A HAMPTON-in-Arden GP has hit out at Solihull Council for refusing to install traffic calming measures on the stretch of road where he and his wife were nearly killed by a speeding car.
Rodger Charlon has said he is ‘profoundly disappointed’ at the council’s refusal to consider speed restrictions and traffic calming measures on the B4102 Meriden Road – despite his desperate calls for more to be done to prevent similar accidents along the route.
The GP sustained cracked ribs and severely damaged the ligaments in his foot while when a speeding car spun out of control and hit a parked van, which then slammed into the GP and his wife who were walking along the pavement.
We exclusively featured the near-tragedy on our front page two weeks ago.
Speaking to the Observer this week, Dr Charlton had said the LED sign stationed on the road to remind drivers of the 30mph speed limit was not good enough and called for speed bumps – like those found along Knowle High Street – to physically slow vehicles down.
But Coun Ted Richards, cabinet member for transport and highways at Solihull Council, said that while he was ‘sorry’ to hear about Dr Charlton’s accident, no traffic calming measures would be installed.
He explained: “As the Meriden Road is a classified (B4102) route within Solihull, it is not an appropriate route for the consideration of traffic calming measures such as road narrowing or speed cushions, due to the relatively high traffic volumes.
“The council reviews all collisions within the borough every two years to draw up a priority list for road safety improvements. “Fortunately this road has had few incidents and therefore does not appear on the local safety scheme list for 2016/17, so there are no plans to introduce any changes at present.
“However, the road will continue to be monitored as part of this review and this recent incident will feature in future analyses.
“Road traffic collisions occur for many reasons and the Council is committed to improving driver behaviour and educating people about the importance of road safety.”
But Dr Charlton has hit back at Coun Richard’s claim that the route has seen few incidents in the last 12 months – pointing to the partial destruction of the church wall by a speeding vehicle and a house along the road installing an iron railing outside to prevent vehicles from driving into its front room.
He added: “Interestingly there is an advisory speed camera put up outside number 29 Meriden Road which lights up when people are exceeding the speed limit of 30 miles an hour and I understand was put up by the Parish Council.
“If I am to stand in front of it, and in view of my recent experience I would say it is not safe to do this on the pavement, it is rare for a car coming down the hill not to cause this camera to light up as just about everybody is exceeding the speed limit.
“If the council is looking for evidence, I would happily video this camera for say 20 cars in succession.”
Meriden MP, Dame Caroline Spelman, is supporting the injured couple and has urged Solihull Council to think again about traffic calming measures – particularly before work on HS2 begins.
She said: “Whilst I understand the council are limited to the changes they can make to this classified route by law, I share the concerns raised by my constituent and believe that more needs to be done to improve the safety of this road through alternate means.
“I am therefore working closely with the local Parish Council to aid their bid for funding from the Government’s new HS2 Community Road Safety Fund, in order to secure appropriate traffic calming measures ahead of the first stage of construction next year.”