Action group's call to halt speeding 'rat run' cars

SPEEDING motorists and dangerously narrow streets are leaving residents in Axbridge fearing for their lives. The town's quaint streets

SPEEDING motorists and dangerously narrow streets are leaving residents in Axbridge fearing for their lives.The town's quaint streets, which attract hundreds of visitors and tourists each year, are proving hazardous to residents as motorists use the route as a rat run.Axbridge Action Group is calling for an urgent review of traffic and parking in the town due to fears for public safety.The narrow pavements mean parents with pushchairs and wheelchair users often have to walk on the road, leaving them at risk from speeding vehicles.During a survey as part of the parish plan, 84 per cent of residents said speeding traffic was one of the main worries for residents and 65 per cent said they were concerned for their safety from traffic as a pedestrian.Axbridge Mayor, Mike Taylor, said: "We've got a big problem with narrow streets and there are narrow pavements which mean any speeding traffic is a danger to pedestrians."Pushchairs and wheelchairs all have to go onto the roads because the pavements are so narrow down the main streets into The Square. Our primary aim is to try to keep people and traffic separate, but it's very difficult without spending vast amounts of money on modern pedestrianisation." The extent of the problem was highlighted by residents in the town's parish plan surveys.Residents said they would like more traffic calming measures introduced and 70 per cent of the respondents said the lack of parking facilities in the town added to the problem.Axbridge Action Group is now appealing for an independent study to be carried out to try to solve the traffic and parking problems.The action group is hoping to put on a variety of fund-raising events to raise money for the survey and members are meeting with Axbridge Town Council this month to discuss the way forward.Cllr Taylor said: "There's no easy solution. If we widen the pavement we'd have to have one-way traffic, which means vehicles are likely to speed up."The aim is to come up with an overall traffic and parking management plan to see if we can improve the situation.

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