Act 1972 it only requires 10 residents to over-ride the wishes of the meeting and demand a poll.

Chairman of Ickleford Parish Council, Cllr Miles Maxwell, said: “I think this is a disappointing day for Ickleford. The meeting voted with a clear majority not to proceed with this expensive and futile exercise, but under the law the minority can insist that a poll be held. May be this is an instance of the law being an ass?’

But Adrian Johnson, a campaigner against the speed bumps, said: “Several people have said that they feel intimidated by the parish council and were afraid to express their opinion in an open ballot which would be counted by the IPC. Sadly it left the campaign group with no choice but to demand a parish poll.”

“The �222,917 of tax payer’s money ostensibly spent on safety in Ickleford should have been spent on reducing accidents and potentially saving lives on other roads in Hertfordshire where there is a significant accident rate and a more notable speeding problem.

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“We feel that road humps make the roads more dangerous as the drivers attention is focused on the road surface and positioning of their vehicle and not on potential hazards in front and to the sides of roads.”

NHDC will be advised shortly of the outcome of the meeting and will then schedule a poll in July. The Parish council will discuss the results and agree the action to be taken but the outcome of a parish poll is not legally binding.

Resident, Naomi Smith said, “It is very disappointing that despite the fact that the majority of residents present at the meeting were against the poll going ahead, the anti-hump campaigners still feel the need to press ahead with it.

“It is a pointless, non-binding process which will only end up wasting the money of Ickleford residents. We have been able to vote on this issue once and despite what has been said by the campaigners, I feel that it was made very clear exactly what we were voting for first time round.

“One of the main issues raised from the Parish Plan was the problem of speeding traffic. The traffic now passes through Ickleford at lower speeds. As far as I am concerned that is a positive result and should be the end of the matter.”