Pensioner who put up bollards to protect his home from cars writes to Queen in attempt to sway council

Braintree and Witham Times: Pensioner who put up bollards to protect his home from cars writes to Queen in attempt to sway council Pensioner who put up bollards to protect his home from cars writes to Queen in attempt to sway council

A fed-up pensioner who put up bollards in a desperate attempt to protect his home has taken his battle to the Queen in a final roll of the dice.

Owen Allan, 75, of Beaufort Gardens, Braintree, claims motorists treat his estate like a racetrack and vehicles have left the road and damaged the railings in front of his home about half a dozen times.

The retired medical technician fears it is only a matter of time before a car comes careering through his bungalow and has spent the last year pressing for speed bumps to be introduced.

He eventually resorted to installing concrete bollards outside his home after growing frustrated at Essex County Council’s reluctance to introduce new traffic-calming measures.

After further communication with Essex County Council, Mr Allan wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron in the summer.

He received a response from officials at 10 Downing Street in July thanking him for the letter and indicating the matter had been handed to the Department for Transport.

But after making no further progress, Mr Allan has now sent a four-page handwritten letter to the Queen in a last-ditch attempt to sway the council.

Comments (3)

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6:28pm Fri 3 Jan 14

calamity says...

Keep up the good work. Highways and E C Council don't care about danger to home owners on dangerous roads. The motorist is more important in their eyes. My neighbour threatened them with endangering their safety after many many accidents. They have backed down.
Keep up the good work. Highways and E C Council don't care about danger to home owners on dangerous roads. The motorist is more important in their eyes. My neighbour threatened them with endangering their safety after many many accidents. They have backed down. calamity
  • Score: 2

10:18pm Fri 3 Jan 14

OMPITA [Intl] says...

Owen Allen’s gates are slap bang in front of anyone who fails to safely negotiate the right hand turn at the end of a 1 in 40 downhill quarter mile straight stretch of road. It is no surprise therefore that numerous drivers have already come to grief at that very spot through their selfish disregard to the designated speed limit and no having respect for the existing speed bumps. It doesn’t require the ‘brains of an Arch Bishop’ to appreciate the situation.

It is almost a year since his fears were first highlighted in the BWT (see Archive dated 2nd February 2013). It would be mighty interesting to learn just how much proactive interest the police have taken during the interim period pursuant to apprehending and dealing with drivers exceeding the speed limit along that stretch of road. Not enough to allay Mr Allen’s fear that’s for sure. (I think it would make for an interesting FOI request).

Wearing my cynical hat I am minded to predict that nothing of real substance will happen until (perish the thought) Owen’s Gates become the Pearly Gates for some errant driver or unfortunate passenger.

Then standby by for the clarion calls for investigation and action. The recriminations and buck passing will no doubt command attention for a few weeks until everything fizzles back to normality once more. If the ‘powers that be’ in Braintree had the courage and will to deal with this matter it would have been ‘done and dusted’ and ‘put to bed’ months ago.

It is shameful that Mr Allen has been forced into a corner whereby he understandably thinks that he must resort to such extraordinary measures as writing to Her Majesty to try and get resolution.

I admire him for his tenacity and sympathise with his predicament, but I doubt if anyone really cares. It is just another indication of how the core values that were such second nature to his generation mean nothing whatsoever to the couldn’t care less later members of society who run the show today. It seems that they just have no understanding of, let alone respect for such things.

Good luck with your campaign Owen – but don’t hold your breath Sir.
Owen Allen’s gates are slap bang in front of anyone who fails to safely negotiate the right hand turn at the end of a 1 in 40 downhill quarter mile straight stretch of road. It is no surprise therefore that numerous drivers have already come to grief at that very spot through their selfish disregard to the designated speed limit and no having respect for the existing speed bumps. It doesn’t require the ‘brains of an Arch Bishop’ to appreciate the situation. It is almost a year since his fears were first highlighted in the BWT (see Archive dated 2nd February 2013). It would be mighty interesting to learn just how much proactive interest the police have taken during the interim period pursuant to apprehending and dealing with drivers exceeding the speed limit along that stretch of road. Not enough to allay Mr Allen’s fear that’s for sure. (I think it would make for an interesting FOI request). Wearing my cynical hat I am minded to predict that nothing of real substance will happen until (perish the thought) Owen’s Gates become the Pearly Gates for some errant driver or unfortunate passenger. Then standby by for the clarion calls for investigation and action. The recriminations and buck passing will no doubt command attention for a few weeks until everything fizzles back to normality once more. If the ‘powers that be’ in Braintree had the courage and will to deal with this matter it would have been ‘done and dusted’ and ‘put to bed’ months ago. It is shameful that Mr Allen has been forced into a corner whereby he understandably thinks that he must resort to such extraordinary measures as writing to Her Majesty to try and get resolution. I admire him for his tenacity and sympathise with his predicament, but I doubt if anyone really cares. It is just another indication of how the core values that were such second nature to his generation mean nothing whatsoever to the couldn’t care less later members of society who run the show today. It seems that they just have no understanding of, let alone respect for such things. Good luck with your campaign Owen – but don’t hold your breath Sir. OMPITA [Intl]
  • Score: 4

8:43pm Sun 5 Jan 14

essex666 says...

I live not too far from Mr Allen and estimate the road in question has approx 20 sets of speed bumps already. In the last couple of years I have seen at least 3 vehicles embedded in Mr Allen's front gates. On all three occasions the road was covered in snow. On one incident I was actually walking past the property and witnessed the vehicle (doing no more than 5-10 mph) slide off the road and into the gates. I cannot verify every incident but believe that it is actually the weather conditions to blame and not speeding traffic. It is unfortunate for Mr Allen that he lives at the bottom of a steep hill and sharp bend but cannot see what Mr Allen would like the council / highways agency to do. There are plenty of speed bumps along that stretch of road, any more would resemble driving down a cart track. He has already installed numerous concrete bollards outside his property. Perhaps better gritting or installing a salt bin so that residents could grit the bend are my only suggestions.
I live not too far from Mr Allen and estimate the road in question has approx 20 sets of speed bumps already. In the last couple of years I have seen at least 3 vehicles embedded in Mr Allen's front gates. On all three occasions the road was covered in snow. On one incident I was actually walking past the property and witnessed the vehicle (doing no more than 5-10 mph) slide off the road and into the gates. I cannot verify every incident but believe that it is actually the weather conditions to blame and not speeding traffic. It is unfortunate for Mr Allen that he lives at the bottom of a steep hill and sharp bend but cannot see what Mr Allen would like the council / highways agency to do. There are plenty of speed bumps along that stretch of road, any more would resemble driving down a cart track. He has already installed numerous concrete bollards outside his property. Perhaps better gritting or installing a salt bin so that residents could grit the bend are my only suggestions. essex666
  • Score: 0

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