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Stinchcombe Community Speedwatch

Stinchombe Speed Watch update March 2024

Stealthy Speed Monitoring: The Results

We all paid for the radar speed sign via our Council Tax so it’s only right that there should be a progress report.

Stinchcombe Speedwatch

People asked why the sign wasn’t working when it first appeared. In fact, it was stealthily logging the time and speed of every vehicle in both directions. These baseline data show the “normal” speeds at the four places marked with a red star on the map i.e. the Highways-approved locations where we have a post and mounting bar. Baseline data also enable us to quantify the slowing effect of the sign when illuminated.

Stinchcombe Speedwatch

So, how much of a speeding problem does Stinchcombe have? Here are the results:

Largest number of speeders: Taits Hill Road – Blackthorn Barn

  • over 5,000 vehicles a day in total
  • around 2,800 of those exceed the 30-mph limit
  • about 120 vehicles a day exceed 40 mph, the majority heading towards the A38
  • on average about 4 vehicles a day exceed 50 mph

Worst speeding: The Avenue

  • about 4,000 vehicles a day in total
  • over 2,100 of these exceed the 30-mph limit
  • about 10% of speeders are doing more than 40 mph
  • on average about 13 vehicles a day exceed 50 mph
  • highest recorded speed 73 mph – in the middle of the day!

Less but not trivial speeding: The Street

  • about 4,000 vehicles per day in total
  • around 670 of these exceed the 30-mph limit, mostly by only a few mph
  • this matters in a residential area with village hall, sports fields and soon to be reinstated playground – a pedestrian hit at 30 mph has a 1 in 5 chance of being killed compared with a 1 in 3 chance at 35 mph

Lack of safe crossings: Taits Hill – Vale Vets

  • no real problem with the 30-mph speed limit being broken
  • even at these compliant traffic speeds we’re told that
    • pedestrians find it difficult to cross the road safely
    • residents struggle to pull out of their driveways safely
  • we recommend that Stinchcombe and Cam Parish Councils work together to lobby for road safety improvements

Initial results with the sign illuminated are encouraging!

We’ve only processed the initial results for The Avenue and The Street to date.

The Avenue

Traffic entering the village from Dursley Road encounters the sign. While it was in place, compliance with the speed limit in that direction increased from about 40% to nearly 75%. The mean speed fell from 32.7 mph to 29.0 mph.

The Street

While the sign was in place on The Street, compliance with the speed limit for traffic travelling in the Dursley direction increased by almost 10%, from 82.71% to 92.26%. The mean speed decreased from 27.2 mph to 25.8 mph.

What’s next?

Stinchcombe Speed Watch will continue to move the radar sign around the four locations. Now we know there is a particular problem with vehicles heading towards the A38, we’re going to do 2 weeks in each direction at Taits Hill Road – Blackthorn Barn.

After several complete cycles, we’ll issue a further report looking at the effectiveness of the sign over a longer period. Will the response of drivers diminish, or will there be a progressive training effect? Time will tell.

The report will consider additional ways to maximise speed reduction. Evidence from the Police suggests that their advisory letters to recorded speeders are an effective deterrent. We’ll be looking at the feasibility of measures that generate letters to the worst and most persistent offenders, including:

  • targeted manual monitoring; and
  • deployment of a permanent AutoSpeedWatch camera on at least one of the existing posts.

The Price Tag

There would be costs associated with the AutoSpeedWatch option, which we’ll quantify in the report. Stinchcombe Speed Watch already has funds to purchase a camera and cover the first year’s data connectivity charge. Ongoing operating costs (data connectivity and the Police’s charge for letters) would need to be met from the Parish precept, which comes from our Council Tax.

We’re keen that residents should see the cost data and have chance to express their views on whether the expense would be justified.

Kath
on behalf of Stinchcombe Speed Watch

Road Safety Week

Road Safety Week 19th Nov 2023

We’re taking part in Road Safety Week

Road Safety Week

Stinchcombe Speed Watch is taking part in Road Safety Week, organised by the road safety charity, Brake.  The objective this year is to start a national conversation about speed.

Why?

