Traffic calming could be installed in Luton street after crash wiped out FIVE cars

Grange Avenue, LutonGrange Avenue, Luton
Grange Avenue, Luton
But a petition from residents calling for speed cameras was deemed inappropriate by council

Highways officers are to consider traffic calming options in a Luton street where a resident reported five vehicles being written off in one road accident.

A petition was submitted for speed cameras to be installed in Grange Avenue because residents say vehicles regularly travel above the 30mph limit, the council’s petitions and representations board was told.

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But the local authority decided against this after conducting a speed survey along the road, according to service manager for highways and transport projects Steven Lain.

“We conducted a survey over a seven-day period,” he said. “The average speed was shown to be 25mph. Nine slight accidents have been recorded during the past five years and nothing within major injuries.

“This is a busy route and there’ll be traffic moving in excess of 30mph. Equally there’ll be times at peak periods when the speed is below that.

“It’s been suggested to consider a 20mph. We’ve discussed that with our partners at Bedfordshire Police and they’re against introducing that.

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“There are no immediate problems within the data shown, so we recommend speed cameras aren’t put into Grange Avenue.”

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The lead petitioner explained: “The accident which prompted this petition resulted in five cars being written off, three garden walls demolished and the police called to close the road for a number of hours.

“I’ve lived there for around 18 months. From talking to neighbours, ten have had their front gardens damaged and there has been a loss of 12 cars during the last few years.

“The 25mph is an average over seven days. Traffic should be monitored on a long-term basis and a deterrent is needed to stop speeding.

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“The road isn’t long. Over a half-mile stretch, there’s an opportunity to speed from one set of lights to the next at the other end.”

Mr Lain replied: “We can provide assistance as a local authority to reduce speed where we can. When we install cameras, they no longer become our responsibility. They’re operated by Bedfordshire Police.

“The difficulty is many people exceeding the speed limit aren’t insured. They don’t have a driving licence or the vehicle isn’t registered.

“We’ve a proposal to provide average speed cameras (elsewhere in the town), which was due to go to scrutiny.

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“But the police aren’t in favour of the widespread use of these and certainly not where the speed limit is as shown here.”

Labour High Town councillor Umme Ali asked if there are any other traffic calming measures which could be installed.

Mr Lain added: “It would need speed humps or the narrowing of the carriageway to provide that. We recently put a scheme in and residents were unhappy to have the humps outside their property.”

Liberal Democrat Crawley councillor Terry Keens said: “I would say traffic calming first and see what happens.”

Labour Biscot councillor Haji Abid, who chairs the board, suggested the officers should report back on traffic calming options, which was agreed.