— Marianne Overton is an independent County and District Councillor for Navenby and Branston District and the Cliff Villages, and Leader of the Lincolnshire Independents. In this column for The Lincolnite, she looks at why it is important speed limits are reduced on certain county roads.
On July 16 the Planning and Regulation Committee of the Lincolnshire County Council agreed to put forward proposals to reduce the speeds on the B1188 and give the public the opportunity to respond.
The B1188 is the only red route with a serious accident rate that has not seen any improvement in the rate of serious accidents.
It is desperately sad that people die needlessly in this way or are seriously injured. Many will have seen the 2 Fast, 2 Soon presentation from the Road Safety Partnership, where the ‘actors’ are not actors, but people whose lives have been devastated in car accidents.
“To save lives and heartache, we need to reduce the speed limit”
We have had a series of serious and fatal accidents along the B1188 from Lincoln through Branston, past Dunston and Nocton. This included nine serious and four fatal accidents on the Branston – Ruskington stretch alone. Concerns from residents about this stretch have been raised repeatedly, at almost every Parish Council meeting.
We’ve had site meetings with the Parish Councils, Lincolnshire Road Safety, Lincolnshire Highways and the general public to find all possible solutions.
We have cut back the verges to improve visibility, we’ve improved signing and speed traps, but it’s not enough. This is the only red route that has not had the full gambit of safety measures, including the 50mph maximum, and it has the worst accident record in Lincolnshire.
Experience has shown that big improvements only come with reducing the speed limit. The proposal is for a 50mph maximum speed limit on the B1188, Branston to Ruskington.
“Lives have been saved”
Nocton village in particular has been deeply concerned about the junction to the village on a blind rise, where there are also homes with young children who may play outside and walk to school.
Even though not all cars comply with speed limits, they do bring down the overall speed of traffic and reduce accidents.
I have obtained and compared the accident record for the B1188 and the A607. Since we got safety improvements on the A607, serious accidents fell to a quarter. Lives have been saved.
According to hospital admissions, North Kesteven District Council residents have the highest risk of serious road injury in the whole country. To save lives and heartache, we need to reduce the speed limit.
Branston and Mere Parish Council have long campaigned for lower speed limits through their village and asked for the 50mph maximum to be continued from Branston to Lincoln.
“The B1188 has the worst accident record in Lincolnshire”
This was recommended by the officers who had researched the issue, but refused by councillors on the Planning and Regulation Committee.
I welcome the proposals but feel there was a missed opportunity by not including the last Lincoln to Branston section. As development increases, so does the traffic.
Branston has huge volumes of traffic and many driveways go straight on to the main road. We got the lights at the crossing and safety improvements outside the school on Station Road, but more is needed.
Reducing speed on the approach to Branston from Lincoln would be a further help. The long village straddles what is now a very busy road and there are many of us who will continue to campaign tirelessly for road safety improvements.