News Story


Local MP Peter Luff joined Cleeve Prior First School’s walking bus yesterday morning (Friday) to highlight the need to reduce speeds on the road through the village, especially when children are going to and from the school.
Peter talked to campaigners, parents and pupils, as well as to representatives of the parish council and teachers.

After the walk through the village, Peter said,

“I spoke to one parent who was involved in an accident in the village recently when, despite the Air Ambulance being called, mercifully no one was seriously hurt. There is a clear and urgent need to do something before there is a more serious accident.

“Cleeve Prior is a wonderful village, but its pavements are narrow or non-existent and the road though it is pretty straight. While I was there on Friday, I saw cars and vans going far too fast – and I was nearly involved in an accident myself when a car came round the bend near the pub far too quickly.

“I was impressed by the reasonableness of what the parents I spoke to want to happen. They are not asking for the earth, but just for something to be done to reduce speeds. Their suggestions include a permanent 20mph limit through the village, a 20 mph limit or flashing warning lights when children are going to or leaving the school, a speed camera or speed activated warning signs just to encourage motorist to keep to 30mph. Whatever is done, I am clear the existence of the school must be better signed than it is at present.

“I really hope their fears will be addressed quickly – they have an overpowering case.”

Photograph show Peter Luff with the Cleeve Prior First School Walking Bus on Friday.

Local campaigners have issued their own press release, repeated here:

Cleeve Prior residents expressed their concerns over speeding and reckless driving in their village on Friday, by joining forces with the pupils and teachers of Cleeve Prior School on their once weekly, ‘walking bus’ to school.

They were joined by the MP for mid-Worcestershire, Peter Luff, and councillor Tom Bean, who expressed their concerns over the matter, after canvassing the views of concerned parents and villagers.

In a recent survey carried out by the county council, data showed that almost a third of all cars driving through the village, which has a 30mph limit, exceeded 40mph. In some cases, cars were reported to be driving at speeds in excess of 60mph.

Despite these worrying statistics, the council deemed the results of the survey as low risk, and villagers are deeply concerned that nothing will be done to help resolve the speeding issue.

Becky Maltas, who lives on Main Street, urged the council, on behalf of the residents of the village, to take proactive measures to introduce traffic calming as quickly as possible.

Ironically, the council appears to only take action against speeding after an accident takes place, which is irresponsible and unacceptable, added Steve Curry (Main Street).

Mr Curry quoted that in certain areas around the UK, trials have been in place for over 20 years to compare the effects of having a 20 mph limit imposed as opposed to 30mph.

Accidents have reduced dramatically, however, a more compelling statistic is that:
• At 30 mph, one in five pedestrians will die if hit by a car
• At 20 mph, the risk is massively reduced to one in forty

This evidence supports the argument that the built-up areas around Cleeve Prior should have a 20 mph speed limit imposed, if not on a permanent basis, then as a temporary measure during school opening and closing times.

Mrs. Sarah Newbury, Head Teacher at the school, expressed her delight at the show of support from everyone who joined in with the ‘walking bus’, confirming the collective desire of all villagers who believe that walking to school should be a pleasant and safe experience.

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