Here are five good reasons:

  1. On average five people die on British roads every day
  2. Inappropriate speed contributes to around 39% of crashes that result in death or serious injury, of which there were 29,742 in Great Britain in 2022
  3. Every 1mph increase in speed increases crash frequency by 5%
  4. The risk of a pedestrian being killed increases slowly up to impact speeds of around 30 mph but at speeds of 30 – 40mph becomes 3.5 to 5.5 times more likely
  5. About half of pedestrian fatalities occur at impact speeds of 30 mph or below.

Learn more from

And turning the spotlight on Gloucestershire …

Our statistics for people killed or seriously injured on the roads remain poor.  This was tragically brought home to us in Stinchcombe by the fatal crash on Taits Hill, the first anniversary of which passed recently.

The fact is we’re lagging behind other local authorities.  Our figures increased in 2022 whereas the best-performing local authority (Staffordshire) saw a 52% reduction.

Trends

Source

So please join in the conversation with us …

There are various ways to do that:

  1. Comment at the end of this article on the Parish website. 
  2. Attend our Stopping Distances* event at the Village Hall at 3pm on Sunday 19th November to take part in a memorable demonstration and share themed biscuits and cakes.
  3. Come and talk if you see our stand at Leaf & Ground.
  4. Respond to our posts on Stinchcombe Social or make your own.
  5. If you know who we are you can even buttonhole us in the street.

* Brake research found that 71% of drivers don’t know what distance to keep from a vehicle in front of them.

Driving Habits

It’s a very rare person who never drives too fast and we’re not going to be judging anyone.  We just want to hear what you think.  Why and where do we speed?  What would stop us?  What do we think about others speeding? Do we know the facts about speed and its potential consequences? Does our vehicle make it all too easy to speed? Are we using any features it has to help us keep to appropriate speeds?

The Speed Watch Team: Trudy Chinn, Don Cribb, John Delafield, Kath Hudson, Joan Jelfs, Marion Twentyman and Ava Walker

The Quiz

On that last note, let’s kick off the campaign with a short quiz.  It will also be available on Stinchcombe Social, along with other campaign posts.  You’ll find some of the answers in this article and we’ll publish them all on Saturday 25 th November.  

1. How many people die on UK roads every day?

a) 2

b) 3

c) 4

d) 5

2. Each year, how many fatal crashes involve someone driving too fast?

a) 1 in 3

b) 1 in 4

c) 1 in 5

d) 1 in 6

3. Which roads have the most speeding cars?

a) Urban (30 mph limit)

b) Motorway (70 mph limit)

c) Rural (60 mph limit)

4. What is the total stopping distance at 30 mph? (Average car length is 4 metres)

a) 9 m (2.25 car lengths)

b) 12 m (3 car lengths)

c) 18 m (4.5 car lengths)

d) 23 m (5.75 car lengths)

5. What is the total stopping distance at 20 mph? (Average car length is 4 metres)

a) 6 m (1.5 car length)

b) 9 m (2.25 car lengths)

c) 12 m (3 car lengths)

d) 15 m (3.75 car lengths)

6. How many times more likely is a crash at 30 mph likely to cause severe injury than a crash at

20 mph?

a) The same

b) Twice as likely

c) Three times as likely

7. How many drivers don’t know what distance to keep from a vehicle in front of them?

a) 37%

b) 53%

c) 71%

d) 90%

Safety Culture Diagram

Consultation on GCC’s Draft Road Safety Policy

Gloucestershire County Council Road Safety Policy – CONSULTATION

I promised to let residents know when this consultation started. You can have your say by following this link:

CONSULTATION

The consultation is open until 11th September. The Parish Council and Stinchcombe Speed Watch will participate but members of the public are encouraged to join in too.

If you feel strongly, either way, about more 20 mph limits this is your chance to tell the County Council. Safer walking and cycling are other key themes on which you can comment. Horse riders don’t get the same attention in the policy as predestrians and cyclists. Bearing in mind the recent incident on Wick Lane, some of our many equestrians might want to raise that point.

Kath

20 Plenty

Time to reconsider 20’s plenty?

Valentine’s Day – time to reconsider 20’s Plenty?

Until a couple of months ago I thought 20’s Plenty was all wishful thinking and wheelie bin stickers.  Then the Parish Council got an email from Scott McNeill, campaign organiser for Gloucestershire. Scott urged us to pass a motion supporting 20 mph as the default speed limit on village and urban streets where people live, work, shop, play or learn.

