People fear someone could be killed or seriously injured by motorists who turned a Walsall estate into ‘Fast and the Furious’. Two crashes have occurred on consecutive nights on the Beechdale estate, prompting calls for more action to be taken to make the highways safer for residents.
The first incident happened on Lister Road on Thursday (June 9) while the second happened the following evening on Bloxwich Lane. In both cases the vehicles swerved onto the front gardens and struck the property causing damage, but locals said it was a ‘miracle’ no one was injured.
Walsall Council said speed bumps have been installed on Lister Road and there have been no accidents resulting in injury in the past three years. They have added more roads on the Beechdale Estate and will see speed limits reduced to 20mph in the coming months.
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In September 2019, Kulwinder Kaur, a 52-year-old carer, was killed after being hit by a non-stop car on nearby Cavendish Road. Driver Lewis Jukes, of Providence Lane, Bloxwich, was jailed for seven years and four months in October. The 20-year-old admitted to causing death by reckless driving, driving while disqualified, having no insurance and failing to stop after a collision.
Ward Councilor Tina Jukes said she raised the issue of speeding motorists with deputy police and Crime Commissioner Tom McNeill. Resident Trevor Bailey said the Lister Road incident saw a Toyota Rav 4 lose control and end up crashing into his brother Paul’s garden, through the fence and posts and into the house next door.
He said: “They hit the front of the house sideways and loosened the masonry. It’s a miracle they didn’t cross. There was a car parked out front and it missed it d a quarter inch.
“The family next to my brother always sit in the front on those clear nights and they were lucky they didn’t sit in the front or they would all have died. I don’t know what happened to those who were in the car because they ran away.The police were called.
“There seem to be a lot of young people who buy cars and think it’s a joy to race and they don’t see the consequences of what can happen. There are speed limits and speed bumps on many roads. The legal driver obeys the law and orders and slows down, but those who don’t care ignore them.”
Ward councilors have previously called for increased security measures on the estate, handing over petitions with more than 600 signatures. Councilor Jukes said: “I don’t think the measures the council have put in place are good enough. Someone is going to get hurt. We’ve seen people accelerate and then turn the handbrake.
“It’s constant. Someone passed me and I was at the speed limit and I almost got on a bus. It’s ridiculous. People use the roads as race tracks. Locals call it ‘Fast and Furious’. The 20 mph zone is not well publicized and nobody knows about it.”
Walsall Council has a budget of £700,000 for road safety programs in 2022/23. A spokesperson said: “Our traffic safety team reviews police records of traffic collisions involving injury to a person in the borough on an annual basis.
“This review allows the Council to target areas of the highway where the use of road safety funds will be most effective in reducing casualties. Our records indicate that there have been no injury collisions on the Lister Road over the past three years, a full-width speed bump is already in place on the Lister Road.
“Two serious collisions and four ‘minor injuries’ occurred on Bloxwich Lane over the same three-year period. Both roads were considered part of a wider proposed speed limit of 20mph on the entire Beechdale Estate.This proposal is to complete the traffic calming works implemented in Cavendish Road in 2020.
“As part of the 20mph proposals, speed surveys were undertaken across the Beechdale Estate in December 2020. The outcome of this, in accordance with advice from the Department for Transport, indicates that no physical traffic calming is necessary.”
“The majority of Beechdale Estate is suitable for the introduction of a signed speed limit of just 20mph and we will be advancing the required traffic control orders and public consultation on these proposals during this financial year. It is anticipated that under these 20mpm proposals, additional minor works will be required in Bloxwich Lane and Stephenson Avenue to encourage slower speeds. »
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