Lockeridge traffic carnage - two accidents in the same night adjacent to Kennet Valley Primary School
In the early hours of this morning, Friday 3 February there were two separate accidents in Lockeridge where drivers lost control and crashed into walls or fences.
The first incident happened at around 2.30am when a red Landrover Discovery demolished the fence and gate of West View Cottage in the main street. "A V8 petrol, automatic version" according to resident Simon Smith who was awakened by the crash, recognised the distinct sound of the V8 engine and saw the vehicle being driven away.
The second incident happened several hours later when an articulated lorry crashed into the old sarson wall of Dene Farm, opposite and barely 50 yards from the first incident, dislodging several of the very large stones in the wall and dragging one all the way down to the gateway of the Kennet Valley Primary School.
“I was woken by the squeal of brakes and then a loud crash” said Tim Hitchens who lives nearby, about the first incident. “The driver then hared off up Ivy Lane at high speed.” "Later, first thing this morning I managed to drag the big sarson from the school gate back to where it had been knocked out of the wall" he added.
Another witness said that the driver of the Landrover returned shortly after the crash to examine the area and pick up some of the bits of the car that had fallen off.
The Landrover involved in the first incident was of a deep red colour as several small pieces of bodywork were strewn around the area.
“There are too many accidents in this area” stated Jane Davies, prospective Wiltshire Council Conservative Candidate for the West Selkley ward, who lives adjacent to where both incidents occurred.
“It is the first time we have had two crashes on the same night” she added. “We can be thankful that they didn’t happen during the day in school time….. There have been at least a dozen crashes in the village over the past year or so, including the tragic fatal accident involving George Punton. The council has agreed to a 20mph zone through the centre of the village, but we need to do more to educate drivers that old village roads just aren't safe for speeding cars.”
Traffic has been am increasingly important issue to Lockeridge over the past few years. Shared space traffic guru Ben Hamilton-Baillie has been involved in developing ideas that will make drivers more aware of their surroundings whilst driving through the village and keeping their speed lower. The Council has agreed to the 20mph zone, but, as Jane Davies says, “There is more that needs to be done, the community needs to think creatively and come up with practical ideas to make the streets of Lockeridge as safe as possible.” “Budgets are very tight so it’s not a case of throwing non-existent money at the problem, we need to come up with ideas from within the community.”