Driver clocked travelling at more than 50mph in Stansted Mountfitchet - in same spot where teenager was killed

PUBLISHED: 09:10 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:10 07 September 2018

Silver Street, Stansted Mountfitchet.

Silver Street, Stansted Mountfitchet.

Archant

A member of the speed watch team in Stansted Mountfitchet is urging drivers to slow down after clocking a driver travelling at 53mph in the same spot where a teenage girl was knocked down and killed a few years ago.

Silver Street, Stansted Mountfitchet.Silver Street, Stansted Mountfitchet.

Ray Woodcock said 276 vehicles had been caught travelling at an average speed of 38mph since June 21, where the speed limit is 30mph.

In those two months, five vehicles were recording travelling at more than 50mph.

On July 17 alone, the speed watch team clocked 35 vehicles - nine vehicles were driving at 40mph or faster and the vehicle travelling at 53mph was also spotted.

“We do not have enough volunteers,” Ray said. “Speed watch is so critical. These drivers know they are in a 30mph zone, which is very clear on the signs as you come into the village and all the way through and from our signs when we are doing the speed watch.

Silver Street, Stansted Mountfitchet.Silver Street, Stansted Mountfitchet.

“One driver was doing more than 50mph, very close to where a 13-year-old girl was knocked down and killed about three or four years ago and that driver was doing 37mph.”

Ray believes speed cameras would be useless because drivers only slow down for the camera before speeding up again.

Instead, he thinks speed bumps or chicanes would be effective - but first they need support from Essex Highways.

In 2012, Ray carried out a survey of more than 80 people in Lower Street, used by lots of children, to find out if they felt safe crossing the road and if a pedestrian crossing was needed. He found that 95 per cent of respondents believed a crossing should be installed. A county councillor helped Ray set up a meeting with Essex Highways to propose the crossing and they agreed to it.

“And we are still waiting,” Ray said. “They will just say they don’t have the funding. So the point is, we gather all the evidence needed to make changes, Essex Highways say they are listening and can help, but then they never follow through and implement it.

“It takes years to make them listen in the first place and then even more years to implement something. It’s more than frustrating.”

Essex Highways did carry out a survey on the number of vehicles driving through the village in 2016 - it found that in a 16-hour period, 17,000 vehicles passed through Silver Street and 10,000 in Cambridge Road.

Ray said all this evidence and information will help when proposing speed reduction measures in the village.

“That schoolgirl could still be here today if that driver was doing 30mph, rather than 37mph. It makes a difference.

“If anyone believes that schoolgirl is to blame, you are wrong. She may have been rushing home after getting off the bus, but that speeding driver killed her.

“Her parents were so devastated, they couldn’t go past the spot where their child was killed so they had to move away.

“And you just don’t know, if she had survived, she may have grown up to be a big help in solving this problem. She had her whole life ahead of her.

“I speak about this in the hope that somebody is listening. But sadly, it seems nobody cares until it happens to them.”

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: “Unfortunately getting this crossing agreed and built has proved a protracted process.

“There is developer funding available under a previous planning agreement. When the first design was put forward, it was objected to by Essex Police as not taking into account local parking which would make it potentially unsafe.

“A second proposal included removing the parking, but that was objected to by several local businesses who feared loss of custom without the parking spaces.

“Essex Highways is now engaged in producing a third proposal which will take into account these issues. The matter is being progressed and is likely to be published for local views this year.”

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