A Persuasive Campaign

Following up on the links Scott sent us, I was amazed at the head of steam behind the campaign both nationally and locally. More than 1 in 3 of the UK population live in Local Authorities which already accept 20mph as the right speed limit where cars come into contact with people.  That includes our neighbours in Oxfordshire, Bath & North East Somerset and Bristol and the whole of Wales.  In all these areas and in many others the process of rolling out 20 mph limits has started.

Yes, but …

Like me, you’ve probably got questions and doubts about how 20 mph limits would work.  As a starting point, have a look at this short video by Rod King, founder of 20’s Plenty

Video is on the website or see the video here

20’s Plenty Gloucestershire

Here in Gloucestershire there is strong and growing support for wider use of 20 mph limits.  85% of the 121 town and parish councils responding to a county council survey last December were in favour.  The survey was rather a rushed affair in the run up to Christmas and we suspect that it was overlooked by a considerable number of councils.

At the most recent count, nearly 50 councils, including Stinchcombe PC, have confirmed their support for a 20 mph residential limit by passing a motion. Some of the District Councils are included and the Greens in Stroud District plan to bring a motion at the next full council meeting.

Gloucestershire Constabulary now strongly supports the use of 20 mph zones and encourages their greater use, especially in residential areas. (Based on letter from Chief Constable Rod Hansen to Eastington residents, quoted in GCC Environment Scrutiny Committee minutes of 12/1/22.)

Since I signed up as the 20’s Plenty campaigner for Stinchcombe I’ve been talking tactics with Scott and other campaigners around Gloucestershire.  I’ve also made contact with neighbouring councils, some in full support, others undecided or  unaware of recent developments.  At the national level, Rod King and Campaign Manager Anna Semlyen are approachable and full of knowledge and enthusiasm.

Public Consultation

GCC accepts that “20 mph limits are going to be a key instrument in delivering safer roads”.  It has included 20 mph limits in a wider review of its Road Safety Policy.  Full public consultation is expected to take place in April/May this year.

I’ll do my best to ensure that Stinchcombe residents are notified in good time and know how to participate if they wish. 

Let’s start talking now

We don’t need to wait for the consultation to begin considering this complex issue.  If you have thoughts or questions about introducing 20 mph limits in Stinchcombe you can contact me at Stinchcombe@20splentyforus.org.uk

  • Was the Parish Council right to pass a motion of support?
  • Where would you welcome a 20 mph residential limit in Stinchcombe?
  • Are there stretches of road you think should retain a higher limit?
  • Would you want a 20 mph limit by your home?
  • What benefits would 20 mph limits have for you and your family?
  • What doubts or concerns would you have?

I won’t have the answer to every question but if it’s possible to get one for you I will do so.

How would it fit in with our other planned traffic calming measures?

Our vehicle-activated sign (VAS), when we get it, could be used with 20 mph limits just as well as with 30 mph limits. It would provide useful data on how speeds changed with the introduction of a lower limit.   In case you’re wondering, the current position is that our VAS application is still with Highways, nearly 4 months since we first submitted it.  County Councillor Linda Cohen is helping us chase up a response.

Village gateways are compatible with 20 mph limits and are often used to reinforce them.  We have identified a preferred supplier for village gateways on Wick Lane, Echo Lane and Taits Hill.  There will be a meeting soon between representatives of the Parish Council and Stinchcombe Speed Watch and residents who have offered funding to come up with a detailed proposal.  The proposal will then be publicised so that others have chance to comment.

Kath Hudson 🦸‍♀️

Monitoring Team

It’s a Lottery

No, we don’t mean crossing The Street at busy times, though that can be a game of chance.  We’re talking about the Lucky Severn Lottery.

You can support Stinchcombe Speed Watch by buying a ticket from our lottery page.  It’s easy to access using the QR code on the flyer.

Every penny we get will go towards improving road safety in Stinchcombe.  The increase in Parish Precept (i.e. your council tax) will pay for the vehicle-activated sign.  But we want to do more, starting with automated traffic counts to provide the comprehensive evidence we need and village gateways like those in Slimbridge.

