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Drivers still speeding across Hungerford Common despite speed limit drop

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Some motorists are still barrelling across Hungerford Common at speeds of 60mph and even more, town councillors have heard.

A recent meeting of the council's highways and transport committee was told, in a report from the Town & Manor of Hungerford, that there have been incidents of pedestrians, cyclists and dogs being struck by vehicles, as well as cattle.

After years of campaigning by the town council, West Berkshire Council has agreed to reduce the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph from this month.

Hungerford Common
Hungerford Common

A petition in support of reducing the speed limit had previously attracted nearly 1,000 signatures.

But the Town & Manor reported to the committee that a "small minority" of drivers were still recklessly ignoring the rules and speeding at up to 60mph.

Previously the licensee of The Downgate at the top of Park Street, Lauren Weir, has warned that speeding vehicles had been taking chunks out of the concrete posts by the cattle grid outside her pub.

She said some vehicles had been driving at speeds of up to 80mph across the common and there have been numerous incidents of cattle being struck and either injured or killed.

Town mayor Helen Simpson has warned: “Incidents like that have caused the Town & Manor a large financial loss.

“Residents are extremely concerned a pedestrian could be the next victim.”

The charity's chief executive, Ellie Dickins, said any measures to deter this behaviour would be welcome.

District councillor James Cole (Con, Hungerford and Kintbury) told the meeting that West Berkshire Council, as the highways authority, would be more likely to be receptive to proposed traffic calming measures than a further speed limit reduction to 20mph.

It was agreed to establish a working party to arrange the use of speed indication devices (SIDs) to collect evidence in support of traffic calming measures.

The working party will be comprised of town councillors, members of the Town & Manor of Hungerford and any interested members of the public.

In addition, it was resolved that a moveable vehicle activated sign should be bought, with a financial contribution from the Town & Manor of Hungerford.

Two years ago district councillor James Cole (Con, Hungerford and Kintbury) had warned that efforts to reduce the speed limit to 20mph or to introduce traffic calming measures, would take time to grind through the highways' authorities inner workings.

He said: "I see this as a slowly, slowly approach."

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