Angry West London residents dub road ‘racer’s paradise’ without cameras

A Harrow man said a lack of speed cameras in the area have turned it into “a racer’s paradise”. Carer Dave Degen has argued parts of the borough have become so dangerous that he fears for his life when crossing the road. He said stretches along Uxbridge Road, a main road in the north of Harrow, resemble an “unofficial race track” with some cars bombing down 40mph zones at “at least 60 or 70”.

Dave added: “You go to Watford – or anywhere else nearby – and it’s completely different. There are signs, crossings and lots of cameras. I don’t know why Harrow is seemingly devoid of taking action when it comes to speed control.

It’s got to a point where I don’t feel safe. So I can’t imagine how elderly people or those in wheelchairs cope.” Dave said there are a number of roads in Harrow that are used as rat runs by people who feel they can speed down them as there are no deterrents in place.

READ MORE : The West London high streets where you can park for free or at a huge discount He said this is not only dangerous and could lead to accidents, but also puts those living on these roads on edge. The resident added: “I don’t know if it’s a case of them not being able to afford it, or if there’s no desire to change things, but, at the end of the day, it’s not safe.”

Dave said the problems around speeding lead into further issues around encouraging people to be less reliant on cars. He said people who want to walk or cycle more will be less inclined to do so if they do not feel protected on the roads. He said: “It’s as if the pedestrian doesn’t exist.

There aren’t enough places to cross safely – and this goes right through Harrow. And who’s going to want to cycle when you’ve got cars speeding past you? At some points it will feel like cycling on a motorway.”

Other Harrow residents have spoken of speeding woes in their area in the past. Royston Park Road, which is not far from Uxbridge Road, was likened to a “Formula 1 track” following several speeding incidents which resulted in a series of accidents. Following a case where a car reportedly crashed into a resident’s front garden wall, and another where a post box was hit, residents lobbied for new 20mph speed limits to be put in place.

Like Dave, they suggested that a lack of deterrents means drivers can whizz down wide, flat roads without fear of being punished. Tony Levene, from Harrow Cyclists, said things “can’t continue” as they are and that it is important to “tame the car” to encourage people to travel by bike or on foot. Simon Munk, from the London Cycling Campaign, said: “We know lower speeds are vital not just for safety – you’re less likely to be hit by drivers doing 20 than 30 and the consequences tend to be far less severe – but also to enable a wider range of people to walk and cycle, as slower streets feel more comfortable.

“Action on motor traffic speed is vital to tackle crises of pollution, inactivity, climate and road danger. But if we want more people to switch cars for walking, cycling and public transport in Harrow, that’s not the only action needed. We also need safe junctions, protected cycle tracks, bus lanes and bus gates, low traffic neighbourhoods and more – on that, the evidence, from London, UK and globally, is very clear.”

A Harrow Council spokeswoman explained speed camera locations must meet government guidelines and are placed in areas where there have been a number of significant accidents over a short period.

She added: “Speed cameras are installed by the London Safety Camera Partnership and have to meet strict guidelines from the Department for Transport.

If residents are concerned about the level of speeding on their road and would like the council to address it, they will need to submit a petition for the council to consider.”

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