A borough councillor compared the highways department’s perception to reality faced by residents, during a meeting of the local authority’s executive.
Labour South councillor Fatima Begum said: “A 53-signature petition was submitted in January which requested action over speeding in Limbury Road.
“The petitions and representations board heard speeding is a daily occurrence along that road and a constant threat to the residents,” she explained.
“The executive is asked to extend the installation of average speed cameras to other parts of the town, and to source funding.
“This petition is supported by the two ward councillors,” added councillor Begum, who’s the portfolio holder for sustainable development and highways.
Labour Lewsey councillor Aslam Khan said: “Speeding is a growing issue, not just in Limbury Road. Several places have become hotspots, particularly around the industrial areas.
“If we don’t do anything about it something serious could happen, so cameras will help us enforce this new phenomenon of speeding by these road-ragers.”
The petition said a resident’s garden fence had been smashed by a speeding driver, while another had a car written off.
Most residents are worried about the safety of their children and families, warned the petition.
Labour Limbury councillor Rob Roche said: “We’ve the lived experience of people over this. Sometimes the Department for Transport guidelines are okay.
“But it’s when you’re standing there and seeing 12 vehicles an hour doing more than 35mph around midday. I want to reinforce this.
“There’s no perception of speeding. Highways need to get that out of their head. It’s happening. Speeding is bad everywhere.”
A council highways speed survey found the 85th percentile speed (at which 85 per cent of traffic travels at or below under free flowing conditions) of the traffic on Limbury Road to be 28.3mph, according to a report to the executive.
This was below the 30mph speed limit. The data was scrutinised by councillor Roche, who was the previous highways portfolio holder, said the report.
“A further speed survey was conducted which found the 85th percentile speed of traffic to be 28.9mph. A meeting was held with councillor Roche and it was acknowledged the 28.3mph and 28.9mph was contrary to resident’s perception and personal experiences.
“Having recieved the petition, the council’s highways team concluded no intervention was necessary. The available data suggests perception of speeding on Limbury Road, rather than anything evidence-based.
“LBC has acknowledged and considered the issues expressed by residents and plans to work with Bedfordshire Police to raise awareness of speed limits,” added the report.
“It would educate drivers using posters to encourage them to be mindful of their speeds and the consequences of speeding.”
But councillors agreed to consider installing average speed cameras on Limbury Road and extending these elsewhere in the town, while sourcing finance and sustainable long-term opportunities.