Stevenage residents urge for action on ‘danger road’

Rectory Lane Residents' Association members Peter Gordon, Rosemary Gordon, Jim Callaghan and Albert

Rectory Lane Residents' Association members Peter Gordon, Rosemary Gordon, Jim Callaghan and Albert Binns are urging for action to be taken - Credit: Archant

A CRASH which left two women in hospital has caused a residents’ association to press for action before someone is killed.

Emergency services were called to Rectory Lane in Stevenage after a crash involving a car and van at about 9.40am last Wednesday.

The road was shut with both women taken to Lister Hospital, one injuring their neck and back and the other suffering from chest and hand pains.

Rectory Lane Residents’ Association chairman Jim Callaghan said there have been more than 20 crashes on the road in the past year, and four head-on collisions in the past three years.

Hertfordshire County Council carried out a traffic survey in November 2009 which found the average speed to be at acceptable levels, but Mr Callaghan disagrees.

During the 15-day survey, 141 vehicles were measured travelling at speeds in excess of 60mph, double the speed limit of 30mph and three times the recommended limit of 20mph.

“This is an ongoing problem on what is one of the most dangerous roads in Stevenage and has been for some time,” said Mr Callaghan, who lives in nearby Chestnut Walk and regular finds Rectory Lane littered with broken wing mirrors, shattered indicator lenses and wheel trims.

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“The problem with averages is that they can hide a multitude of sins. If my wife and I both drive along Rectory Lane at the recommended speed limit of 20mph – which we do – this means another vehicle can then travel at 50mph, yet the mean average of the three cars will be recorded as an acceptable 30mph.

“Despite the evidence of their own survey and the litany of accidents on this road, Hertfordshire County Council claim that there is no justification for considering any form of traffic calming.

“I have been advised that until a death occurs, we are unlikely to see any action. Rectory Lane Residents’ Association considers this to be completely unacceptable and urge action to be taken before someone is killed on this road.”

Mr Callaghan said it wasn’t a case of trying to stop people using the road, which was shut for a trial period in 2003.

“We’re just concerned for all the road users and pedestrians,” he said.

“It’s a short cut and there’s a lot of school traffic. Unless something is done there will be further accidents in the future.”

The residents’ association want to see a flashing slow down sign installed when vehicles exceed the speed limit, and speed bumps considered.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council, which is awaiting a police report on the latest crash, said: “There are no plans at present to introduce any traffic calming measures in Rectory Lane.

“A traffic speed survey has been carried out and results showed that measured speeds of vehicles were below the threshold deemed necessary for further investigation.”