Collaboration for Road Safety in Evington

A road traffic collision on Spencefield Lane involving an 11-year student from St. Paul’s Catholic School has reignited a debate about how to make Evington roads safer. Scant details have emerged but residents are speculating that speeding and poorly parked cars may have been contributory factors.

Leicestershire Police and East Midlands Ambulance Service were in attendance and members of the public helped by comforting the young victim and alerting the emergency services. We thank all those who assisted and we hope that by the time this issue is published the boy will have made a full recovery.

Traffic Calming Measures

One potential calming measure is to have further 20mph zones in the ward. Already 20 million people in England live in local authorities where 20mph applies to most urban or village roads. The nations of Wales and Scotland are setting 20mph as a national norm.

Restricted roads are usually located in highly populated residential and built-up areas with streetlights placed no more than 200 yards apart. The aim is to reduce the number of collisions and severe injuries as well as encouraging more people to walk and cycle in communities. Supporters of 20mph speed limit cite evidence that speed reduction helps to build safer communities.

Residents have consistently told the Evington Echo that they have observed drivers speeding through our village ignoring the 20mph limit on Main Street. Furthermore, they have observed drivers speeding on the sections of road between speed humps such as on Downing Drive. It obviously needs to be reiterated that all speed limits are the absolute maximum. It’s not safe to drive at the indicated speed in all weather conditions nor is it compulsory to drive at the speed indicated because they are maximum and not minimum limits.


Drivers caught speeding in 20mph and 30mph zones face tough penalties. Living with the consequences of speeding-related road traffic collisions could be tougher than paying a fine. Causing injury or death through dangerous and careless driving will likely cause shame and guilt. It is not worth the risk. What is needed is an attitude shift to speeding and the views of residents must bear greater weight in the debate on speeding policy.

Rod King MBE, the founder of campaign group 20’s Plenty for Us explained that “A maximum speed of 20mph where motors mix with people is recognised as best practice to create safer and more liveable neighbourhoods and communities. It makes little difference to journey times, yet reduces noise, encourages active travel, and reduces air pollution, which are so important to meet community aspirations and public health.” 


The changes do not abandon 30mph entirely and councils can make exemptions for roads so the 20mph limit does not apply there. Leicester City Council is on track to have 80% of streets in 20mph zones by 2027. Speed enforcement is the responsibility of Leicestershire Police and not the Council.  

There is clearly scope to adapt to the local situation which is to be encouraged. A catch-all speeding policy can often ill-serve the community it is designed to protect. Initially, reducing the speed to 20mph near schools at peak times could be a way forward to introduce the change gradually.

Once a quietish country lane, Spencefield Lane was redesignated as a B road to connect different neighbourhoods in Evington and to feed traffic between the A47 and smaller roads. As such, unfortunately, this makes it problematic, if not impossible, for its conversion to a 20mph zone.


There is heavy pedestrian use of Main Street and the roads around Evington’s 13 schools. Essential services like schools, GP surgeries, the retail sector and leisure are often used by people who are within walking distance. Crossing the road should not be a harrowing experience but it often can be for the young, the old and the disabled.

Councillors working together

Evington Councillors Jenny Joannou and Deepak Bajaj have been in discussions with the Heads of St Paul’s RC School and Krishna Avanti to discuss how to make dropping-off and pick-up times safer for pedestrians and drivers. They told the Echo “We are committed to finding solutions and we are exploring options such as crossings, bus services and other traffic calming measures.”

St Paul’s has been lobbying the council for a year but Assistant Mayor Councillor Adam Clarke, who has specialised in Transport Strategy, strongly denied that the recent collision was the key motivating factor for a renewed priority to road safety. “It would be wrong to assume the cause of this accident until we are in receipt of the police’s findings. We are keen to ensure that there is a package of measures planned for delivery as quickly as possible.” He explained that “Spencefield Lane is a priority due to the recognised issues of high traffic volume, inconsiderate parking, and the overall need to reduce the volume of car usage in traveling to and from schools across the city. Council officers have been in contact with schools to arrange targeted behaviour change activities and mechanisms to reduce car usage and dependency on travel to and from your schools and this work will continue over the summer.”

Principal of St Paul’s Shelley Conaghan said “It is obvious to everyone that it is not safe to park along Spencefield Lane on both sides of the road. Parents need somewhere to park safely and it is our preferred option to have a park and stride car park serving our schools. A school crossing outside the school gates and double yellow lines on Spencefield Lane would safeguard all the students going to and from school.”

Evington Councillor Zuffar Haq stated that as a newly elected councillor his priority issue is traffic in the area around schools. “There are 7 to 8 thousand pupils attending our local schools, the majority of whom are dropped off and picked up at the beginning and end of the school day. The level of school traffic has increased considerably, as school populations have grown. I have been meeting with the headteachers of most schools in Evington to improve the school traffic situation. The consensus is that more needs to be done to address this problem.”  


Which measures are being mooted?


  • Improving bus services to the area
  • Park and Stride
  • Working with parents and schools, to improve traffic flow and parking in drop off zones in the area.
  • More traffic wardens to monitor parking.
  • 20mph zones
  • A pedestrian crossing
  • ANPR cameras to monitor speeds



We commend the show of unity by our councillors who acknowledge that setting aside party differences for the common good of Evington is the most pragmatic way to tackle the considerable issues in our community. The article on page 4 of the August/September Evington Echo gives an update on road safety measures which are being mooted in the aftermath of several collisions in the last five years.  We have heard from councillors and school leaders but the Echo also needs to hear from you.

Please let us know your views using the usual contact methods listed on page 2.

  • What is your daily commute like?
  • What’s it like trying to negotiate the traffic on Evington’s busy roads?
  • Accidents are reported but near-misses are often not recorded. Have you witnessed or experienced a near-miss due to speeding or poor parking?
  • Are you in favour of a default speed limit of 20mph around schools ?
  • What is your message to Evington councillors and transport policymakers?

Community consent is essential if there is to be compliance to any eventual policy change but wider consultation of road users, pedestrians, and residents is necessary. A meeting for parents and residents is planned for September at St Paul’s. Please check our website for details. There is a persuasive argument for the needs of pedestrians to be paramount. Walking where practical rather than driving has health benefits but only if we are safe crossing the roads!

Harkesh Farma

Assistant Editor

Harkesh Farma

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