No speed cameras for Luton road dubbed 'free for all' by petitioners

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But further speed surveys are likely in Grange Avenue

Campaigners are being denied speed cameras or traffic calming measures on a Luton street labelled “a free-for-all” by one local resident, a meeting heard.

But further borough council highways speed surveys are likely in Grange Avenue.

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A 21-signature petition was submitted to the local authority for speed cameras to be installed there because residents say traffic regularly travels above the 30mph limit, leading to damage to vehicles and property.

Average speed cameras stock imageAverage speed cameras stock image
Average speed cameras stock image

A speed survey conducted along the road showed no need for cameras, the local authority’s petitions and representations board was told.

Consideration was then given to installing some form of traffic calming in Grange Avenue, explained LBC’s senior engineer and road safety officer Mark Barnett.

“But because it’s a primary emergency service vehicle road, a bus route and an extremely busy thoroughfare, traffic calming would have a detrimental impact on residents.

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“There would be an increase in noise and congestion, a negative impact on air quality and potentially longer response times for emergency services, with little positive impact on vehicle speeds.”

The lead petitioner referred to the speeding traffic percentages, saying: “It’s not just about perception, it’s the reality.

“We haven’t been asked whether we want traffic calming measures. Putting up warning signs would help change driver behaviour.

“It’s a free-for-all at the moment. People bomb down the road and hit it fast from either end, whether from Marsh Road or from Leagrave High Street junction with Oakley Road.”

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He disputed the accident figures and suggested some London boroughs fine drivers for speeding.

Mr Barnett replied: “That’s something we could consider investing in at a future date, if there are local bylaws. We don’t have those powers in Luton currently.”

Labour Farley councillor Dave Taylor said: “Only Bedfordshire Police can enforce speed limits. What we do is give a penalty charge notice through the post for motorists contravening the red routes and safety around school areas.

“They’re not endorsable offences, rather a fine issued by the local authority under a specific Act, which applied in London too.

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“We can’t recommend speed cameras. We can opt to put traffic calming measures into a future programme.

“The residents should be asked if they agree to some form of traffic calming measure. They would be consulted and, if satisfied, it could be put into the highways plan.”

Councillors were shown a film clip of an accident in Grange Avenue, which was the result of an elderly resident mistakenly pressing the accelerator rather than braking.

Mr Barnett added: “We speak to residents once we’ve a proposal in mind. This is a high level investigation at this stage.

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“Even on roads with traffic calming there are motorists who continue to drive inappropriately, potentially risking damage to their vehicle or to pedestrians and other traffic in their wake.

“The legislation doesn’t allow for repeat signs on a 30mph road.”

Councillors agreed the speed limit should remain at 30mph, with ongoing monitoring by the council through speed surveys.

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