Villagers hold poll for speed bump dispute

JUST six votes separated a poll which asked villagers whether they thought a set of speed bumps should be removed from the roads in their area.

Ickleford residents turned out for the official vote, in which 49.5 per cent of the 555 that voted wanted to remove the traffic calming measures with 50.5 per cent voting no.

It comes after a campaign by a group of residents to get the bumps removed. There was also a circulated petition.

Adrian Johnson, who proposed the poll with a view to getting the speed bumps taken out, said that despite the narrow loss, he was pleased with the outcome.

He added: “We are delighted with this result. This parish poll shows that there never was the overwhelming majority in support of the road humps in Ickleford, which some councillors had stated was endorsed by their re-election.

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“This result also clearly shows that road humps are not the solution for half of the village and therefore does not work for the community.

“Despite some dirty tricks against this campaign and further misinformation, we believe that Ickleford has finally been asked the proper question that it should have been asked nearly three years ago. Ensuring true opinion was recorded was essential and proved that the parish poll was absolutely necessary.”

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The turnout, which was 38 per cent, was said by electoral services to be exceptionally high for a parish poll. Traditionally, it can be expected to be around 15 per cent.

The result is not binding, and it is yet unknown whether the bumps will stay or not.

Ickleford Parish Council (IPC) said that it now hoped it could draw a line under the dispute and move onto other matters.

Chairman of IPC Miles Maxwell said: “This is not exactly a clear cut result, but it is a result nonetheless.

“Wasn’t it Winston Churchill who said that in a democracy, a majority of one is enough? I really hope that everyone will be able to abide by the result.”

Meanwhile, a dispute has arisen surrounding discrepancies between speeding figures published by the parish council.

Some villagers have criticised the fact that speed figures published during the consultation process in 2008 don’t match up with the correct figures.

They claim that in some cases, residents were led to believe figures were up to 7mph more than they actually were.

IPC defended the claims. A spokesman said: “The values presented in the original consultation were provided by Hertfordshire Highways.

“The speeds which were cited in the letter from Ickleford Parish Council in June 2011 were the means of all vehicles; these were given at the request of residents who wanted all the data to be made available.”

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