Darwen residents’ anger with ‘Home Zone’ car speeders

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Residents in the Hindle Street and Harwood Street areas of Darwen say they have been putting up with the issue of drivers flying through their family neighbourhood at high speeds for more than five years.

Children in the area use the streets, designated a Home Zone, to play but one parent now feels it’s “only a matter of time” before there is a serious incident.

Home Zones are defined as places where people could be using the road for a range of activities, such as children playing or for a community event.

READ MORE: 8,480 motorists convicted of speeding offences last year

Jason Hopson, who lives in Queen Street, a small road running between Hindle Street and Harwood Street, said residents have repeatedly gone to the council about the issue but nothing has been done to help them.

He said: “We live in a family zone, so there are always kids playing on the street.

“Impatient drivers decide to use our street but, rather than take their time, they fly down it. Quite a few boy racers have started doing it recently as well.

“This issue has been going on for five or six years. We said to the council we want to put some bollards on one half of the street.

“They said it would limit emergency services access but there’s no way it would stop them.

“All the residents have asked about it to councillors and one replied saying somebody would have to die before they did something about it.

“Where do we stand? It would stop this rat run and people thinking it’s acceptable to speed down. There’s plenty of kids here that play football because it’s a safe environment.

“Some person will come speeding along, one of the kids will run out for the football and they’ll get cracked.”

That issue was almost a reality for Jason, whose 11-year-old daughter had to jump out of the way of a speeding Audi when she went to retrieve a football.

He said: “My daughter is 11 so she’s plenty road safe, but there’s kids now who are starting to play out for the first time who are only five or six.

READ MORE: Bacup primary school pupils discuss concerns on road safety

“We’ve got a toddler and she’s just started playing out with her mum. Obviously we supervise her but it’s not going to make a difference if somebody is doing 40mph down the street.

“They’ve been doing it more and more and it’s just a matter of time [until something happens].”

Cllr David Smith (Darwen West, Labour) said: “There’s some planters along there that have been hit three or four times by irresponsible drivers. It is a problem.

“People drive fast on every road, it’s a problem everywhere. It’s a Home Zone and people are supposed to drive slowly but some do drive particularly quick through there.”

Head of Highways at Blackburn with Darwen Council, Carmel Foster-Devine, said: “We’re always happy to listen to residents’ concerns and safer neighbourhoods are a priority for us.

“If you would like to discuss the issue of speeding in the area, please get in touch with us so that we can find out more and prevent any dangerous situations from arising.”


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