Urgent rethink is needed over road safety measures

The B6054 is the main route from Dronfield into the Peak district. It carries several thousand vehicles every day.

In common with similar roads elsewhere in Derbyshire, speeding is an ongoing problem for residents and more importantly, for children who attend Holmesfield Penny Acres Primary School.

Two years ago, I was a parish councillor and a member of the Speedwatch team, and in one memorable day, three of us recorded 61 vehicles exceeding 35 mph in the 30 mph zone, in a period of 90 minutes.

It is unfortunate that the only clear length of straight road in the parish is adjacent to Penny Acres School, and drivers know that if they fail to overtake here, they will be unable to do so until they reach open country beyond Owler Bar.

Last autumn, I submitted an application via Natascha Engel MP, to Derbyshire County Council, for a refuge/island to be placed in the road near the school. This would, I felt, be instrumental in reducing speed of vehicles and prevent overtaking. In turn, Mrs Engel, the county councillor, the district councillor, the Holmesfield Parish Council and the head teacher of Penny Acres School have all told me they support my initiative without reservation.

I am told by the head teacher at Penny Acres that the majority of children are brought to school by car because the parents fear for the safety of the children walking along the pavement and having to cross the busy road.

The county council has, nonetheless, decided not to approve the content of my suggestion and have given mainly spurious reasons for doing so. I think the main reason is lack of funds in the current financial climate.

The police have told me – off the record – that a death, or a serious injury would alter the situation overnight, and I believe them.

Recently yet another vehicle went out of control, demolishing another section of stone wall, 100 yards from the school.

I think Derbyshire County Council has failed to understand the seriousness of the situation in this area, and should reconsider its decision.