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Police Cleeve Hill speed survey "in wrong place" say residents

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 11, 2013

ROAD FEARS:  The 40mph limit on Cleeve Hill

ROAD FEARS: The 40mph limit on Cleeve Hill

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SPEED checks carried out by police on a hilltop road near Cheltenham have been carried out in the wrong place, insist residents.

Following a fatal crash last month, villagers complained motorists were travelling too quickly along the B4632 in Cleeve Hill – a road they said was fraught with danger.

This week police said they had conducted speed checks at the site and their findings showed hardly anyone was going too fast along the route.

Zone

They spent 12 days focusing on the hill's 50mph zone outside Cleeve Hill Nursing Home, just north of the main village, reporting the average speed of traffic was 39mph.

However, residents said, while they were grateful to police for their efforts, the research was not carried out in the correct place.

Instead, they said, officers should be aiming their speed guns at vehicles passing through the village, which has a speed limit of 40mph.

David King, who has lived on the hill for the past 25 years, said: "I'm very pleased police have been doing this work, but it sounds as if they have been doing it in the wrong place.

"The most dangerous stretch of that road is in what we refer to as the village, between the turnoff before the Rising Sun pub and Stockwell Lane, where there is a 40mph limit.

"It's very bendy and you get lots of cars pulling out of driveways and pedestrians trying to cross over.

"That is where the police should be focusing their attention.

"If they have been monitoring the 50mph area then that is not the right stretch of road."

Fellow resident Phillip Baker echoed the view, pointing out that speeding had been a problem in the village for years.

"The police seem to have missed the point," he said.

"Drivers are exceeding the 40mph limit while others may well be driving within the limit but beyond the safety limits of the road.

"In truth this area should have a 30mph limit.

"The way things are at the moment pedestrians take their live into their own hands when they cross the road." Sergeant Claire Morgan said the focus area for speed checks had been chosen after consultation with residents. "We will continue to monitor the issue and will be carrying out more speed checks on the road in the coming weeks," she said. "The safety of the community remains at the heart of all the work we do."

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  • buffersyeoman  |  January 14 2013, 11:37AM

    Before anything is decided over this issue there are NO dangerous roads. It is the users of those roads and the way in which THEY drive. I have travelled this road for years and can I suggest that the County Highways survey this road because it is in and appauling state. Tarmac patchwork comes to mind., adverse cambers,drain and manhole covers loose or raised, service providers who criss - cross the road with gullies, bad signage or too many in some areas, subsidence , lying water the list is endless. This no doubt some of these features are known to County Highways and that is why it was declassified to a "B" class road. Before anything else is done or said a site meeting should be conducted with ALL residents being given their voice to this. Maybe Sergeant Morgan did not consult all residents ! hell there cannot be too many!?

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  • verysceptical  |  January 12 2013, 1:00AM

    Ironically most of the speeding cars I see here and around the village belong to Cleevelink who seem to think they are immune when it comes to road traffic laws...

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  • safeandnice  |  January 12 2013, 12:41AM

    This isnt the first time a speed limit reduction in the area has been followed by serious accident. Too much focus on the speed limit can lead to complacency. If there are dangerous parts of the road - work out what can be done to make them safer. Assuming there are some. Why not put the speed limit back to where it was and concentrate the mind on real safety?

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  • tishwash  |  January 11 2013, 5:47PM

    average speed of 39MPH is still LOWER than the 40MPH limit further down the road.... Either way I bet these "residents" speed in other parts of the country, it's the "not on my doorstep" attitude. Often driving too slow forces people to overtake rather than being stuck for miles, sorry it's not good but I wouldn't sit behind someone doing 39MPH in a 50 for very long.

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  • geraint2010  |  January 11 2013, 10:42AM

    Cheltenham20, Yes the "improvements" made to the A38 south of Tewkesbury are as classic example of over-reaction to safety concerns. Yesterday I followed a car our of Tewkesbury which got stuck behind a moped rider who insisted on riding in the middle of the hatched-narrowed road at speeds no more than 20mph! The lady driver in front of me refused to overtake the moped for several miles as a long queue of vehicles built up behind us. I'm a patient sort of guy but admit it got my blood up and it took a great deal of self-control not to risk a collision by forcing my way past the two of them!

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  • amy86  |  January 11 2013, 10:05AM

    I drive this road every day, the speed isnt the problem. Its not possible to do more than 40/50 on this part of the hill unless you have a superpowered car due to the gradient of the rise. The problems arise with residents driving too slowly (as the survey proved with the average speed on the 50 stretch being 39mph) and cyclists taking up too much space on the edges ofthe roads. Yes there are lots of bends and turnings, and it doesnt help that these roads are on very steep hills themselves so people pulling out of them sometimes either dont stop, or end up halfway out onto the main road. Th weather factors are also an issue, the fog yesterday was ridiculous (obviously nothing can be done about this but to drive slower and more carefully), but any standing water, ice etc cause real problems - but again, sensible driving will avoid any problems.

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  • cheltenham20  |  January 11 2013, 9:56AM

    A car accident a month ago, resulting in the death of an aged driver, as far as i can reccolect that would be the first fatality in 20 years on this stretch of road,, Accidents happen, it don't mean you have to put in Speed humps , and other unnesseserry measures because of an accident.. Go on the road, cheltenham to Tewkesbury and at the Odessa pub, a few years ago a motor cyclist doing 100mph was killed through bad driving, so the council had traffic lights installed and made the road single lane,,,talk about knee jerk reaction. I use the Cleeve hill road regually and don't see any problems... Only one car involved in the accident a month ago, the driver i understand was 85 years of age, you draw your own conclusions....

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  • Matt1006  |  January 11 2013, 9:21AM

    Yes, mixed messages here. The residents say the checks have been undertaken in the wrong place, but the police say their checks were as a result of consultation with the residents (presumably the same bunch of residents). So either the police having consulted with the residents then ignored what they had been told, or the residents gave the police duff information as part of the consultation. From what the residents now say, the police operation appears to have been a waste of time. Or are the residents now trying to save face as their concerns have been disproved through the police operation (which they were consulted on)? Something doesn't quite add up. It's not rocket science to know that all speed limits are ignored by some drivers. And even at the worse accident blackspots the vast majority of traffic passes through without incident. And this all seems to stem from the fatal crash last month - has the cause of that accident been proved yet, and if not who says that excess speed had anything to do with it?

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  • raidermanuk  |  January 11 2013, 8:05AM

    "Sergeant Claire Morgan said the focus area for speed checks had been chosen after consultation with residents" So who got it wrong then? The police or the residents.

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