Calls for better safety and reduction in Saffron Walden speeding after first accident on UDC’s new Urban Clearway

Following the first accident in what R4U predicted would be an unsafe traffic scheme forced on Saffron Walden by UDC, R4U pushes for traffic calming, speed restrictions and other changes.

John Lodge (R4U)John Lodge
R4U Chair & Leader UDC

R4U chair Councillor John Lodge said “We said the scheme was unsafe when the UDC leadership proposed creating an Urban Clearway through Saffron Walden by removing on-street parking from a mile of the town’s roads. Hundreds of residents, schools, business, and the Town Council all voiced concerns about the scheme, but they were all ignored. So after a week and the first accident, we now need it fixed. The UDC Cabinet claim they need their Clearway to increase car speeds through the town to decrease pollution – but anyone who actually knows the facts about pollution knows that removing parking has the opposite effect. The pollution problems in Saffron Walden are caused by cars idling and queueing at junctions – not driving between them. Removing on-street parking speeds up cars between junctions, creating longer lines at the junctions, and so actually increasing pollution!”

The accident happened at the Debden Rd traffic lights in the middle of UDC’s new Urban Clearway scheme in Saffron Walden on 28th October 2017

John Lodge continued “We all know that speed kills and removing parking has created unobstructed race-tracks through the town’s residential neighbourhoods. That makes our roads more dangerous for other road users and pedestrians. Less than 10 days after the yellow lines went in, it has been reported that many vehicles have been speeding through the town at more than 50 mph; and the first significant accident has happened. On Saturday police were called to the scene when a Saffron Walden mum, with her young daughter in their car, was hit by a vehicle that is understood to have come through the Debden Road lights on a red. We are lucky that their car protected them. However hundreds of school children walk down this route every day and an unsafe scheme is unacceptable. So we are now pushing for Essex County Council to put in safety measures, as we recently did successfully with the low railway bridge in Newport. We will let residents know the progress we make and expect UDC to now support any traffic calming and safety measures.”

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties.

R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). It is the fastest growing local political movement in its district. In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In 2017 it solidified its position with a further by-election gain with 60% of the vote. In the May 2019 Local Elections R4U gained majority control of UDC winning two-thirds of the seats. The result delivered the biggest loss of seats by any UK Conservative controlled council in the UK.

R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at