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Open Letter to Our MP
(Neil O'Brien, Conservative MP for Harborough)

I wish to express my concerns as a resident living on Leicester Road (A6).

I have resided at Harcourt Estate – the little row of white terraces, opposite the Coach and Horses – for a little over 4 years. Knowing that the property was located on a busy main road, I admit that when we purchased the property I harboured a level of trepidation. However, nothing could have prepared me for the increasing levels of danger that we face daily. I wish it to be known that me, my family and the local community now live in fear.

We live in fear from the very real threat of being ran over by speeding traffic.

I have lost count the number of accidents that have occurred along the road, resulting in vehicles mounting the pavement, knocking down lampposts, crashing into properties, walls, central reservations and other vehicles. I have also lost count the number of times an accident has happened where I had been walking with my children just moments before. Despite this, we are now being told that the request for traffic calming devises will be ignored because the area is now an area of Air Quality Management. I therefore live in fear.

We live in fear from the dangerous levels of pollution.

Back in July we were informed by the council that a portion of the A6 (which includes my home) had been declared as an area of poor air quality. A report found this to be a result of high pollution levels which exceeded safety levels set by the Government. I responded to the letter to express my concern and to ask whether this would have an impact on my infant children during their development, to which I was told, ‘it is possible that air quality levels may agitate respiratory conditions over long exposure periods.’ As traffic levels increase, so too does the pollution. I therefore live in fear.

We live in fear from the threatening and unjust levels of abuse that I receive from other motorists, daily.

Since it is illegal, dangerous and impossible to reverse onto the main road, myself and the rest of the residents living along the A6 have no option but to reverse into our driveways. Every day, angry commuters who are too impatient to wait feel the need to hoot and gesticulate and I am frankly fed up of having to explain to my children why ‘people are angry with mummy.’ I’ve have, on several occasions, even been threatened by drivers and approached on my own drive way. On one occasion, a several men in white van felt the need stop and abuse me outside my own home.  Obviously by turning into my driveway I had inconvenienced him, so he felt the need to turn around in the nearby pub car park so that he could pass my house to shout horrific abuse at me. He then turned around in what was the old Rathias Indian restaurant so that he could drive by my house a 2nd time attack me again. Only this time I had my young children in my arms. Unfortunately, this did not deter him from shouting prolific and obscene language at me. I therefore live in fear.

We live in fear from the impatient motorists who feel the need to drive along the pavement instead of waiting for traffic to move.

The junction at the Coach and Horses gets very congested during peak hours, when Kibworth residents are waiting to turn down Main Road off the A6. As the queue gets longer and the road gets narrower, other motorists cannot pass this queue of turning traffic. Instead they mount the pavement driving over residential properties to get by. Similarly, if I am turning right into my drive, many drivers will not wait and I recently witnessed a man coming out of the property adjacent to my home who very nearly got hit by a car who had decided to mount the pavement. I had to park my car and offer assistance as he was paralysed by shock. I therefore live in fear.

We live in fear just being on my driveway, especially when I am with my children.

On Wednesday, 13th September 2017, a speeding driver who was obviously not paying attention crashed into my drive, hitting my wall, my car and the lamppost outside my house. Fortunately, the driver was relatively unharmed but she could have easily driven into oncoming traffic, hit me, my family or other pedestrians. This incident is not a one-off. At least once a month I clear up debris from the front of my home where vehicles have apparently been in a collision or hit the wall outside my property. I have witnessed the re-build of walls along the A6 too many times to remember. This indicates a very real threat to our safety and since this road is where school children walk, where parents push their children in strollers and people live and play, it is only a matter of time before people get hurt and inevitably killed. I therefore live in fear.

We live in fear because of housing developments proposed in the area.

While I do not object to new houses being built in around the Kibworths, it is inevitable that traffic along the A6 is going to intensify and therefore exacerbate the issues/conditions raised above. An increase in local population will obviously result in an increase in traffic, an increase in accidents, an increase in congestion, anger, abuse, pollution and fear for the local community.   

 There seems to be no appropriate solution other than to bypass the small and congested village of Kibworth, allowing a more direct route to Market Harborough and the A14 to be established. A bypass would also be more appropriate for the volume and type of traffic, which has increasingly become commercial heavy-weight lorries. Is it fatalities that will sway a decision to build a bypass? Maybe it is not enough that residents along the A6 are in fear from the constant threat of abuse, the rising levels of dangerous pollution and the fear of being mowed down by speeding and impatient motorists.

I have spoken with other residents along the A6 and those who reside in Kibworth who feel that walking along the A6 is unpleasant and unsafe and we all agree that it is high time that this matter stopped being bypassed and therefore urge you to take action. Alternatively, if a bypass will not be considered then maybe you could look at implementing some strategies to make walking and living here safer. Crash barriers, ‘Go Slow’ signs?

I will be sending a copy of this local councils, MPs, authorities, fellow residents, action groups, local and national media and will be looking to lobby support for this cause. We are fed up with being ignored and appalled at the less than sympathetic responses from local authorities and developers. This is a crisis and we do not want to live in fear any longer. 

I very much look forward to your timely response which I hope will include a proposal for action. 

The letter has been sent to

Click here for the petition set up on the Leicester County Council website

Click here for the Facebook page for those who wish to help out.

Issue 395

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