‘Slow down’ plea to speeding motorists on Rochdale Road

A SECTION of Rochdale Road in Royton has been likened to “Brands Hatch” by campaigners determined to put the brake on speeding motorists.

Now a Facebook group has started for residents to record incidents of speeding and dangerous driving.

Oldham Council insist the accident collision record along the busy AA671 has been “reduced considerably” and isn’t suitable for traffic calming measures such as speed bumps or speed cameras.

Rochdale Road in Royton

However, since it was launched the ‘Rochdale Road Royton Slow Down campaign’ has been inundated with incidents of near misses and irresponsible driving.

Deborah Wroe, who started the group, said: “Thankfully thus far there have been no serious incidents. Let’s not wait for one before action is taken.

“Please use this group to post about near misses – current and historical – speeding drivers (time, car make, reg if possible).

“Let’s build up a true picture of the extent of the problem and use it to campaign for change.”

She told the Correspondent: “Cars go faster at times than the ambulances. I would like it not to be Brands Hatch past my window.”

Royton North councillor Clint Phythian raised residents’ concerns at the September meeting of Oldham Council.

He said: “I continue to receive complaints about speeding on Rochdale Road including reports of cars racing each other down the hill.

“Royton North councillors can fund a speed survey but can the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods outline the criteria for further speed reduction measures on Rochdale Road and whether there are any plans to take action.”

Cabinet Member Cllr Arooj Shah responded: “Safety officers are aware of the Facebook group and the desired outcomes of this group.

Signs have been placed to slow traffic down

“Unfortunately, speed remains a police matter. Further speed surveys to add to those already done could be carried out if it will help police in their investigation.

“But owing to the nature and function of Rochdale Road as a classified road on the key route network, traffic calming in the form of speed bumps or cushions cannot be considered as they will not meet Department of Transport road hump regulations and are also unlikely to gain the support of the emergency services and other major stakeholders.

“There have been a number of road safety intervention initiatives carried out along this section in recent years which resulted in the accident collision record being reduced considerably.

“Consequently, there are no plans in the current highways programme to carry out further work at this time.

“The route does not qualify for a speed camera as it does not meet the Transport for Greater Manchester criteria.

“However, please be assured the injury collision record is regularly monitored.

“If the situation changes a suitable scheme would be drawn up for consideration in a future year’s budget.

“Further information on the injury collision record, vehicle speeds and intervention strategy can be provided on request from the highways team.”

Meanwhile, a letter has been sent on behalf of the Council’s Liberal Democrat group to Cllr Shah.

Cllr Garth Harkness wrote: “Speeding is one of those issues that every ward councillor receives complaints about on a regular basis.

“At the last Council, several members representing different parts of the borough raised their concerns about speeding.

“As this is a non-party political issue I wanted to make some practical suggestions to the Labour Administration to help tackle this blight. I hope that they will be taken up.”

Ideas include:

• Purchase and deploy mobile speed cameras to catch offenders.

Such a measure will pay for itself very quickly and will help change driver behaviour and improve road safety.

• Work with community and residents’ group to establish Community Speed Watch schemes in the borough: www.communityspeedwatch.org/

• Other local authorities are introducing ‘bus gates’ outside schools to limit vehicular through traffic to cycles and local buses at the start and end of the school day, with a fixed penalty for transgressors.

This would reduce the likelihood of other traffic speeding past schools when pupils are entering or exiting schools.

• Increase Community Concern speed enforcement sites.

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