ePetition details

Speed Limit on Stansted Road B1502

We the undersigned petition the County Council to Revise speed limits, add pathway barriers and/or install a “Pegasus Crossing” with additional cautionary signs.

Horse riding is a healthy and therapeutic sport and Hertfordshire has wonderful countryside, it’s just a shame that concrete and cars are prohibiting the freedom to enjoy it. Horses and their riders are among the most vulnerable groups of road users, and I am writing to outline the dangers of Stansted Road B1502, postcode SG12 9RS. I therefore urge you to revise the speed limit, add pathway barriers and/or a Pegasus crossing with the addition of signage.
 
I have tried numerous times to ride my horses from Gypsy Lane to Wood Hill Livery yard (and vice versa) seeking access to the bridleway for Hertford Heath and have found this to be a very risky and stressful experience.
 
Whilst there is a sign at the end of Gypsy Lane stating Roadside verge path for horses and riders to bridleway 17, this supposed ‘’verge path’’ is facing on-coming traffic immediately after a blind bend. The other side of the road is somewhat safer but both routes follow a bend, are uneven and extremely narrow.
 
No matter which side of the road I try, it is an extremely dangerous journey on horseback. Should I be forced to step into the road on a narrow part of the path, cars do not slow down or attempt to pass wide as stated in the Highway Code. If I manage to stay on the path, they totally disregard the fact that we are there, or that my horses can spook, causing a collision.
 
Horses are large and often unpredictable animals so expecting them to remain calm amongst speeding traffic, with unstable footing and a very noisy A10 underpass to get through is a recipe for disaster that even a military-trained horse would find taxing.
 
Riding on roads demands both common-sense and road-sense. All road users have a legal duty to care for other road users and should be conversant with the Highway Code. The lack of enforcement means that this is not the case on that road.
 
Speeding is proven to be one of the leading causes of collisions, yet you have a 60 mph speed limit alongside a makeshift bridleway. In accidents involving cars and horses, it is the horse and rider that invariably come off worse. I therefore request, and urge, you to make that part of the road safe for horse riders, pedestrians and cyclist all of whom wish to enjoy the countryside.
 

Started by: Hannah Gould

This ePetition ran from 20/09/2019 to 15/11/2019 and has now finished.

4 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

B1502, Stanstead Road E-Petition Response

Thank you for your e-petition requesting for speed limit reduction on B1502, Stanstead Road, barriers, additional signs and a pegasus crossing for horse riders.
Traffic speeds and road safety are often issues of concern for local communities, especially those along busy roads like the B1502. The Highway Authority receives many similar enquiries each year and, while each one needs to be treated individually looking at the local circumstances, we also need to be consistent and fair in our approach and ensure that any measures introduced are appropriate, proportionate and consider the needs of all road users and the local community.

To assist us in the process of dealing consistently with requests and setting appropriate speed limits the County Council developed a Speed Management Strategy (SMS) in partnership with Hertfordshire Constabulary in 2014. The document is available to view on our website at the link below:

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/media-library/documents/highways/transport-planning/local-transport-plan-live/speed-management-strategy.pdf

One of the principles agreed with the police in creating the speed management strategy is that new or reduced speed limits introduced should, as far as possible, be self-enforcing. That is to say average speeds should not be above the new speed limit once implemented. Experience has shown that simply introducing a lowered speed limit is unlikely, on its own, to change inappropriate driver behaviour.

What this means in practical terms is that, under the SMS, we will only introduce a reduced speed limit where speeds are low enough to mean compliance is likely without further speed reduction measures or where we are planning to introduce such measures as part of the package to help ensure compliance with the new speed limit. Before reducing any speed limit we have to carry out speed and volume surveys and the results will determine whether we can reduce the speed limit on that road. The County Council will carry out speed and volume surveys next summer (2020) to assess speeds on this location.

Accident records show that there are no recorded injury incidents at this location in the past 3 years. Consequently, this site is not prioritised for a safety scheme or other measures such as barriers or a Pegasus crossing as requested. In order for a site to be put forward to be considered for a controlled crossing among other sites Countywide, there needs to be justification for the need for an improved crossing in terms of the number of horse riders/pedestrians crossing at this location. Without clear evidence of an exceptional circumstance this location as it is currently is unlikely to meet the funding criteria for such a project.

However, our Rights of Way team are aware of this location and a few years ago they created two paths on the road verges, one for pedestrians and the other was for horses and both are signed on site. These paths were inspected and it was noted that they are overgrown with surface vegetation and low branches. It has been agreed to do some vegetation clearance work on these paths. These two paths are also now on our Rights of Way mowing list for regular maintenance. This is considered as appropriate to address concerns raised.