“As councillors, we get so many complaints from frightened and angry residents about extreme speeding and overtaking”
Bedford residents took part in a peaceful demonstration on Saturday (September 30) as part of the national Safe Streets Now campaign.
The event, which took place on the Goldington Road pedestrian crossing near the junction with Caves Lane, was organised by Green councillors Lucy Bywater and Paul Edmonds.
Similar events happened at the same time in Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Liverpool, Norwich, Bristol, Sheffield, Oxford and London suburbs. The peaceful action involved campaigners crossing with the ‘green man’ each time a passing pedestrian or cyclist pressed the button and crossed.
This was accompanied by placards and signs such as ‘Toot if You Too Want Children to Get Safely to School’ and ‘Slow and Aware’ and included local residents, parents, school governors, a highways engineer and a town planner.
Cllr Lucy Bywater (Castle & Newnham ward) explained: “This was organised before Rishi Sunak’s recent comments regarding speed limits.
“As councillors, we get so many complaints from frightened and angry residents about extreme speeding and overtaking on Goldington Road.
“It’s not unusual to see +50 mph. The truth is that too many reckless motorists are reducing the freedom of others to walk and wheel safely. There have been reported near misses with cars and motorcycles jumping the lights where hundreds of children use the pelican crossing each day, and even cases of cars crashing into garden walls. This is not the only place it’s happening.”
She continued: “We’ve asked for speed data. We want police resources to enforce against this dangerous, criminal behaviour. We also need council resources for average speed cameras to bring speeds down.
“Evidence nationally is that the greater the speed, the more likelihood of road death”.
Those taking part included nearby resident Vicky, a Road Victims Trust counsellor.
She said: “I support victims of road collisions. Every week we contact victims, victims’ families and drivers who are in extreme distress”.
Local resident Zoe added: “We live on this road with our children and our dog. The speed of some cars and motorbikes is well over the limit and completely unacceptable. It’s anti-social. It’s dangerous. It has to stop.”
Saturday’s activity ended with a co-ordinated one minute’s silence at noon to remember UK road deaths which totalled 1,711 in 2022 with an additional 28,031 seriously injured.