How much more can we take?
Increasing congestion at junctions, badly parked cars, illegal traffic movements, damage to buildings and above all, speeding traffic in many of Ledbury's roads and streets: so many people are calling for positive and decisive action to get the traffic under control.
Residents and traders complain bitterly about the driving antics in their own local neighbourhoods – it isn’t just one or two hotspots where there are problems. The whole town seems to be afflicted by traffic overload, bad driving, and dangerous places.
The sheer density, speed and dangerous driving behaviour of traffic in and around Ledbury, mean local residents and visitors on foot are having to curtail their freedom of movement in efforts to avoid being hit.
More seriously, cyclists, wheelchair users, older people, dog walkers, parents with buggies and children, joggers, in fact, everybody who walks around Ledbury regularly have to take their life into their hands to get across the roads. With the advent of new housing and an increased population in potentially new areas of town, traffic problems are going to increase. The situation is unbearable and unsustainable.
The Town Plan research has shown that traffic management is at the top of the agenda for local people. They want urgent action.
The Danger Spots
At a recent Planning & Economic Development Committee of Ledbury Town Council I presented this list of traffic danger spots:
- Southern by-pass / junction Martin’s Way: illegal overtaking on the turning right lane; speeding traffic in both directions
- Island at Full Pitcher: dangerous pedestrian crossing for access to Ross Road and sports fields
- Island at Lower Rd/Little Marcle Road: dangerous pedestrian crossing for access to Little Marcle Road and Riverside walk.
- Island at Homebase: dangerous pedestrian crossing
- Island at Hereford Road: dangerous pedestrian crossing
- Hereford Road towards station: speeding traffic
- Homend near station: dangerous crossing for pedestrian access to station; dangerously parked cars at station / Homend trading estate access; no disabled access to station
- Knapp Lane junction/Homend: congestion from cars turning right; dangerous pedestrian crossing/no pavement
- Knapp Lane: speeding and inappropriately heavy traffic; dangerous pedestrian crossing out of Dog Hill over to Frith Hill footpath
- Traffic lights at Orchard Lane: regular jumping of the lights on pedestrian crossings
- Homend: speeding traffic, particularly in early evenings, illegally parked traders vehicles on double yellow lines
- Homend/Bye Street: dangerous pedestrian crossing and narrow pavements
- Bye Street/ Lower Road: speeding traffic; congestion
- Longacre/Orchard Lane: illegal parking by primary school; speeding traffic
- Longacre/Bye Street; dangerous turn exacerbated by illegal parking
- High Street Market Area: confusing parking restrictions
- Top Cross: badly phased traffic lights causing unnecessary danger and congestion; dangerous pedestrian crossing
- New Street: illegal parking; speeding traffic; dangerous crossing by Coop
- Woodleigh Road: speeding traffic; no pavement for pedestrians
- Southend: illegally parked vehicles on double yellow lines; speeding traffic including outbound PSVs and HGVs
- Junction of Southend and Mable’s Furlong: dangerous pedestrian crossing; congestion and illegal parking at school access; speeding traffic in both directions; worn road markings
- Biddulph Way: speeding traffic
- Southend through Gloucester Road: speeding traffic; dangerous pedestrian crossing into Biddulph Way
What I'm suggesting is this:
- The Town Council should now address this issue, not on a piecemeal basis, but comprehensively, systematically and proactively.
- A group needs to be established to examine traffic movements, speeds and behaviours in order to obtain baseline data and build a detailed picture of the current situation as well as potential future options.
- A detailed consultation exercise needs to be undertaken with residents to identify problems and identify solutions.
- LTC needs to engage in discussion with Herefordshire Council’s Highways Department with a view to bringing forward a programme of works to address issues in an appropriate manner and sequence.
- A traffic management strategy needs to be agreed and used as framework to guide all future road investments and access policies.
- All necessary measures need to be taken to improve people’s quality of life, and avoid casualties in future.
Here's the press report in the Ledbury Reporter.