Warning over ‘boy racers’ in Louth

Resident Brian Smith and Councillor George Horton share their concerns over 'boy racers' speeding on St Bernard's Avenue. EMN-150603-150828001
Resident Brian Smith and Councillor George Horton share their concerns over 'boy racers' speeding on St Bernard's Avenue. EMN-150603-150828001
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Fresh concerns have been raised over ‘boy racers’ in Louth, with one councillor warning it is a “catastrophe” waiting to happen.

Councillor George Horton spoke during the public forum before the Louth Town Council meeting last Tuesday, and told councillors that the issue of speeding cars was prevalent on the east side of the town, particularly in St Bernard’s Avenue, Wood Lane and Stewton Lane.

Something has got to be done before there is a catastrophe.

Councillor George Horton

Coun Horton, who lives in Stewton Lane, said: “I can be sat at home at night, at eight, nine or ten o’clock in the back room there, and you hear it building up, building up, building up and all of a sudden, zoom!

“St Bernard’s Avenue, Wood Lane, Stewton Lane... I know it’s an age old argument, but nothing is getting done about it.

“Boy racers, speeding traffic... something has got to be done before there is a catastrophe.”

Coun Horton added: “It is a serious matter, and I recommend that we forward it to our next full council meeting for an item on the agenda, to discuss traffic calming and particularly the situation down St Bernard’s Avenue in Trinity Ward, and into Stewton Lane, which is my ward of St Michael’s.

Resident Brian Smith, who lives in St Bernard’s Avenue, also stood up during the public forum to speak on the issue.

Mr Smith, a former police officer who spent 30 years with Lincolnshire Police, said: “This has bothered me for a long while.

“To me, it is a great danger - especially these boy racers. The speeds they go... and it’s not just around St Bernard’s Avenue, it’s around the town in general.”

Mr Smith added: “I don’t want to knock the police, as they have got staffing issues and financial issues and 
maybe speeding is not as high a priority as it should be for them - and it will only become a high priority if someone is seriously injured or killed. There is a potential for that, unless something is done about it.

“The speeds in general on St Bernard’s Avenue, boy racers apart, is too high. I think, if you were to get the Road Safety Partnership to bring their equipment to monitor the speeds, you’d find out just how bad the situation is. But just the odd visit is not going to solve the problem - it needs a permanent solution.”

Mr Smith suggested that changes to the parking situation on St Bernard’s Avenue - where residents are currently 
allowed to cross the double yellow lines and park their cars on the wide pavements - could help to alleviate the problem.

He said: “If consideration were given to the double yellow lines being removed, and letting the vehicles park on the carriageway, this would have the effect of a form of traffic calming at very little or no cost to the council. It might resolve the problem - it would certainly help.”

A joint statement from Lincolnshire County Council and the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership said: “Discussions are currently taking place with Louth Town Council regarding concerns expressed over excessive speed and inappropriate parking along and adjacent to this length of road, after which options for improvements will be considered.

“Any measures proposed will have to be approved by the police.”

“Initially, the extent of any excessive speeding is to be assessed, as well as the implications of amending waiting restrictions in this area. Care needs to be taken that any action taken addresses the current situation, hence a joint approach between highways and the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership.

“Any recommendations that are acceptable in terms of on-street parking will be confirmed in due course.”

Earlier in the week John Siddle, the spokesman for Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, told the Leader: “The data from our previous survey, dated May 2013, showed that around eight per cent in each direction of the 26,000+ vehicles on that road in a five day period were speeding, and six per cent (in each direction) of those were low end offences.

“It showed a daily average of 10 vehicles one way and 14 in the other direction breaking the speed limit by any significant margin. Some of those vehicles may have been emergency vehicles on a blue light call.”

The survey in May 2013 took place over a five day period, including a weekend.

• What do you think about the issue? Email james.silcocks@jpress.co.uk with your views.