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Petition campaign launched after car crash in Ley Hill near Chesham
THE death of a six-year-old boy in a car crash has prompted a concerned resident to launch a safety awareness campaign.
Jamie Sutton, a pupil at Waterside School in Chesham, died in the accident along Botley Road in Ley Hill on Friday, September 13.
Although there is currently no suggestion speed was a factor in the accident leading to Jamie's death, the tragedy prompted Deborah Barton to revisit long-held safety fears about the stretch and set up an online petition to change the speed limit.
The mum-of-two's petition calls for a speed limit of 40mph to be introduced along Botley Road, which currently has no restrictions on it.
A dip in the road, which Mrs Barton said suffers from poor drainage and can ground lorries trying to use it, marks the border between Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire County Council areas and she has approached both authorities about changing the limit.
Mrs Barton said: "Everybody knows it as a notorious bit of road.
"We get cars flying past our gates. You can hear people put their foot down because they think it's safe to go 60 when it isn't at all. I go down there every day but I would never go anywhere near 60, it's reckless. You regularly have to slow down because of somebody at the bottom of the dip in the road.
"I think 40 is OK because you can take evasive action."
The petition started by the 43-year-old solicitor has so far been signed by nearly 200 people after going live on Sunday.
Buckinghamshire County Council said there is no dedicated money set aside for changes to speed limits following a recent review, with funding either arranged through parish or town councils or Local Area Forums.
It is estimated any change will cost between £5,000 and £7,000.
County guidelines state: "Anyone requesting a speed limit change will need to gain support from their local parish/town council. The local council can then apply for the speed limit request to be assessed, to see if it is appropriate for the road. There will be a fee charged to cover the work required.
"If the requested change is acceptable in terms of the national speed limit guidance, then the local community will be given an estimate of the cost of making the change and can decide whether or not to proceed with it."
To sign the petition go to http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/hertfordshire-county-council-buckinghamshire-county-council-and-ley-hill-latimer-parish-council-reduce-the-speed-limit-along-the-whole-length-of-ley-hill-road-western-avenue-to-a-maximum-of-40mph.
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