Safety appeal after car crashes into play area

PUBLISHED: 11:47 06 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:25 06 May 2010

The play area by the side of the A507

The play area by the side of the A507

ACTION is being demanded to protect children after a car smashed into the fence of a play area. Damage said to cost thousands of pounds to repair was caused to the playground in Churchill Way, Shefford, when a grey Seat veered off the road at around 11p

ACTION is being demanded to protect children after a car smashed into the fence of a play area.

Damage said to cost "thousands of pounds" to repair was caused to the playground in Churchill Way, Shefford, when a grey Seat veered off the road at around 11pm last Friday and hit the fence before ending up in a ditch.

The driver and two passengers in the car suffered minor injuries but residents are worried that the playground is in a dangerous position.

The road is regarded as a 'rat run' from the A507 to the town centre because of its width. The road cannot be narrowed because it needs to accomodate vehicles transporting goods into the town.

Earlier this year the town council paid for a volume and speed survey to be carried out on the road and found that some cars were travelling at more than 50 mph in the 30 mph zone.

The play area is located on a bend on the road and town mayor Paul Mackin said the town council had warned this could be a dangerous spot.

He said: "It's an excellent play area but it's in the wrong place but we couldn't get the planning officers or developers to change the location because of cost.

"My fear is that people are going to continue speeding down there during the day and night and there is going to be an accident where they're going to end up killing children.

"This is about the third or fourth serious accident we've had there in the last couple of years."

Now Mr Mackin is calling for action, including a safety barrier around the playground and a speed camera on the road.

This week Bedfordshire County Council's director of environment, Tim Malynn, said the council recognised the need for a barrier.

He added: "We have agreed to pay 50 per cent of the costs of the barrier, while negotiations are ongoing with developers Taylor Woodrow to fund the other 50 per cent.

"The county councillor for Shefford, Robin Younger, has been very actively involved in these negotiations, which will enable the safety barrier to be installed as soon as possible.

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