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Improve safety measures along the Eskdale Drive section of Nottingham’s tram extension

9th August 2015 Help & Advice Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

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A child’s safety should take precedence over money or convenience. 

There are huge concerns as to the lack of adequate safety measures put into place along a stretch of tram track running parallel with Eskdale Drive, Chilwell. The worry is that, considering the tracks run close to two schools (Alderman Pounder Infant School and Eskdale Junior School), as well as a children’s playground, playing fields and open green space, the stretch of track will one day become the site of a fatality. 

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There are three pertinent issues which urgently need addressing. The first is the lack of suitable fencing along either side of the tram track along a stretch of road running parallel with Eskdale Drive. Railings at a height roughly equivalent to an adult’s knee which can be jumped over or climbed under by children at a walking age, are in no way sufficiently safe when adjacent to schools, playgrounds, playing fields and open green spaces. In some places along the tracks, there are no railings/fencing whatsoever. Fortunately, there is a section of this stretch which has been fitted with metal fencing with a ground clearance of between 4ft and 5ft which would be adequate.

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The 50km/h (31mph) speed limit of trams along this stretch of Eskdale Drive is also concerning and also requires immediate review by the authorities. According to the Highway Code, thestopping distance of a tram at 30mph is 74.9 metres, compared to just 23 metres in car. If a child was to run out in front of a tram going at this speed, there is a high chance of a fatality occurring. There is an advisory speed limit in place of 20mph (32km/h) for motor vehicles in the area around these schools which if the tram system implemented, would make for a 33.3 metre stopping distance – at 24km/h (15mph), a tram would stop in just 18.7 metres. The 50km/h (31mph) tram speed limit along this stretch is wholly inadequate and needs reducing to or below 20mph, or a 30km/h equivalent.

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Finally, safety measures on crossings across the entire network need to be looked at as a matter of urgency. Along this stretch of track alone, there are five crossings. There is a real need to look into this when a 40-tonne tram is allowed to speed along the track at speeds like 30mph and children are seemingly able to run across so freely and with nothing in place to slow them down or make them consciously think about the dangers ahead. One suggestion would be to put up steel barriers similar to those which force cyclists to dismount.  

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Petition started by Daryl Craske

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