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14/3/07 – Residents are over their hump

Dale Heenan
  • On March 14, 2007

First printed in the Swindon Advertiser on 14th March 2007.

CAMPAIGNERS have won their fight to have speed humps removed from Covingham.

And they will have a major say on what traffic-calming measures will be used in their place.

The news comes after residents voted overwhelmingly to remove the area’s current traffic-calming measures at two public consultations in November, including a controversial speed table in Kingfisher Drive.

Vehicle-activated speed signs, rumble strips and special gateways with associated speed limits will all come under the microscope at two further consultations at the end of the month.

Cllr Glenn Smith

Coun Glen Smith (Con, Covingham and Nythe) campaigned to have the meetings following years of traffic chaos.

He has been working with fellow ward councillors Phil Young and Dale Heenan on solving Covingham’s traffic problems.

He said: “It was clear from the November meetings that the residents did not like the humps, speed table and chicanes and I am pleased to say the proposals do not feature any of them.

“With such strong feelings against the current scheme, I have arranged for the speed table on Kingfisher Drive to be removed before June.

“The intention then is to change the rest of the scheme in line with the proposed plans following this round of consultation and the completion of the borough-wide Traffic Calming Review later in the year.”

Speed humps were installed in Covingham in 2002, in spite of objections from residents.

In 2004, 20 small humps were removed from Covingham Road and speed-activated signs to mark the 20mph speed limit were installed instead.

In spite of the changes to some streets, others still have the controversial humps.

Residents say vibrations from cars going over them shake their homes and claim the humps themselves damage vehicles.

But Hugh Hamilton, of St Katharine’s Green, says that the council should never have installed the speed table in Kingfisher Drive in the first place.

He believes that pedestrian crossings would be an ideal way of slowing traffic down.

And he accused the council of wasting taxpayers’ money by employing traffic experts Halcrow to come up with alternative traffic-calming solutions.

“We went through all of this three and a half years ago,” said the 68-year-old.

“They take all of this time to come to this conclusion, using outside consultants and costing us the taxpayer more money.

“We have gone round and round in circles. We said the speed table was not a good idea yet they still went ahead with it.

“I have never been against traffic calming. What I was against was a speed table that made our lives a misery.”

The two public consultations will be held at St Paul’s Church, Covingham on Friday, March 30 between 5pm and 8pm, and on Saturday, March 31 between 9.30am and 1pm.

Residents are welcome to drop in for an informal chat, or to complete a questionnaire on what they like and do not like about the proposed scheme.

3:34pm Tuesday 13th March 2007

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