A campaign by residents to reduce the speed of traffic they say is using their village as a “cut through” has seen a new speed awareness sign installed.
People living in Blackfordby, near Ashby, complain that some motorists are choosing to drive through the village as a shortcut to avoid the busy A511.
They claim that too many are breaking the 30mph speed limit – with one driver clocked at 68mph – along a narrow road which is used by pupils attending St Margaret’s C of E Primary School.
A speed awareness sign which flashes up vehicle speeds as they pass has now been installed in Heath Lane, writes DerbyshireLive.
The solar-powered speed awareness sign replaces an old battery-operated one.
The leader of Ashby Town Council, Councillor John Coxon said that while no deaths have occurred on the lane, it was often used by walkers, children going to the local junior school and horse riders.
He said: “August was the first month of this new speed sign and still in both the Covid-19 lockdown period and school and work summer holidays the volume of traffic was noticeably reduced.
“Yet, during its first two weeks of operation it has recorded 64 vehicles in excess of 35mph, of these 47 were over 40 mph and a maximum of 68 mph (a previous sign recorded close to 80mph).
“Heath Lane is a narrow country road between the main A511 Burton to Leicester road and is the primary route in to the village of Blackfordby for traffic from the Leicester direction, it is also an alternate route avoiding frequent heavy congestion closer to Swadlincote for traffic travelling to and from the villages of Moira and Donisthorpe.
“There is a mix of houses at each end with a winding quarter-mile country lane between. The pavement is only on one side, is narrow and often restricted by hedge growth.
“The lane is frequently used by walkers, children going to the local junior school and horse riders.”
Heath Lane was one of the three main routes through the village where a Community Speed Watch radar campaign was carried out last summer.
He added: “I am very pleased that the town council was able to support campaigners in Blackfordby with financial assistance to purchase and install the solar-powered speed awareness camera.
“There has been a real problem with vehicles speeding through the village for many years.
“Although the camera will not eliminate the problem, it will go some-way to making drivers more aware of their speed and provide important information and data which can be passed onto Leicestershire police.”
Local residents Simon Best, Lawrie Newton and Brian Hammond have been monitoring speeding issues in the lane.
Mr Best, who lives in Heath Lane, has been one of the main campaigners for the installation of the speed awareness sign.
He said: “Everyone connected with the campaign to reduce the speed of vehicles through the village is really pleased that the impact of the speed awareness camera has had.
“There has been a marked reduction of the number of vehicles speeding up and down Heath Lane. The camera produces a lot of very accurate data which is shared with the town council and Leicestershire police.”
Councillor Gill Hoult the ward member for Blackfordby, added: “There is a real community effort behind this initiative to reduce speeding through the village and I am very pleased that their efforts are being rewarded.
“The issue of vehicles travelling too quickly for the road conditions has plagued Blackfordby, and many other rural communities for too long, so it is great to see some action to try and address the problem.”