Speed limits: your views
By Barnaby Usborne
Many thanks to the 62 people who replied to the questionnaire in the last Newsletter. This represents about 20% of households in and around the parish; not bad considering you had to return your replies to one of the collection points in the parish, which was not convenient for everyone.
Two-thirds of you felt that speeding continued to be a problem, although some thought it never had been one. 60% believed signs of one sort or another were a price worth paying to curb speeding drivers and only one-third thought we should seek exclusion from the county scheme altogether.
As expected, there was overwhelming support (almost 90%) for having the Chartridge 30 mph sign moved closer to Chartridge School where it seemed more appropriate. But there was less support (60%) for moving the repeater signs out of The Lee Conservation Area. Some asked why The Lee should be treated as a special case.
What was revealing and unexpected was that half the respondents did not want any enforcement of the speed limits: no increased police presence or speed cameras.
Forty people took the time to add their own comments. As you would expect if you attended the meeting in May, there were a wide variety of views and some strongly-held opinions. Some wanted the signs removed altogether while others advocated physical traffic-calming measures. Four thought the money would have been better spent on repairing the potholes and two wanted the holes left as a deterrent.
From all of this it is difficult to extract many general conclusions. Even among the majority who accepted the need for speed limits, many felt that the number of signs we have is overkill. Understandably the greatest concern over traffic speeds came from those who live in the more obvious danger points such as Kings Ash, Swan Bottom and Oxford Street. Couldn’t the speed limits and their associated signage be simplified and focussed on these danger points, some asked?
The County Council has introduced legally enforceable limits on the whole area, and these bring with them the repeater signs and de-restriction signs that many feel most strongly about. Yet there is unlikely to be any enforcement, and indeed half the residents don’t want any. A more flexible approach, which would certainly be more acceptable to our rural community as a whole, would be to have a mixture of legal limits for the danger areas and advisory signs elsewhere. Of course even this would not please everyone and might present problems also.
No doubt this and other issues will be debated by the Parish Council at their meeting on 12th September, so there will be more to report in the next Newsletter.
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