21st Aug, 2017

Villagers raise concerns safety of children at risk if proposed MUGA for Lower Broadheath is granted approval

RESIDENTS of a Malvern village fear for the safety of children if plans to build a multi-use games area near a stretch of road proven to have speeding issues and heavy volumes of traffic are approved.

The Observer reported last week that Lower Broadheath Parish Council had submitted an application to build a MUGA on an area of grassland at the corner of Frenchlands Lane and Martley Road (B4204).

Mr Andrew Hackley, headteacher of Broadheath CE Primary and Pre-School, had extensively backed the plans, saying it would benefit his 175 pupils as they could utilise the MUGA both within and outside school hours.

But his views differ to those of village residents, with many objecting to the plans on the grounds the lives of not only school pupils, but children in general could be put in danger when crossing the B4204 to get to the games area.

Jason Bloomer, who has lived at Sailors Bank for almost 18 years, said: “I can categorically state that this stretch of road presents a real hazard to anyone crossing it.

“The daily volume of traffic is heavy and the B4204 is a very popular road and race track for motorbikes with it being wide and straight.”

Philip and Karen Hill, also of Sailors Bank, said: “The siting of a community games area in this position means primary school children and other users would have to cross the B4204 in an area of staggered crossroad to get to it.

“They would have to cross on the brow of a hill where despite the 30mph speed limit, average speeds are in excess of 40mph meaning many vehicles are travelling faster than that.”

Meanwhile, Andrew and Susanna Nichols, of Sling Lane, added the location will create a risk to users at the blind summit of the hill and the addition of a crossing primarily for children will increase the risk of serious accidents.

In January last year, figures obtained by West Mercia’s Safer Roads Partnership team showed 3,400 cars were travelling along the B4204 daily with the vehicle activated sign on Sailors Bank picking up recorded speeds as high as 60mph.

Camera figures from 2012 also showed that 66.2 per cent of vehicles were going over the speed limit, with 85 per cent of those travelling at more than 39mph.

Agents DJD Architects say they intend to narrow the south west section of Martley Road to 6.5metres to improve pedestrian and driver visibility outside the MUGA while 30mph roundels will be added along the B4204 to enforce the existing limit.

Consultation for the plans ended on Monday.

What do you think? Write to the editor to the address on page eight or e-mail editor@malvernobserver.co.uk.

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