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Letter: Will village roads be safer thanks to new Highway Code?

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SIR – Thank you for your recent article highlighting the difficulties faced by Bashley residents, in particular when trying to walk in the village (A&T, 18th February).

The recent changes to the Highway Code should be helping us. The new code states that motorists should “allow at least two metres of space and keep to a low speed when passing a pedestrian who is walking in the road”.

Practically, this means that on the narrow Bashley road cars should be well into the opposite lane when passing a pedestrian.

B3058 Bashley Common Road
B3058 Bashley Common Road

If oncoming traffic prevents this, motorists should “wait behind the pedestrian and not overtake if it is unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances”.

If more motorists just followed the Highway Code as above when encountering a pedestrian in the road, it would make quite the difference to villagers.

Some do – thank you! It’s a pleasant exception, but so nice when motorists slow and wait to pass until they can fully pull out.

Sadly all too often, drivers are hardly prepared to deviate course and speed at all, often passing within a couple of feet at speeds at or above 30mph – disconcerting and downright frightening at times!

The difference is between a mindset that says: “I’m all that matters and my need to get from A to B as quickly as possible,” and one that recognises that the road is necessarily shared in places with those who live in the village.

We don’t want to be in the road but we do want the freedom to walk to the shop or neighbours’ houses.

A 20mph speed limit would significantly improve village life. We very much hope that with the town council’s support it will come sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, just cutting speeds a little below 30mph and following the Highway Code on pedestrians would make a big difference to us.

Mark King,

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