ONE of Warwickshire’s speeding hotspots could become a 20mph zone around schools and nurseries at key times – after a well-supported campaign led by a mum of three young children.
Dr Morag Jarvis, of Clinton Lane, Kenilworth has been lobbying politicians and officials for new measures to tackle dangers on Clinton Lane and the adjoining Beehive Hill – backed by Priors Field and St Augustine’s primary schools, other parents and residents.
Both are residential streets with 30mph limits on Kenilworth’s outskirts. But parents have daily experience of safety issues in what have become very busy arterial commuter routes between the county, Solihull borough and Birmingham.
Rat runs including heavy goods traffic present threats to pedestrians, including on Beehive Hill’s tight bends and narrow pavements.
Dr Jarvis has made some gains in persuading officials of the problems, armed with speeding data and families’ stories of their concerns.
It is despite Beehive Hill already being a location for mobile speed cameras, and without the record of three injury accidents in three years required to potentially qualify for a permanent 20mph speed limit.
Dr Jarvis, a GP, has children Diego, Marisol and Mateo aged five, three and six-months, two of whom attend St Augustine’s school in nearby Hollis Lane and Bright Horizons’ Beehive day nursery/pre-school, Beehive Hill.
She said: “Of particular importance are before and after school hours, when children of Priors Field and St Augustine’s Primary are walking, cycling or scooting between home and school.
“During these times, community volunteers and mobile police vans frequently capture cars travelling in excess of 50mph.
“There are three nurseries in this area and families with younger children have also expressed feelings of vulnerability and danger.
“Parents have raised concerns relating to vehicles driving at speed in close proximity to the pavement, jumping red lights at the Beehive Hill puffin crossing and traffic including HGVs mounting the pavement at Fieldgate Lane.”
Backing has also come from some local councillors – one of which, Kate Dickson, agreed to walk the route to experience the risks herself.
The town’s MP Jeremy Wright facilitated a meeting for Dr Jarvis and headteachers with Warwickshire County Council highways officers.
Dr Jarvis added: “Under the Warwickshire Safer Routes to School initiative, the introduction of 20 mph advisory zones along both Clinton Lane and Beehive Hill during the times at which children are most vulnerable will be considered.
“For this to be most effective flashing lights/signs and speed calming measures may also need to be implemented.
“Unfortunately, more children than ever are driven to and from school.
“School routes should be made safer and more pleasant to encourage walking or cycling whenever possible. The benefits are proven, enabling better physical, mental and social wellbeing and improved academic performance.”
The campaigners say any county council road safety measures will be ‘budget dependent’, and are examining other funding sources too, including charities, crowdfunding and community fundraising initiatives.