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Villagers fear their speed fears are ignored
A COMMUNITY beleaguered by speeding motorists is calling for a county council to listen to its concerns and allow better speed prevention measures.
Residents in Morton-on-Swale and Ainderby Steeple, near Northallerton, have been campaigning for almost 10 years to get better signage or stronger enforcement in the neighbouring villages – and even more so after the death of Andrew Done in September 2008.
The busy A684 runs through the two villages and there is already a continuous 30mph speed limit stretch through both – but residents say the limit is often flouted, especially at night or at quieter times of the day.
Marcus Grover, chairman of Morton-on-Swale Parish Council, said speeding was a regular item on the council’s agenda and was frustrated at the lack of help from county council.
He said: “As a council we requested to be part of a pilot scheme the county council was running with vehicle activated speed signs but we were unsuccessful.
“Despite having had a death of one of our residents and having made numerous complaints to the county council over the years – it is very frustrating and seems very bizarre to me that we were rejected.”
Cllr Grover said the parish council had enough funds to pay for its own vehicle activated sign - but that the county council had refused permission.
He added that recently waste collection service times had been changed to allow council workers to work when traffic in the village was quieter.
However a spokeswoman for Hambleton District Council said this was not related to speeding posing a danger to staff, and comes after a review of collections times in a number of areas.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Arthur Barker said he understood residents’ frustrations.
He said: “I represent a lot of villages that want something to be done about speeding. I put forward Morton-on-Swale to be part of the pilot scheme but it was unsuccessful.
“The county council wants its villages to have a consistent approach to speed management, so if the scheme proves the signs are not effective that would not be the best solution.”
Darren Griffiths from the authority’s traffic engineering team said: “The identification process for the pilot scheme was focussed on parishes where no resulting police enforcement was undertaken and no further action was required.
“Morton-on-Swale was not deemed suitable because of the police enforcement undertaken here.”
The pilot participants in the Hambleton area are Brompton, Hutton Rudby, Newton-on-Ouse, Sutton under Whitestonecliffe, and Shipton by Beningbrough.
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