Cyclist campaigns for reduction in speed in Easthampstead RoadBy Jon Nurse
October 02, 2012
A cyclist is campaigning for a lower speed limit on a stretch of winding road he fears may claim lives.
Sunil Dharmabandhu is planning to launch a petition calling for the 60mph speed limit in Easthampstead Road between its junctions with Heathlands Road and Old Wokingham Road to be halved to 30mph.
The 66-year-old, of Reading Road, Winnersh, said: “It’s a very nasty stretch. The road as far as Heathlands Road is 40mph, and that’s fair enough, but then the speed limit increases when the road becomes even more tricky and winding with horse riders and cyclists.
“People do drive along there in a reckless manner which could be an accident waiting to happen.
“I go that way every single day and have had several near misses with people coming quickly around corners. It’s unlit as well.”
Mr Dharmabandhu, who also wants illuminated signs installed, raised his concerns with Wokingham Borough Council officers who said they had reviewed speed surveys, signage and the number of accidents on the road and deemed it to be relatively safe.
Mr Dharmabandhu said: “The response I got was like a politician trying to wriggle his way out of a problem. Statistics can be used in so many ways to prove a point.
“It’s like they are waiting for someone to be killed before they do something.
“It would not take a colossal sum of money to put in some illuminated signs.
“Just imagine what could happen if a horse got startled when a car comes round a bend too fast.
“I know some people are scared to use the road for horse riding.”
The campaigner was knocked off his bike by a car in the 40mph stretch of Easthampstead Road last month. He said: “I don’t want that to happen to anybody.
“If that can happen on a straight stretch, just think what could happen on a dangerous stretch.”
The driver of the car was not arrested but has been told by police to take a driver improvement course.
Matthew Gould, Wokingham Borough Council team leader for traffic, transport and road safety, said: “All roads have the potential to be dangerous, however the council has a duty of care to ensure the safety of the users of these roads so we have to prioritise our spend to provide best value for money.
“Because of the good safety record in this road, it is not proposed to implement any further engineering measures at this time.”