‘Cut our speed limit or someone could die’

Accident in Gravel Path, Berkhamsted
Accident in Gravel Path, Berkhamsted
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Neighbours say proposals to extend Berkhamsted High Street’s 20mph zone will not protect the part of town where driving is most dangerous.

The zone now goes from Beech Drive to St John’s Well Lane, but could be extended to run from Durrants Lane and Swing Gate Lane.

It would also take in parts of Durrants Lane, Kings Road, Lower Kings Road and Ravens Lane.

A County Hall report says: “Herts County Councils speed management strategy suggests that for a 20mph zone to be introduced, current speeds should not exceed the threshold of 25mph.”

This rules out Gravel Path, where multiple accidents have been reported.

Data from 2011 shows that average speeds on the road range from 28mph to 35mph.

Safer Gravel Path Action Group coordinator Michael Locke, 78, says the figures do not take into account the extreme speeds of a minority of drivers on the road.

He is now afraid when his four grandchildren come to visit him. He said: “When people are driving around at 50mph and stopping distances are much longer, if they get it wrong they could kill somebody – or more than one person.

“If there are two children and a driver in the car, they could kill three people.”

Neighbours say Gravel Path is dangerous because it is steep, narrow and bendy.

Mr Locke said: “The 20mph zone is a very good idea, but speeds are above that where we are having the problem. It’s not good enough, frankly.”

Herts County Council spokesman Andrew Dawson said the public can give their views on the proposal – part of the Berkhamsted, Northchurch and Tring urban transport plan, which you can view and comment on at www.hertsdirect.org/urbantransportplans – before it goes to the next stage.