ANGRY residents say their estate has become a 'rat run' due to the St Mary's Roundabout works — putting children's lives at risk.

Standen Avenue residents have formed the Camp Hill Community Action Group (CHCAG) and asked the Isle of Wight Council to provide 'basic safety measures' in the area.

The road, and others in the Camp Hill estate, are privately owned by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Typically, they are just used by residents.

However, due to the one-way restrictions on Forest Road — introduced earlier this month while St Mary's Roundabout works are carried out — drivers have been using the estate to avoid diversions to Carisbrooke and Yarmouth.

Parkhurst ward councillor Andrew Garratt said the council should 'at least' erect a sign advising drivers it was a private road.

Cllr Garratt said: "The way I see it is the council are causing an issue with the work they are doing.

"These roads may be not in the council's legal ownership, but the council has a moral responsibility to the residents of this lovely, quiet village area.

"They are the council for the community so they should act on behalf of the community — talking to the MoJ and asking what they can do to at least make the roads safer."

Cllr Garratt said problems in the estate that have been overlooked — including poorly lit streets, poor road surfaces and a lack of road markings and signage — were made worse when extra vehicles used the roads.

"This road is connected by two council roads with real traffic management issues — this is a conflict of traffic with a risk of accident. The council could at least show some leadership and say the residents should not put up with it," said Cllr Garratt.

Some CHCAG members said they had been 'nearly killed' while walking through the estate and using its zebra crossings.

"This is a real safety issue," said one resident. "Nobody actually knows there are crossings there, they are not stopping at all."

Another added: "We want some consideration, we want it to be made safe and for someone to acknowledge there is a problem — this is not an alternative route.

"The worst bit is children play in front of their houses but cars are becoming impatient and actually coming up on the pavement to get past as they don't give way.

"One of my neighbours won't let her little boy out to play because of the traffic."

The CHCAG has held traffic counts on their usually quiet streets to draw attention to the number of vehicles cutting through the estate.

Last Thursday morning, the day of a public meeting to discuss the roadworks, more than 150 cars used the road while children walked to school. Yesterday (Tuesday), between 4.15pm and 5pm, 110 vehicles — including an Island Roads van and subcontractors involved in the roadworks — used the roads.

Forest Road is set to reopen to two-way traffic at the start of November but, with roadworks set to continue for the next 14 months, residents are concerned the traffic problems will continue.

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson said the authority was unable to comment on increased traffic, as data from the counts had not been submitted to the council or Island Roads, but any complaints could be reported to Island Roads.

UPDATE: An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson said they had in fact received the figures and "the authority would consider the data from the counts. In the meantime any complaints could be reported to Island Roads."

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