Parents urge action on road menace

By Connie Osborne 27/04 Updated: 27/04 09:32

PARENTS fear for their children’s safety due to cars and lorries speeding through a bus only road.

Residents say there have been numerous near misses in recent years along the route - which runs through Church Hill, Winyates and Matchborough - and there is growing concern lives are being put at risk as motorists continue to use the road as an unofficial bypass.

People living in Upperfield Close, which backs onto the road in Church Hill, say just taking their children to school or even walking the dog has become a major safety issue.

Childminder Luan Owen told the Standard “I was actually on a Zebra crossing during a school run and I had one child in a pushchair and one on an arm strap. A car came flying out of nowhere and just didn’t stop. I had to grab the kids quickly and move. It was terrifying.”

Hannah Blake, 37, has lived on the close since November last year.

She said: “I sit in my living room and I can see the road from out of my window. I can count up to 15 cars a day and that isn’t including lorries.

“It’s not only cars and lorries using the road when they shouldn’t be, but the speed they are driving at is terrifying. They know they are not supposed to come down here, so they speed to get off the road as quickly as possible.

“There have been accidents here before and I’m really concerned about the safety of my three children.”

It is not the first time safety concerns have been raised about the road after ten-year-old Ellis Smith was killed after being hit by a bus on Church Hill Way in 2008.

Although complaints have been made to Community Support Officers in the area, residents say they want more police monitoring of the road and drivers using it to be punished as a deterrent to others.

A spokesman for Redditch Police said: “We are aware of the issue and it comes up often at Partners and Communities Together (PACT) meetings.

“When we see anyone doing this, we will deal with them at the time and depending on the circumstances this could be by issuing a fixed penalty fine.”

Jon Fraser, from Worcestershire County Council, urged residents to take down the details of offending vehicles and report them to the police.

But he added it was difficult to put physical barriers in place as emergency vehicles and council maintenance vehicles use the road as well as buses.

“The county council will consult with the police to see if we can assist with addressing residents’ concerns. If these concerns are raised at their local PACT meeting, the police could take the matter up with the Safety Camera Partnership as an area of community concern for enforcement.”

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