Horncastle Town Council speed signs reveal series of ‘horrifying’ figures

The speed of traffic is an ongoing concern on several main roads in Horncastle - including Jubilee Way (pictured above).
The speed of traffic is an ongoing concern on several main roads in Horncastle - including Jubilee Way (pictured above).

Pressure is mounting for action to be taken to improve safety outside Banovallum School in Horncastle.

Figures released by the town council show almost half the vehicles on Boston Road, directly outside the school, failed to adhere to the 30mph speed limit in a six day period last April.

Horncastle Mayor Councillor Fiona Martin.

Horncastle Mayor Councillor Fiona Martin.

Speaking at a recent youth council meeting, Banovallum students called for a new zebra crossing, or the existing one moved from its current site near Stanhope Hall

Now, Banovallum head teacher Grant Edgar has backed the calls.

Mr Edgar told the News: “The traffic figures collected by the town council are worrying and raise concerns for the safety of students as they move to and from school.

“We support the town council in their desire to improve road safety in the town and would feel comforted by improved signage alerting drivers to the school’s location and in adding a pedestrian crossing nearer to the school.”

The speed sign data shows 21,802 vehicle movements were recorded in the six days the cameras was sited outside Banovallum School in April - an average of 3,633 a day.

While the average speed was 30.1mph, 10,5572 (48.49%) were breaking the 30 limit (48.49%).

The top speed recorded was 60mph.

The figures were discussed by councillors last month and Mayor Coun Fiona Martin supported a new crossing outside Banovallum - and a 20mph outside all the town’s schools.

Meanwhile, councillors admitted they were ‘horrified’ by some of the other figures recorded by the signs which are sited at various ‘hot spots’ in the town.

They showed the top speeds in several locations with a 40mph limit topped 70mph.

The ‘worst’ example was Spilsby Road where a vehicle was clocked at 78mph.

A large number of drivers (45.78%) exceeded the 30mph speed limit on Jubilee Way - again in April 2019.

Coun Richard Barker, a long-time campaigner for highways improvements in Horncastle, said: “I’m horrified by some of the speeds.

“We keep hearing speeding is not an issue in Horncastle, but clearly our own figures suggest otherwise.

“Some of the speeds are horrendous.”

Coun Alan Lockwood echoed Coun Barker’s comments and said the data supported his calls for all approach roads to Horncastle to have a 30 limit.

Coun Barker said the statistics should be sent to officials at Lincolnshire County Council - and the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership.

However, clerk Amanda Bushell informed councillors LCC that the county’s Road Safety Partnership would not use the figures to back calls for lower limits or new safety measures , because the signs are ‘not calibrated’ to the recognised standards.

Coun Barker said that was ‘ridiculous’ and indicated the ‘weight of evidence’ in the data should be recognised.

Councillors agreed to ‘maintain the pressure’ on LCC and also voted to introduce new locations for the signs - including Winceby Gardens.

Town councillors say they will continue to use the figures to oppose any ‘unsuitable’ planning applications in Horncastle.

Coun Brian Burbidge , chairman of the council’s planning committee, said he had used data to block plans for almost 100 new homes off Winceby gardens where residents have raised concerns about the speed and increase in traffic.

Mayor Coun Fiona Martin said she hoped the data for Mareham Road and Prospect Street would add the evidence collated in an on-going traffic management survey as part of plans for a new college and district council headquarters.

The list of concerns raised in the council statistics included:

• Spilsby Road (incoming) - a top speed of 78mph in May

• Spilsby Road (outside Shell Garage) - top speed of 72mph last April/May).

• Louth Road - a top speed of 70mph in August.

• Boston Road (outside Banovallum School) - a top speed of 60 in April.

• Langton Hill - a top speed of 69mph in September.

• Spilsby Road (outside doctors) - a top seed of 60mph in April (30mph limit).

• Boston Road (outside Banovallum School) - 10,572 (48.49%) of drivers exceeded 30mph limit in April (6 days).

• Hemingby Lane - 1,654 (48.17%) drivers exceeded 30mph limit in February (14 days).

• Jubilee Way - 25,414 (45.78%) drivers exceeded 30mph limit in April (9 days).

• Jubilee Way - 18,578 (43.33%) drivers exceeded 30mph limit in January (15 days).

At the other end of the scale, less than 1% of drivers were recorded breaking the 30mph limit on Stanhope Road in April.