Cardiff community members have decided to stage a protest for new speed-curbing measures next Friday, after a car killed a schoolboy on Ninian Park Road.
Large numbers of concerned residents attended Tuesday night’s PACT meeting at the South Riverside Community Development Centre, Brunel Street, for discussions with councillors and police. The meeting was the first since 12-year-old Hamid Ali Khan was killed by a car on February 27.
The Fitzalan High School pupil was declared dead at the University Hospital of Wales, after suffering head injuries. A 25-year-old man was questioned on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving following the incident, but police have yet to confirm whether he will be charged. People in attendance expressed their anger with the lack of action to tackle drivers going in excess of Ninian Park Road’s 30mph speed limit, which they claim has been a problem for several years, and have decided to line the road between 3 and 4pm on March 20 in demonstration.
Remarkably, people are still speeding on Ninian Park Road, and several drivers were caught by police going in excess of the limit on Wednesday. Discussions at the PACT meeting centred on measures to deter speeding on the busy road put forward by local resident, Niamat Ullah, in a letter to Riverside’s councillors in the wake of the accident.
One resident in the packed venue said: “Some cars go down doing 90mph and this has been going on for years. There were two kids knocked down a few years ago, it was an accident waiting to happen. We have had meetings many times in the past and nothing ever happens.”
Mr Ullah’s letter suggested installing speed cameras and introducing a 20mph zone for the whole of Riverside. He also proposed a reduction in traffic by closing the junctions on to Ninian Park Road from surrounding streets, speed humps or a combination of appropriate measures, while another resident suggested making it a one-way street.
Councillor Iona Gordon led the discussions, where residents aired their grief, anger and desire for positive change. Speed humps or cameras proved popular – as well as the silent protest, which one person in attendance said would be “a guard of honour for Hamit” – and residents agreed to try and push for their implementation.
Coun Gordon said: “On the speed humps, the money is sitting there from the Welsh Government. If we want that, we can say there was support for this scheme and that would be implemented in this year’s funding.
“And if the 20mph zone can be done in Cathays, why can’t it be done here? We are going to protest and get everyone we know down on to Ninian Park Road, meeting outside of Kitchener Road Primary School.”
Coun Gordon also handed around a petition, while Councillor Darren Williams plans to share the petition online.
Referring to the investigation into the child’s death, PC Emma Coombes, who attended the meeting with two colleagues, said: “As you can appreciate, it is a live investigation. As a result of the incident a person was arrested, and bailed a short time afterwards. They were released with conditions, whilst the investigation is carried out.”
PC Coombes told the PACT meeting the person who was arrested is now in prison, having had a temporary license for another offence revoked.