Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Friday, 13 March 2009

Road crash speed cut considered

Ellen Hendry
Mrs Hendry died hours after a petition was handed in

A council has pledged to review the speed limit on a busy road where a pensioner died in a car crash.

Ellen Hendry, 81, died in November 2008 on the A690 near her home in Brancepeth village, when she was struck by a Suzuki Swift.

Just hours before her death villagers had handed in a petition calling for the limit to drop from 40mph to 30mph.

Durham County County has now agreed to carry out a consultation into the speed limit on the Durham to Crook route.

The petition calling for the limit to be reduced was signed by more than 200 villagers.

Even though the speed limit was reduced from 60mph to 40mph in 2007, villagers claimed motorists were still driving too fast.

'Satisfy everyone'

Councillor Bob Young, the council's cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said a recent study had found the average speed of traffic passing through the village was 35mph.

He said: "It's perhaps not as fast as residents thought, but nevertheless, although there are very few houses bordering the road, we consider their closeness to what is a main arterial route into the west of the county warrants a lower limit.

"It is understandable that motorists are travelling at the speed they do because of the nature of the road and the sparseness of the built-up surroundings.

"We believe we can come up with a pragmatic way forward that, subject to the outcome of consultation, which will satisfy everyone's requirements."

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