East Malling: Chapel Street residents carve pumpkins to stop speeding


Haunting messages are lighting up East Malling’s streets in a quirky attempt to scare motorists into cutting their speed.

The residents’ road safety campaign looks set to put the frighteners on motorists - with a bank of seasonal signs carved from pumpkins urging drivers to slow down.

Glow-in-the-dark designs were dreamt up by handy homeowners along Chapel Street.

 

The take on the Halloween tradition came from Fiona and Stuart Reynolds who started the traffic calming trend and have carved two pumpkins and a marrow.

 

Mrs Reynolds said: “The limit is 20mph as the road is narrow and winding, several cars are scraped and dented by cars, vans, even lorries.

“Speed is the problem we have tried to alleviate by traffic calming measures.”

Hilary Dowling got involved by carving 20mph onto the fruit - something she described as ‘not easy’.

Mrs Dowling added: “I thought it was a start on tackling the issue and bringing the limit to peoples’ attention.”

She feels pedestrians, especially mums with buggies, are put in danger by speeding cars, as a pavement on one side of the road runs out, forcing them into the road.

The Chapel Street resident added: “No-one sticks to the limit and people also don’t realise how noisy it is. I can hear cars racing up and down from 3am. The roads are narrow and it does have an affect on families living here.”

 

Cars going too fast has been a persistent problem in East Malling and also affects the High Street. The new limit and traffic calming was introduced around 18 months ago.

Cllr Trudy Dean (Lib Dem) spent £30,000 of her council grant on the measures.

She said: “We have a problem but you can’t get rid of it, there’s always going to be someone speeding.

“The work has shown a significant reduction of drivers that have been breaking the limit.”

Residents have offered to get involved in speedwatch sessions where volunteers record vehicle speeds.

 

West Malling Parish Council also appealed for volunteers to lend a hand during speedwatches in the village which are set to be reinstated after five years.

Cllr Richard Selkirk said: “We want fresh blood involved. I think speeding really is down to peer pressure, once people see signs and volunteers, it becomes clear they are entering a 20mph zone, then they will slow down.”


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