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Dad’s outrage as Barton street racers put family at risk

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 19, 2014

Dad of four Lee O'Connor is calling for more speed humps in Alfred Street, Gloucester, to slow down dangerous, fast drivers,

Comments (6)

DANGEROUS drivers are endangering young lives in Barton by using roads in the area as a race track.

Angry parents are demanding action is taken after several near-misses in recent weeks that have brought the problem sharply in focus.

The races have taken place in recent weeks in Hatfield Road, India Road, Alfred Street and surrounding areas.

Cars and motorbikes race up to speeds of 60mph on the small residential streets, often on the wrong side of the road.

Lee O’Connor, a window fitter, lives in Alfred Street with his four children, aged from 18 months to nine, and partner.

Lee said she his partner had a close call with a speeding car that has shocked him into action.

“My missus almost got run over by a car doing 60mph,” he said. “The vehicle missed her by inches when she was putting our baby into the car. I was so angry, I chased after it. I was livid. It is a 20mph limit in this area, but that is being constantly ignored by drivers.

“A couple of kids have come off their mopeds, they are flat out and can’t keep control as the road bends.”

In Gloucestershire in 2012, 43 children and 153 pedestrians were knocked over in the road by vehicles. Of the 33 deaths, eight were pedestrians. In total, there were 1,446 road casualties in the county.

Lee has called for more speed limit signs and also an extra speed hump to slow motorists down.

“ We have at least 15 families in this street, all the kids play with footballs or on their bikes,” he said.

“They don’t always look into the road, they forget. If a car is coming, a kid will die, I’m sure of it. It has got worse in the two years I have been here.”

George Hobbs, owner of Hobbs shop in Barton Street, said: “I’ve seen cars and motorbikes racing at about 50 to 60mph. They overtake people on the wrong side of the road and driving very erratically. It makes no sense and they’re wasting their time.”

City councillors in the area are now calling for more CCTV cameras and visible policing to help tackle the problem.

Said Hansdot, Sheriff of Barton and Tredworth, said: “It’s not acceptable that they are using the road in this way. They think they rule the roads and that they are better than pedestrians.”

Usman Bhaimia, city councillor for Barton and Tredworth, said: “We used to see the police in the area all the time, but not any more. There should be more police and CCTV cameras to stop these races from happening. Local residents are not happy.”

Gloucestershire police sergeant Tim Wood said: “This is the first time we have had this reported as a concern so I would appeal to Councillor Bhaimia and any other residents who have been experiencing any problems to get in touch with the local policing team.”

James McLoughlin, spokesman for road safety charity Brake, said: “Drivers who choose to flout the law by breaking speed limits are needlessly and selfishly putting the lives of other road users at risk. They should face the full force of the law.”

Gloucestershire County Council was unable to comment before The Citizen went to press. may get council comment

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  • RoadWombat  |  May 22 2014, 2:41PM

    Here's your problem - the council decided to put up 20mph signs. These are ADVISORY only but people get it into their heads that it is an enforceable limit. I see no evidence here of any vehicles doing 60mph along those roads (did Lee's "missus" measure the speed in any way, or is that just her opinion?). If the latter, it has been shown time and time again that such estimates are wildly inaccurate and misleading. Like it or not, the reality is that you will probably have a couple of cars occasionally doing a tad over 30.

  • SELINA30  |  May 20 2014, 7:20PM

    SPEED KILLS. Where are the bobbies on the beat?

    |   2
  • King_Arvur  |  May 20 2014, 6:05PM

    In the mean time Gloucestershire Police has reduced the amount of Traffic Officers available and on duty. They will soon be reducing the number of beat and response bobbies on patrol. So expect more antisocial drivers who get away with it.

    |   3
  • Mikejh62  |  May 20 2014, 9:29AM

    We can only hope that the first person to be killed will be one of these racers, rather than an innocent person.

    |   6
  • NIGHTRIDER69  |  May 19 2014, 8:10PM

    theres already to many speed bumps in gloucester, all they do is ruin your car it won't deter racers like "lordgagas" says not until somebody is killed!!!

    |   4
  • LordGagas  |  May 19 2014, 7:21PM

    You know what they are like, they wont do any thing until someone is killed

    |   9