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by Tim Lamden
Friday, January 3, 2014
Campaigners claim new road signs at a notorious accident black spot at the border between Camden and Barnet have created a “death trap” for children at nearby schools.
Camden Council recently introduced 20mph speed limit signs outside the Old Bull and Bush pub in North End Way, Hampstead, as part of a new borough-wide 20mph limit.
This was quickly followed by the arrival of new 30mph signs further down the road – across the border with Barnet – in North End Road, Golders Green.
Resident Katherine Travers said these new one-way 30mph signs are encouraging drivers to speed up as they enter Barnet from Camden travelling towards King Alfred School, in North End Road.
The road has seen numerous accidents in recent years, including the deaths of two pedestrians in 2004 and 2007.
Mother-of-two Ms Travers, of North End Road, has started a campaign calling on Barnet Council to drop the 30mph limit to 20mph.
She said the new 30mph signs – the national speed limit for built-up areas – are particularly dangerous as they are located shortly before a pedestrian crossing.
She said: “Now we’ve got big bright signs for 30mph – the instruction is to speed up. Someone has died on that zebra crossing before.
“It is a death trap. It’s really unacceptable, especially because there are so many children using this road. The children from Clowns Nursery School use the zebra crossing to get to Golders Hill Park.”
The changes follow Camden Council’s decision last year to introduce a 20mph borough-wide speed limit in a bid to reduce traffic accidents.
Barnet Council has not introduced a similar scheme.
Ms Travers has obtained data from the Met Police, through a Freedom of Information request, showing there have been 56 road traffic accidents in North End Road in the last six years. Of these, 24 caused injury to people.
She has set up an online petition calling on Barnet Council to reduce the speed limit in North End Road to 20mph and is aiming for 2,000 signatures.
Cllr Phil Jones, Camden Council’s cabinet member for sustainability, transport and planning, said the council was “obliged” to introduce the new 30mph signs in Barnet to “sign the change in speed limits as they change from 20mph to 30mph”.
He added: “We need to ensure signage is appropriate for all locations, particularly near schools, so we will be looking into this issue as a matter of priority.”
Barnet Council was unavailable for comment.
To sign Ms Travers’ petition, visit petitions.barnet.gov.uk/20mphNW11