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Students launch campaign calling for speed camera
A GROUP of students at Didcot Girls’ School have launched a campaign calling for a speed camera to be installed on a “dangerous” stretch of road.
Bethany Ray, 15, Bethany Brogden, 16, Chelsea Sleep, 15, and Maisie Cox, 15, are campaigning for the speed camera to be placed on the A4130 at Hadden Hill.
There have been three fatal accidents on the road in the past nine years, four serious accidents and 26 that caused minor injuries.
The girls have set up a Facebook group, Speed Cameras on Hadden Hill Road, which has 406 members and have been working on a petition, which has more than 100 signatures.
It is all part of their year 11 GCSE Citizenship project, in which groups of four students have been campaigning for an issue close to their hearts.
The campaign comes after Jack Varney, 19, and Rhys Roberts, 21, died in a crash on the road on May 28.
Miss Ray said: “Jack was my brother’s best friend – and my cousin Nathan Mills was really good friends with Rhys – so it affected our family and it affected their families.
“One of my mum’s friends also died on the road as well.
“We have had lots of support because they are quite well known boys in Didcot. We are hoping to get lots more signatures across half term.”
An inquest was held into the deaths of Mr Varney and Mr Roberts in September, which revealed their car was driving at 55mph on the 40mph road.
It also showed Mr Roberts was more than one and a half times the drink-drive limit at the time of the crash.
Oxfordshire County Council cut the speed limit on the road five years ago due to concerns about the number of accidents.
Miss Ray added: “We will be taking it further once the petition is finished – we will be sending it to Cllr Tony Harbour who has been a great help.
“We are also going down there and using speed guns on the Hadden Hill Road once we get back to school.”
Didcot South Cllr Tony Harbour said: “I’m always keen to support students from both Didcot Girls’ School and St Birinus when they are passionate about something in the town where they live.
“Last week they approached me to see if I could give them any further ideas to help their cause, which I was more than happy to do.”
The last speed trial on the road was conducted in May 2011 and another has been authorised to take place late this week or early next week.
But a county council spokesman confirmed there are no current plans for a speed camera to be installed on Hadden Hill Road.
Owen Moreton said: “The 40mph limit came into effect on May 5, 2008.
“Since then there has been one fatal, three serious and six slight injury accidents reported.
“In the five years prior to the limit being introduced, there were two fatal, one serious and 20 slight accidents reported.
“Overall accident frequency on this stretch of road has reduced by 50 per cent since the 40mph limit was introduced.”