Does anyone know what the speed limit is in the Hilliers Yard/George Lane car parks?
Marlborough.News has received two complaints in recent weeks from people whose limbs - and perhaps even their lives - were threatened by cars speeding through the Hilliers Yard and George Lane car parks.
Some months ago your reporter was nearly run down by a car driving erratically and at high speed from the High Street entrance to the car park, through Hilliers Yard and towards George Lane. On that occasion the car was later spotted outside one of the houses in George Lane west of the entrance to the car park - the driver had obviously been taking a short cut. Perhaps they had left the iron switched on or set the oven too high for the joint.
There is a very small and faded sign with a figure ten on it beside the George Lane entrance to the car park. From its colouring it is no longer clear that it is a speed limit sign at all. And few drivers will notice it as they concentrate on avoiding cars leaving the car park whose drivers cannot take the sharp corner safely.
There is no speed limit sign whatsoever at the High Street entrance to the car parks. So if you drove in that way and ran someone down driving through the car parks at 30mph you could rightly claim in mitigation that you were driving at the proper allowed speed.
The speed indicator on your reporter's satnav goes blank when driving into Hillers Yard from the High Street. But we have heard of another make of satnav that shows the speed indicator changing from 30mph to 60mph as that driver leaves the High Street and enters the car parks.
This is a very serious matter - not just for those walking from the coaches to the High Street, people going to and from the doctors' surgery, but also for parents walking their children to and from St Mary's School.
There is no mention of a speed limit in the agreement leasing the land owned by Waitrose to Wiltshire Council for use as the Hilliers Yard/Waitrose car park. Nor is there any mention of a speed limit with the car park regulations on the boards by each of the pay stations.
And it is about to get a much more serious matter as the former Kit Stone showrooms are just about to be demolished. And when building starts on the new development of shops and flats, the car park will be busy with delivery trucks and builders' equipment and workmen - they will not be using these 'roads' as part of the car park, but as highways.
When Wiltshire Council granted planning permission for this development it came with a few conditions. Rightly there have to be "precautionary processes aimed at preventing harm to wildlife individuals...with particular reference to protection of the riverine habitat."
But there is no mention at all of protecting human lives. Which is somewhat bizarre.