• Conservative block vote ensures West Hill Road gets most unpopular kind of speed bumps

    26th April 2016 | News | Claire
  • …. Highways officers advised that speed cushions were necessary following the introduction of the missing link pavement on West Hill Road, which was completed about a year ago.

    I conducted a straw poll just about a year ago to gauge people’s views on whether they wanted speed calming and if so, whether the cushions proposed were acceptable.  Highways officers had recommended the small square cushions. 

    Out of around 50-60 people surveyed over about three hours, almost all were in favour of speed cushions specifically of this design, in order to slow the traffic, especially for children walking to and from school. 

    I communicated this back to highways officers and I thought all was settled…. That was until the subject came up at highways and traffic orders committee last year. Unbelievably, although I explained the preference of the residents I had spoken to – and highways officers explained their own recommendations for speed cushions….

    The conservative councillors on the committee developed a sudden and deep interest in the type of speed hump proposed for West Hill.

    Almost all conservative councillors spoke against cushions – and in favour of the “table top” variety, which are much bigger and more intrusive than speed cushions. 

    The conservative councillors then (despite my objections to their proposal) block voted down speed cushions – and instead block voted in favour of the table top version. 

    I am as baffled today as I was at that meeting as to why conservative councillors from all over East Devon felt so strongly about speed humps for West Hill Road that they overrode highways officer recommendations and the local member’s own consultation. 

    Frankly, it was a poor show and I believe a cheap political shot.

    I don’t know anyone who likes this sort of intrusive speed hump – and of course the complaints are now coming in.