Call for action to stop dangerous driving in village street

RESIDENTS are calling for action to stop dangerous driving in a village street after a girl had a close call with a car that mounted the pavement.

Cars are regularly driven on the pavement in Bassingbourn High Street due to the impact of vehicles parked on the other side of the road.

Bassingbourn resident Vic Nickson contacted the Crow after an incident last week in which a girl was almost involved in a collision with a car near the village war memorial.

He said: “A mother-of-two returning from the pre-school centre and walking with her children, one in a pushchair, on the pavement near the pharmacy realised just in time that a car, travelling west towards the war memorial end of the High Street, had moved up quickly onto the pavement and was travelling at speed towards her.

“Fortunately, she managed to grab her little girl’s hand and pull her out of the way to one side. In doing so the child fell over badly onto her face suffering damage to her nose, teeth and gums and other skin abrasions.

“This malpractice by a number of the motorists passing through the High Street is raising an outcry in the village for the pressing need for an improved deterrence to motorists on that part of the pavement.”

Mr Nickson, who is a member of the Cambridgeshire Neighbourhood Watch Executive Group, believes installing bollards, such as those already present on a short stretch of the High Street, could be a potential solution.

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He said: “It is clear there is a real need now to extend the use of this deterrent to motorists with more bollards or railings at selective points further along this section of the pavement.

“The view of many is that, though it may not be pretty, this is a quick and very effective remedy which will instantly stop motorists from taking risks with pedestrians.

“I recognise the argument that placing these restrictions along parts of the pavement is likely to impact adversely on the traffic congestion at peak times during school commuter periods. However, I suggest that the congestion is much to be preferred to the alternative of risk of any further injury to pedestrians.”

Cllr Linda Oliver, Bassingbourn’s county councillor, has been leading the fight for improvements to the High Street. But she warned there is “no easy solution” to the problem.

She said: “I’ve had two ‘High Street’ meetings in the last couple of weeks, which have been very constructive. The basic problem is the quantity of traffic that uses the High Street at the start and end of the school day.’’

Cllr Oliver said she had spoken to the schools, and plans to meet with businesses in the village to try and come up with ways to encourage staff to use alternative modes of transport where possible.

She added: “What we have to bear in mind is that a lot of residents in the High Street don’t have driveways or garages, so have to park on the road. There is no easy solution.”

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