A COMMUNITY outraged by "over the top" ideas for slowing down traffic has won a second chance to press home its objections.

Highways leaders have agreed to extend a consultation exercise with Bewdley residents on a scheme to create a network of traffic-calming measures around Cleobury Road.

The move to hold a public meeting and also to seek views from the Bewdley Chamber of Trade will be welcomed by protesting residents who have flooded Worcestershire County Council with objections.

They say the council is using " a sledge-hammer to crack a nut" in its proposals to create 59 road humps, speed cushions and platforms on roads approaching St Anne's middle and first schools.

And they have criticised the three-week consultation exercise over the Christmas period which they say was badly timed and too short.

The scheme was sparked by the county council's hopes of winning a Government-backed Safer Routes to School grant to encourage children to walk to school.

A bid for the £230,000 project was subject to a spring deadline but following a wave of protest this has been extended.

County council member for Rock and Bewdley councillor Ken Peers said the original timescale made the consultation process "far too short".

He said: "We have now been informed by Government that the proposed scheme will not be financed until the next financial year, thus allowing further time to hear the views of residents."

He had put pressure on the council to defer any work until further consultation took place including a public meeting that would be held probably after Easter.

A protest group leaflet has described the scheme to include humps and bumps and 20 mph speed limits as "ill-considered" and "way over the top".

It acknowledges a speeding problem on Cleobury Road but asks: "Is this a sledge-hammer to crack a nut, or is there a more sensible way?"

Protest spokesman Mike Hardiman said he would also bring to attention a Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions report that showed traffic-calming increased car emissions.