Making St.Albans safer for pedestrians Community, Education, Environment, Health, MotoringEnvironment Matters

The recent tragic death on Camp Road once again highlights the dangers faced by pedestrians. Parents at Camp Road School have already drawn attention to the dangers of the road, but are not satisfied with the safety measures provided so far. The speed of traffic is their main concern. The short area of 20mph zone is ineffective as the signs are hard to see and by the time you’ve seen them you’ve almost certainly missed it, and there’s no traffic calming or enforcement of the zone.

Jill Mills, a campaigner from St.Albans Green Party, joined Amanda on Environment Matters and explained why she thinks that there should be a 20mph limit throughout St.Albans. Not only are pedestrians more likely to survive inevitable accidents, air pollution drops and roads are quieter. The feeling of safety encourages more of us to walk or cycle compounding these effects but also making us healthier and saving the NHS money. Yes, it takes a little while to get used to driving so slowly, but it shifts the balance of convenience further towards active forms of transport and makes the car seem less attractive.

The problem, as the parents at Camp Road highlighted, is enforcement. Herts County Council have previously opposed a 20mph zone throughout St.Albans on this basis, but the public is changing its attitude to speeding and a recent report from the Audit Commission showed that 75% of drivers think 20 mph is the appropriate speed for residential roads. This “culture change” has both increased the pressure on Local Authorities to lower speeds and also the public’s willingness to abide by them.

Jill encouraged anyone who agreed with her to write to their local and county councillors. There’s more information about the nationwide 20’s Plenty campaign or you can contact Jill at gillian.mills@greenparty.org.uk.

Parents at a number of local schools have campaigned long and hard to have a crossing patrol to take children across busy, dangerous roads like Camp Road. However, schools like Camp and Bernards Heath are now having trouble filling these positions. So if you would like to do this wonderfully worthwhile job, then get in touch with Heather Hill at Herts CC on 01992 556815 or Joanne Morris on 01992 556803 or email joanne.morris@hertfordshire.gov.uk. Job shares are possible and smiles from grateful children are guaranteed.