Clavering residents call for ban on vehicles from byway after frightening incident
PUBLISHED: 10:41 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:49 22 February 2017
Residents in Clavering are calling for vehicles to be banned from a byway in the village after a frightening near-miss incident involving a car and a child was captured on camera.
In the video from last October, which has only just come to light, Wendy Elms is seen walking along Byway 50, known as Chalkpit Lane and Highfield Lane, with her two grandchildren when a car comes round a bend towards them.
Mrs Elms has called for urgent action from Essex Highways in banning vehicles from the byway – other than farming access – and wants a Traffic Restriction Order put in place.
The byway is closed to cars from October 31 to March 31, but residents say motorbikes are still using the lane at speed.
In a letter to Essex Highways, Mrs Elms said: “The video clearly demonstrates the immediate and potentially fatal danger that comes from vehicle access along this byway. Can you imagine if my grandchild had been just a few steps further along the lane?
“This is not just a problem with cars. Despite the fact that we are meant to be in a five month ‘safe’ period there are numerous witnesses to motorbikes driving at breathtaking speeds along both the byway and The Druce itself despite the concealed entrances, blind corners, children, and animals.
“We urgently need a Traffic Restriction Order in place because of the obvious and serious year-round danger to users. Ban all mechanically propelled traffic - other than farmer access - and grade it as a restricted byway.”
Jacqueline Cooper, Clavering historian, said: “We need a permanent closure in the form of Restricted Byways as they have in Suffolk and other counties.
“I am concerned that the byways are our most historic paths and wild flowers and birds are being disturbed. Such paths known as green lanes go back to antiquity and form the best walks.
“So when you go out for a nice country walk and meet motorbikes and 4x4s, it ruins the whole experience.
“It is high time action was taken on this as we suffer very badly in Clavering with our byways being open to off-roaders.”
An Essex Highways spokesman said: “We would always encourage residents with safety concerns to contact their local Essex county councillor, who can then raise them with the Uttlesford Local Highways Panel.”