Personal tragedy drives councillor's speed limit campaign in Buckingham

'I don't want any other parent to go through what I went through,' says Councillor Caroline Cornell

By Hannah Richardson
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 5:03 pm

A Buckingham councillor is campaigning for the speed limit to be lowered on a stretch of road in Buckingham where a new estate is under construction.

Caroline Cornell was elected to represent Buckingham West on Buckinghamshire Council in last year's elections.

And she's fighting to get the speed limit reduced to 30mph along the whole of Tingewick Road, where the 398-home St Rumbold's Fields is being developed on both sides of the road.

Councillor Caroline Cornell

It is a subject close to Cllr Cornell's heart, after her own daughter died in a car crash in Little Horwood, at the age of 20.

"I don't want any other parent to go through what I went through," she said.

Currently, the stretch of Tingewick Road nearest the town is 30mph, but it increases to 50mph well before the new estate, which is already partially occupied.

Buckingham Town Council requested a speed limit of 30mph along the Tingewick Road last summer, saying the current 50mph along the frontage of the development site "is felt to be dangerously high".

Traffic leaving the St Rumbold's Fields development

Cllr Cornell said: "My love in life is speed - but not everywhere, when it's a residential area, when you've got children

"My daughter was killed in a correct speed limit.

"It was 30 years ago, but you never get over it, do you? You live with it because you have to.

"It means a lot to me. I don't want other parents to have the person at the gate saying: 'Come quickly - there's been an accident,' and then all the trauma that goes with it and the horror.

Tnigewick Road

"So if I can stop another family going through what I went through, it would be great."

Speed limits on local roads are decided by Buckinghamshire Council to guidelines set by the Department for Transport, with Thames Valley Police being consulted

Cllr Cornell said: "Buckingham Town Council are backing me, everyone's on my side apart from the police.

"They're saying there's only been one slight collision in a five-year period. But for me that doesn't matter. What is life worth to them?

"There's going to be 300-odd houses, which is 700-odd cars going up this narrow street, which they say is fine.

"It's not fine - it's got construction traffic going on, there's cars coming out of it, the road surfaces are poor, it's narrow, there's no pelican crossings, the children are going to go to school - it's dangerous."

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson said: "Thames Valley Police is opposed to the speed limit in Tingewick Road because it doesn’t conform with the current national guidelines.

“During the site visit between Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Council, it was apparent that a 30mph speed limit would not change driver behaviour substantially enough to comply with this proposed reduction

“We appreciate there is a desire to reduce the speed limit but a 40mph limit would be more suitable and in line with the current guidance and would be supported.”

Buckinghamshire Council's cabinet member for transport, Steven Broadbent, said: “In response to concerns raised, the council has consulted on the introduction of a 30mph speed limit on Tingewick Road and is now in the process of considering all responses.

"A final decision will be taken in light of all representations and technical considerations.”