On Wednesday 10th December, Northfield and Bearwood residents plagued by speeding traffic outside their homes will be lining the streets and waving placards saying ‘Kill Your Speed, Not My Child’; and ‘Twenty Now!’, urging drivers to cut their speed as part of the National Day of Action on Traffic Speed.

Barbara Platts of Poplar Road, Anderson and Drayton Roads Residents Association (PADRA) said:

“Poplar Road in Bearwood is a narrow one-way street which suffers from rat running and speeding. No-one leaves their house on a car journey thinking that they are going to injure a pedestrian, but if you do not leave enough time for your journey you will be tempted to speed and put lives at risk. The UK has some of the highest pedestrian casualty rates in Europe. Please think and kill your speed, not a child.” [1]

Brian Jewkes of Quarry lane, Verstone Croft and Winchester Gardens Resident’s Association (Quaverwin) said:

“Quarry Lane has two serious bends, four hidden exits, dangerously wrong cambers and only one footpath along half its length .There’s no room to manoeuvre. With the speeds most drivers go at, an accident here would have horrendous consequences. This is a very dangerous road”

Tony Field of Great Stone Road Residents commented:

"Traffic whizzes along our road with some cars reaching nearly 70mph in certain places. We have asked for a 20mph speed limit but unfortunately the council have told us they are unable to do this. We think a speed camera is needed to better enforce the 30mph speed limit with signs painted on the road to remind people. If nothing is done we fear its only a matter of time before somebody is injured or killed."

Martin Stride of Birmingham Friends of the Earth said:

“People are fed up with speeding traffic on their roads. Excessive speed is a factor in two thirds of all fatal road accidents; rat running, speeding, traffic noise and pollution are making our neighbourhoods dangerous and unpleasant places to be. This day of action will leave speeders in no doubt that their recklessness will not be tolerated. It will also let local councils see that people want more and tougher measures brought in to slow traffic down.” [2]

Beryl Wells, local Transport 2000 campaigner, said:

"There are hundreds of roads in Birmingham and Sandwell where residents feel threatened by the speed of the traffic outside their homes. Each year more than 600 people are killed or seriously injured on city roads. If a pedestrian is hit by a car travelling at 35mph their chance of survival is half what it would be if the car was travelling at 30mph. People may be certain that they themselves are a safe driver but there are hazards on roads which no one can predict or react to in time.”

Council data for Great Stone Road reveals that 15% of traffic travels down this residential street at speeds of over 34 mph.

Transport 2000 and the Slower Speeds Initiative3 are co-ordinating the nation-wide day of action are calling for tougher enforcement of speed limits and a default 20mph speed limit on residential roads.[4] In Birmingham, the local Friends of the Earth and Transport 2000 groups have been working with residents for the day of action.

Editor's Notes

[1] Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for children aged one to 14 years of age (Source: Friends of the Earth).

[2] Speed limits of 20mph on residential roads are favoured by 79 per cent of people. Speed humps are supported by 60 per cent (Source: National Travel Survey 1998/2000).

[3] Transport 2000’s Streets for People is a network which provides support information and resources to communities with traffic problems. For more information visit www.transport2000.org.uk

[4] The proportion of cars exceeding the 30mph speed limit in urban areas is 69 per cent. (Source: Transport 2000).