Councillors to fight blocked speed limit bid outside Eckington School

Eckington parish council has pledged to follow up on traffic safety concerns after a bid to reduce the speed outside a local school was denied.

Councillors discussed the proposed change, which would reduce the speed limit at Main Road Marsh Lane to 40mph from 60mph on the approach to Eckington School, at a meeting yesterday.

Derbyshire County Councillor Brian Ridgway said: “It’s a surprise to me that the police have taken the change in speed limit out of the overall equation. We will thoroughly examine the rationale behind this decision, speak to the police again, and work alongside the local community to campaign for change.

“I know that local residents are very, very concerned about it.”

Cllr Ridgway said Derbyshire Police denied the road traffic regulation order because they do not think lowering the speed limit would have any impact on safety outside the school.

Marsh Lane and Ridgeway Councillor Andy Dye said: “It would make a big difference to safety outside the school, especially at closing time when there are cars parked outside the school and up on the pavement.

“It’s really very short-sighted – it only takes one accident to cause absolute carnage.”

Eckington School has around 1,600 pupils, and is designated a specialist engineering college.

Marsh Lane resident Margaret Fry said that although there is a speed camera near the school, many drivers ignore the limit and risk a speeding ticket.

The 73-year-old said: “It’s definitely a concern in our community. I live right above that road, up on the hill, and I see people come flying round the bend into the 30 – they all look like they’re averaging much higher than that. It’s because it’s downhill into the 30, people speed up then have to slam on their brakes before the school.”

She added: “There needs to be a change, it’s not safe as it is.”

According to statistics from Derbyshire County Council, 35 people were killed on the county’s roads in 2016, and 355 were badly injured.

A spokeswoman for Derbyshire Police declined to comment on the decision.