Shepton Mallet drivers must slow down or children may be killed
Shepton Mallet residents calling for curbs on speeding motorists have been left asking which is more important: money or a life?
Emma Challis, who lives in Kingsland Road, on the Ridgeway estate, believes that if something is not done to force drivers to slow down it could be a child that is knocked down next. Miss Challis’s ten-year-old cat, Boy, was run over outside her home in January and she is so concerned about the dangers of the road that she attended a Shepton Mallet Town Council meeting to raise the problem.
Miss Challis has been a veterinary nurse for 20 years and says her cat’s injuries were very severe, suggesting that he was hit by a car travelling at speed. She is not the only person raising fears about speeding motorists.
One town centre businessman, who has asked not to be named, claims boy racers are bringing misery to town centre car parks at night. But when police arrive they have vanished.
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Miss Challis says it is not just boy racers who are causing problems in her road, drivers of all ages are taking the road too fast.
“They come round the corner into our road, see a straight stretch of road and put their foot down,” she said. “It is bad in the evenings when the boy racers are out, but mature drivers are doing it as well. Just the other day a car zoomed past and it was a middle-aged lady driving.”
Miss Challis says measures are needed which will force drivers to slow down and holds the Tadley Acres estate up as a good example of how to reduce speeds.
“There they have raised areas at junctions, and cobbles which slow people down. We need something permanent here that people can’t ignore – something which gives them no choice but to slow down.”
Miss Challis said that councillors were sympathetic but they warned her that lack of money is likely to be a stumbling block.
She responded by saying: “Money, or a life?”
Town councillor Garfield Kennedy agreed it was an ongoing problem that had to be addressed before there was a fatal accident, “although the death of a much loved cat must also be taken very seriously too.”
Town, district and county councillor John Parham said that the highways agency did not like speed humps because they caused problems for emergency vehicles and could be noisy with cars accelerating after negotiating the humps.
Deputy chairman, Bente Height, said that officers had assured her that the police had been in the area with speed guns and that a CCTV camera was to be put on the Ridgeway Estate.