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Residents on St Stephen street claim speeding drivers are putting lives at risk

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: August 30, 2014

30mph

30mph

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PEOPLE living on a street in St Stephen say reckless motorists have turned it into a raceway, and fear it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt – perhaps even killed.

Residents on Hillhead claim drivers regularly flaunt its 30mph speed limit, tearing down the narrow street at breakneck speeds.

One couple even had their car written off while it was parked outside their house, only for the culprit to drive off without a trace.

Deborah Antonio, 46, lives on the street with her three children and said the situation was getting worse.

"It's ridiculous," she said.

"It's even worse at night. It sounds like a dual carriageway because people drive down here so fast. We've complained to the police until we're blue in the face, but no one seems to listen."

Deborah said she even prevented her 13-year-old autistic daughter, Olivia, from crossing the street to stroke horses living in the field opposite for fear of her being knocked over.

"She loves horses, but I have to tell her she can't go out alone because I'm worried something terrible will happen. They come down here so fast. One second there's nothing there, the next there's a car doing 60mph," she said.

In some sections Hillhead has no pavement and high walls on either side, meaning pedestrians have to walk around parked cars.

Retired couple Ed and Les Hackworth have lived on the street for 11 years. Mrs Hackworth said lives were being put at risk.

"It's definitely getting worse," she said. "I feel sorry for dog walkers or people trying to go down to the park – it's just not safe. Cars park down one side, and they have to walk around them into the middle of the road."

Police previously responded to residents' complaints by setting up a temporary speed trap, but by law are required to be clearly visible to the public and the target vehicle throughout the check.

"They came down in big fluorescent jackets and parked their car on the road," said Mrs Hackworth, "then said there was no problem when people slowed down.

"Well, is it any wonder they slowed down? As soon as they'd gone it was back to normal."

Mrs Antonio said neighbours had begun beeping their car horns at speeding drivers, or flagging them down from the side of the road to ask them to slow down – but the response is often hostile.

"I've had people swear at me and stick their fingers up," she said. "My neighbours have had the same thing happen."

Now fed-up residents are joining together in asking the police and local council to install traffic-calming measures.

"There are lots of kids around here and someone's going to get hurt," Mrs Antonio said. "Is that what it will take before someone does something? We need cameras or speed bumps."

Cornwall councillor Fred Greenslade said he had advised Mrs Antonio to speak to her local police support officer about the problem, but cautioned that speed bumps were not always the best solution.

"They've been put in in other places and they've made things worse," he said. "Lorries going over them tend to make a terrible noise."

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2 comments

  • kh1001  |  September 02 2014, 10:49AM

    This problem continues into St Stephen village along Trethosa Road where there is a primary school. Because the road is fairly straight cars often speed as fast as 60mph. We have complained to both the police and Cornwall Council in order to get this stretch of road (from the primary school towards Hillhead) lowered to 20mph but nothing ever happens.

  • josdave  |  August 30 2014, 11:58AM

    Speed bumps only inconvenience the law abiding majority. They need covert cameras and it sounds like they would generate a large income from that. Cameras that can be seen only means they slow down in sight of the camera and then it's foot down again. Covert cameras are better.

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