Leeds speed bump car crash danger

Residents at Newhall Road, Belle Isle, Leeds, protest about speeding cars in the area. Picture by Simon Hulme.
Residents at Newhall Road, Belle Isle, Leeds, protest about speeding cars in the area. Picture by Simon Hulme.
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A desperate plea for speeding drivers to slow down has been launched in Leeds, amid fears that it is a matter of time until someone is killed.

Despite speed humps being installed in Newhall Road, Belle Isle, three years ago, residents say joyriders have continued putting lives at risk by travelling as fast as twice the 30mph speed limit, causing a series of cars to be rolled and several more to be damaged on the estate.

The results of a car accident outside Rose Keebles' home in Newhall Road earlier this year.

The results of a car accident outside Rose Keebles' home in Newhall Road earlier this year.

Two residents living at a bend which has proved an accident blackspot on the road have seen adjacent park gates totalled three times, while residents’ insurance premiums have rocketed.

Now, in a renewed plea to careless drivers, local police and Leeds City Council, residents are calling for action after the last speeding driver’s lucky escape was caught on camera six weeks ago.

Christine Webb, who lives in Newhall Road, says she has had one car written off and another damaged after a joyrider hit a telegraph pole that then landed on her vehicle.

The 74-year-old told the YEP: “We are just waiting for somebody to get killed or seriously hurt – it really is horrendous. I’ve been on holiday in the past and just come back to a pile of glass where my car used to be.”

She said: “They have not helped at all, the speed humps. It definitely needs a speed limit or cameras on it – whatever it takes.”

Members of the Aberfields and Newhalls Residents Association want widespread traffic calming measures amid reported speeding on nearby St George’s Road, Winrose Crescent and West Grange Road.

Rose Keebles, a 71-year-old grandmother who lives two doors down from Mrs Webb, claims to have had four cars damaged – two of which were written off – in recent years by speeding drivers, costing her thousands of pounds.

She said: “When they get to the bend you can hear the squeak of the tyres. We’ve been campaigning for quite a few years, even more so since we have had the speed bumps put in. Nearly every community meeting it’s brought up.”

Leeds City Council has confirmed that a 20mph zone will be enforced on the Winrose Estate before the end of March – crucially not including Newhall Road – but other measures have been identified for areas including the accident blackspot although they will need funding and to go through public consultation.

A council spokesman said: “All drivers have a responsibility to drive at an appropriate and safe speed within the set limits at all times, and those who fail to do so risk police action.”

Coun Judith Blake (Lab, Middleton Park) has urged residents to record the number plates of speeding drivers and report them to the police.

“We are really concerned about health and safety for not only the occupants of the cars and bikes but also for pedestrians,” she said.

Local police have issued their backing by taking “any necessary enforcement action”. Inspector Chris Bowen, who heads the Inner South Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: “We are keen to do all we can to tackle the problem.”

Sarah Champion MP

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