Speed concerns on through road

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A POPULAR thoroughfare used by hundreds of school children has been deemed a potential death trap by a concerned Brechin resident.

John Philp, of Brechin’s Latch Road, has been so concerned about the speed of traffic travelling along St Andrew’s Street he contacted Angus Council who set up a speed check.

The results of the speed check came back as drivers having an average speed of 27.5mph.

However, after probing the council for more deeper analysis of the results he found that there were still hundreds of drivers a day were travelling above the speed limit.

“We live on Latch Road, right across from St Andrew’s Street. You have Maisondieu Primary School up St Andrews Street and at lunch-time a considerable amount of high school pupils come down Provost Road cross Latch Road and down St Andrews Street to the centre of town for their lunch and then do the same thing after school, so there is quite a lot of child traffic.

“Where we are, we have to park the car on the road as there is no off-road parking, which creates a bottle neck at the junction.

“We work with the Cats Protection and so we have quite a few cats. All of a sudden we lost two.

“Out of respect for the cats and as a matter of principle we thought we would see what we could do here.”

With John working from home he has become so aware of the speed of vehicles travelling on Latch Road he contacted the council informing them how he felt there was an accident, involving children, waiting to happen.

“The average speed is high throughout the day, as well as the evening and it is not just boy racers,” continued John.

“The council agreed to put up a black box, for one week in January, and they found the average speed to be 27.5 mph.

“That statistic on it own doesn’t sound too bad but I requested further details from the council and found out that they recorded 10,000 cars passing in one week. I asked them also for the statistic of how many of them were going over 30 mph.

“Over the week there was 2831 cars going past St Andrews Street at over 30mph. That is 28% or 400 a day.

“Of those drivers,114 a week were travelling over 50 mph. That is 16 drivers a day.

“On a daily basis you have 16 chances to be hit by a fatal speed and 400 chances to be hit by a car travelling over 30 mph.

“You can break down this statistics further as a lot of those cars will be going below 30 mph but there will also be a lot of vehicles passing that sign that are coming to a stop, or just starting up. If you took all of these cars out of the statistics then the average speed of 27.5 mph would not be the average speed of drivers on that road.

“We told the council that we were worried about the number of chances there are to be hit and also that there is a high percentage chance that it will be a child who is hit.

“I have asked the council to progress matters but have been told that no permanent traffic measures will be put in until there is a really nasty accident because that is the rules.

“That will be government rules rather than someone in the local council.

“There is no chance of getting speed bumps or 20 mph speed limit flashing signs being erected as Maisondieu and the High School’s main gates are too far away from this junction.”

The findings of the speed checks have left John concerned about the lack of speed calming measures around St Andrews Street.

“Due to the number of children in the area I would have hoped that speed calming measures, even the cheapest of speed bumps to slow the traffic down at the bottle neck, would be extremely useful, unless they could sort off-street parking or make the road clearer because at this moment it is just a black spot.”

A spokesperson from Angus Council explained that following analysis of the roads divisions accident data base there were no plans to introduce traffic calming on Latch Road.

“The road division’s speed detection device was located on Latch Road, Brechin opposite Argyll Street from January 5 to January 11, 2012 and recorded a total of 9099 vehicles. The average speed of vehicles during this period was 27.3mph and the 85th percentile speed (the speed at which 85% of vehicles travel) was 33.7mph.

“27% of the total number of vehicles recorded were travelling in excess of 30mph. 5% of the total number of vehicles recorded were travelling in excess of 36mph. Less than 1% of all vehicles were found to be travelling greater than 50mph.

“An analysis of the roads division’s accident data base showed that there have been no recorded injury accidents on Latch Road over the past three years. There are currently no plans to introduce traffic calming on Latch Road, Brechin.”