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Campaigns to cut speed in Gloucestershire's villages

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 21, 2013

CLOCKING CARS:  PC Sean Graham mans a mobile speed camera van on Cleeve Hill after complains from residents. Inset: Garry Handley

CLOCKING CARS: PC Sean Graham mans a mobile speed camera van on Cleeve Hill after complains from residents. Inset: Garry Handley

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SPEEDING kills.

It is an assertion that Garry Handley is only too ready to stand by.

And the road safety officer from Gloucestershire's Road Safety Partnership is determined to get the message across to motorists breaking the limits on the county's roads.

Mr Handley said: "Generally, speeding is a major problem in many communities and quite a significant cause of many road collisions.

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"We have been doing our best to educate motorists to drive at an appropriate speed.

"Speeding when you are tired is a silent killer.

"Some drivers tend to go faster when they are tired, so we suggest for them to rest for 20 minutes every two hours.

"The overall trend is down though.

"People are realising speeding is unacceptable and anti- social. It can lead to serious collisions."

He urged motorists to take note of their speeds when travelling in bad weather and to make sure there is the maximum distance between vehicles.

It comes two weeks after Gloucestershire Constabulary carried out speed checks on Cleeve Hill.

Residents had complained drivers were putting lives at risk with their speed.

Police trained their radar guns at vehicles travelling on the B4632 following a fatal crash last month.

Scott Tompkins, network manager at Gloucestershire Highways, said speed limits were set based on guidelines from the Department of Transport.

He added: "The limits are based on various factors, such as volume of traffic and the built environment.

"Drivers will drive to the conditions for the most part. If you have a built-up environment, such as houses to the side of the roads, we cannot set too high a speed limit."

Gloucestershire Highways undertook a countywide review two years ago on all its A and B roads.

Officers took into account factors such as average traffic speeds, as well as accident history, traffic volumes, and the number of cyclists and pedestrians using each stretch.

Mr Tompkins said: "We did surveys on traffic volume and speeds on a number of roads. There were not a lot of changes. Residents will campaign, sometimes for years, to have speed limits reduced.

"But experience and research suggests that lowering an existing speed limit might not mean it will reduce accidents.

"We get a lot of requests and parish councils are always asking us to lower speed limits, but there are other things the community can do as well."

Gotherington parish council is among the areas which have taken steps to prevent speeding.

The parish council started Gotherington Safer Speed in Practice last year, which clocks speeds and volumes of traffic.

New £3,000 gateways to warn drivers going through the village to slow down will also be put up this year.

OPINION, P8

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11 comments

  • geraint2010  |  February 12 2013, 4:43PM

    We used to have a bit of a speeding problem in and around our village, but potholes have solved that one now!

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  • safeandnice  |  February 12 2013, 4:13PM

    That goes without saying ;) Have the pros and cons been published? The problem is that if the gateways are positioned where they're less than effective, not only is it of little use to people using the roads there, or people living near the roads, it can also reduce the effectiveness of other gateways where they have taken the time and trouble. There's a bigger picture. Does the plan include a review of the results a few months along the line? In the short term it may sound good to say £3000 is being spent. How will the value be assessed? We can all walk into a shop and buy something. It's not always we can return it for refund.

  • philaplin  |  February 12 2013, 12:31PM

    In all these matters in Gotherington we are in consultation with Gloucester Highways with whom we have a very good working relationship. All the points you mention have been considered.

  • safeandnice  |  February 12 2013, 9:56AM

    If youre from Gotherington and you havent done it already you need to conduct speed surveys at the 3 speed limits. Those will help tell you if you have the right limit in the right place, although you probably have a feeling for that already. Is it a typical 30 with houses built up eather side? Does it only have houses one side so more likely perceived a 40? If there is only one house or no houses should the limit start there at all? The speed surveys will confirm what most people consider a safe speed to travel. If you're going to use the gateways to reinforce the limit, the limit and the gateways should be visible the same time as the houses. If the gateways are further out in the wrong place and for the wrong limit, the money may be better spent on the gold cup. If it's done correctly the excercise should reduce complaints of traffic speeds and need for enforcement. Is it parish money?

  • philaplin  |  February 05 2013, 2:02PM

    The Gotherington gateways will be installed where the Gotherington signs are now in two cases where the 30mph limit starts. We are concerned about the speed limit on the eastern approach and will be attempting to do something about that.

  • safeandnice  |  January 22 2013, 9:20AM

    Thats because its a road Tim :) If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, in all probability its a duck. If traffics travelling up to 40 its because thats what the type of road looks suitable. If its the old A38 you can imagine they built it quite wide to take the amount of traffic expected - even in the days of horse and cart. The good news is that if traffic is travelling up to 40 and its signed as such with a 40 limit pedestrians and anyone else, wait for a suitable gap before trying to cross and cross safely knowing the speed of traffic. Drivers know its dangerous for pedestrians so they'll try to avoid them if they make a mistake crossing the road If its signed as a 20 and theyve seen all the advertising on tv saying its safe to get run over at 20 they'll try crossing when its not suitable. Drivers may have also have watched the tv and believe its not too much of a problem if they accidentally run over someone at 20. If youve ever been run over by a 1 tonne car or an even heavier bus you'll know its something you may not be able to write home about. It doesnt take a fellow with a pipe from Baker Street to conclude which is really safer. A road or shared space - what is it?

  • tishwash  |  January 21 2013, 7:07PM

    will they PLEASE stop about cleeve hill, they've done surveys and found it's okay so stop already!

  • TimMessanger  |  January 21 2013, 5:26PM

    @safeandnice - want to watch the 20mph illuminating sign for a few an hour or so and you will see it light up to warn people that they are speeding for over 60% of the vehicles that pass. If you are trying to cross the road lower down on Southgate Street with a pushchair or you are infirm you will be taking your life in your hands as quite often the cars are driving in excess of 40mph!

  • safeandnice  |  January 21 2013, 12:55PM

    Tim thats not really what youd call a shared space. Its a road theyve tried to make a shared space. A clue is the 20mph limit. If you want examples of proper shared spaces look at nearby car parks around the city. They have 30mph limits but its irrelevant. Cars and pedestrians travel at speeds to mix freely giving way to each other. Its obvious when it is a proper shared space. You dont need a speed limit to make it work

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  • TimMessanger  |  January 21 2013, 12:03PM

    THE SHARED SPACE AND SOUTHGATE STREET IN GLOUCESTER PLEASE! I'm sick to death of the idiots overtaking me when I'm doing the prescribed speed limit!

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