PLANS for 20mph speed lim- its outside Basildon schools are being scuppered by county council rules.

New speed surveys, carried out at four primary schools in the borough, show a worrying trend of cars speeding past schools.

Average speeds ranged from 24.7mph to 34mph, but county council rules state drivers have to be travelling at 24mph or under for a 20mph zone to be “achievable”.

Damien Pye, the headteacher at Great Berry Primary School, said: “It’s madness. The faster cars go the more risk of an accident, so it’s more important to bring the speed limit down. I have had a meeting with our local councillor about this.

“We see cars speeding all the time.”

The speed surveys were conducted outside Lee Chapel Primary School in The Knares, Lee Chapel, Great Berry Primary School in Forest Glade, Langdon Hills, Cherry Tree Primary School in Church Road, Vange and Vange Primary School in London Road.

Kerry Smith, Ukip county councillor for Westley Heights, called for the surveys as part of his role on Basildon’s Highways Panel. He said: “It’s codswallop. These roads have historic problems with speeding. 20mph zones encourage people to take their foot off the accelerator.

“But the bureaucracy at County Hall is stopping councillors representing their wards.”

One speed survey outside Vange Primary School, found cars were speeding at about 34mph – but that wasn’t fast enough to warrant traffic calming measures, such as speed humps.

An Essex County Council network management officer said 20mph zones shouldn’t be applied when speeds are higher than 24mph as it places an “unsustainable burden” on police to enforce it.

The spokesman added: “If the panel wishes for a 20mph limit at these sites to be reconsidered, they may submit a justification for the request to the highways officer.

“Advisory 20mph limits and ‘20 is plenty’ signs could be introduced outside schools, but they are not enforceable.”


A PARENT whose son was hit by a car on a residential road is “gutted” nothing can be done to sort out speeding drivers in Vange.

A speed survey in London Road, Vange, showed drivers travelling at an average of 34mph, despite the speed limit being 30mph.

But this means it doesn’t meet the criteria for Essex County Council to implement traffic calming measures as speeds needed to be 35mph plus.

Clare Perry, 37, of Goldings Crescent, Vange, wants something done about the road as her son River, 13, was hit by a car on the road in 2009 when he was nine. She claims the crash affected his aspergers and may have led to his epilepsy.

She said: “Our lives have been changed since River was hit by a car.

“I’m gutted, what’s it going to take before they start listening to residents – someone to die?

“I’m really shocked the average speed has come back as so low. We live around here and if you spoke to anyone they would say they have been almost taken out at the crossing.Iknow everyone is in a hurry these days, but unless something is done someone will get killed and it scares me because every time I cross that road I panic.”


LEE CHAPEL PRIMARY Deemed not slow enough for 20mph limit.

Eastbound on The Knares towards Basildon, average 26.4mph Westbound towards Laindon, average 28mph

- Average speeds needs to be under 24mph for action to be taken

FOREST GLADE Deemed by Essex County Council not slow enough for 20mph limit.

Eastbound towards Dunton Plotlands average 24.7mph Westbound towards Laindon average 29.2mph

- Average speeds needs to be under 24mph for action to be taken

CHERRY TREE Deemed by Essex County Council not slow enough for 20mph limit.

Southend bound towards Vange, average 26mph Northbound towards Basildon, average 23.8mph

- Average speeds needs to be under 24mph for action to be taken

VANGE PRIMARY Traffic not deemed fast enough for traffic calming measures.

Eastbound towards Pitsea, average 34mph Westbound towards Nethermayne average 33.4mph

- Average speeds needed to be 35mph-plus