Rugby’s Member of Parliament, Mark Pawsey, is calling on Warwickshire County Council to reduce the speed limit on Leicester Road around the recent development of Coton Park and Eden Park.
From the Brownsover roundabout at Elliott’s Field Retail Park, the speed limit rises to 60mph as the Leicester Road leads out of Rugby and towards Junction 1 of the M6. This section of road is heavily used by both commuters and HGVs because of Rugby’s place at the crossroads of the motorway network.
The situation was drawn to Mark’s attention by local resident John Greer, who was concerned about the increased traffic on the road and the danger it poses to pedestrians who use the footpath. Mark raised Mr Greer’s concerns with Warwickshire County Council, who responding to these concerns by saying that “the existing 60mph limit at this location is suitable for the environment.”
Mark challenged this decision by Warwickshire County Council, highlighting that in recent years, much of the land around Leicester Road has seen significant development. There has been residential expansion of Coton Park and Eden Park as well as expansion at Central Park industrial estate, which now also includes Rugby Free Primary School. This has led to increased use of the pedestrian footpaths, particularly to access the bus stops on this section of the road. It is also a route used by pedestrians wishing to visit Elliot’s Field retail park.
Warwickshire County Council have subsequently further reiterated their belief that “the character of this strategic route into Rugby has not changed in recent years,” and that they will not make the changes to the speed limit on the Leicester Road. Mark intends to continue to press the County Council on this issue and will be working with the elected members of the County Council to challenge this decision.
Mark has recently been to Leicester Road, and commented:
“I am disappointed that Warwickshire County Council do not share the concerns of myself and local residents regarding the speed limit on Leicester Road. Having walked down the footpath myself, it is clear that the speed of the traffic is inappropriate given the increasing use of this road. I am also extremely concerned that Warwickshire County Council’s policy is to not make any adjustments to speed limits until incidents have occurred, rather than seeking to take preventative measures in areas where there is a clear risk of harm.”
“With a relatively narrow footpath and no traffic barriers around, there is a clear risk for pedestrians on Leicester Road. The number of residents using the footpath has increased dramatically as Coton Park and Eden Park have been developed, along with a greater volume of traffic following the re-opening of Elliott’s Field.”
“The character of the Leicester Road has changed in recent years thanks to this development and the previous speed limit of 60mph is no longer appropriate. Because of the large numbers of roundabouts on this stretch of road, there is also a tendency for traffic to speed up and slow down over short distances, further adding to the risk of an incident. I have therefore written to the Portfolio Holder for Transport & Planning, Cllr Peter Butlin, and the County Councillor for Brownsover, Cllr Alan Webb, asking them for their support in reducing the speed.”
Local resident John Greer, who lives on Eden Park just off Leicester Road, brought the issue of the speed of traffic to Mark’s attention and added:
“It is clear to me that a simple reduction in the speed limit from 60mph to 40mph would be a low cost step to greatly improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists on Leicester Road. I’m very pleased that Mark is taking this matter seriously and pressing the County Council on this important issue, especially as the footpath is now more frequently used by young children.”