We’ve been set a target of 50 tickets in the first 28 days.   Please help us to meet it – just 18 more tickets before the end of August and we’re there!

Lucky Severn

Your Street Needs You

Your street needs YOU

Your Street needs YOU!

Without breaking any rules, Stinchcombe Speed Watch has been busy throughout the pandemic.  Following our Committee meeting on 2nd July, here is our latest news.

Speed Monitoring on The Street

Community speed watch monitoring recently began on The Street.  It is vital as a way of demonstrating our community’s commitment to tacking the speeding problem.  Without that evidence we may not get approval to use a vehicle-activated sign at locations on The Street.  Enforcement monitoring by the Police, although very welcome, is not a substitute for the involvement of residents.

Call for volunteers

We desperately need some more volunteers to assist Trudy and Cherry.  Taits Hill Road veterans are currently helping out, but we can’t expect them to do that long term. Come on all you public-spirited residents of The Street!  All it takes is a few minutes training and as little as one hour a month.  The timing of the sessions is flexible – weekdays or weekends, daytime or evenings before dusk.  Our new speed gun is much lighter than the old ones.  And abuse from motorists has really not been a problem.  In fact, we get the thumbs up more often than the finger.

Please contact  our Co-ordinator Ava if you can help.

Speed Watch “Good Practice” Meeting 29th July

Together with District Cllr Catherine Braun, we’ve been instrumental in setting up this online meeting.  Our County Councillor, District Councillors, high level Police and Highways representatives and people from other local parishes will be attending.  We intend to use the meeting to help fine tune our imminent applications for 1) a vehicle-activated sign and 2) a speed limit review for the bottom end of Berkeley Road.

Automated Traffic Survey on Taits Hill Road (19th – 25th May)

This was funded privately by Committee members to support our application for a vehicle-activated sign.  The data came in extremely handy for our detailed and critical comments on the proposed Taits Hill Road development.  We want to raise  £250 to do the same on The Street.

AGM

Our first AGM will be held at the Village Hall on Wednesday 29th September, starting at 7.30 pm. Save the date if you have an interest in road safety in Stinchcombe.

Mobile Speed Camera outside the Village Hall

Results of the Survey on Funding Community Projects

Thank You

Many thanks to the 41 households that returned their forms – about a quarter of the households in the parish.

It is notoriously difficult to get a good response rate.  Coinciding with a lockdown certainly doesn’t help!  There are probably many reasons why people decide to opt out – it would be useful to learn more to improve future surveys. 

How much support for traffic calming?

Three-quarters (75.6%)  of responding households are in favour of funding traffic calming by an increase in their council tax.

We asked which street you live on for a good reason.  Highways will assess traffic calming proposals on various criteria, including the community support in the immediate vicinity.

The percentage of households in favour on those streets with more than one or two responses was:

Road% in FavourNo. Responses
The Street92%12 responses
Taits Hill Rd & Taits Hill70%10 responses
Wick Lane57%7 responses
Echo Lane100%4 responses
Responses to the Village Survey

Traffic calming funded by other means is supported by an additional 10% of responding households.  A further 10% say they would possibly support it.  This suggests that very few in the Parish are actively against doing something about speeding.

How much are responding households prepared to pay for traffic calming?

You were asked what increase in your annual council tax you would accept for this purpose.  We requested your council tax band so we could  calculate the corresponding increase in the parish precept.  The zero responses were taken into account as well as the non-zero ones.

The calculated increase in precept came out at just over £3,000.  This figure represents an average of what responding households wanted, taking account their different council tax bands. 

What has the Parish Council decided?

The Parish Council discussed the survey results at our meeting on 20 January.  It was essential to decide on the parish precept for 2021/22  to meet the budget deadline.  We voted unanimously for a increase of £2,000 for traffic calming purposes.  This is well within the amount calculated from the survey responses.

There will be a second instalment in 2022/23 to provide the balance needed for a traffic calming project.  The Speed Watch Group will do its best to minimise the balance by seeking other funding.  We will also get on with the other activities needed to support the project.  This will include resuming speed monitoring as soon as it is permitted.

What form will traffic calming take?

The Speed Watch Group continues to research the options, but a vehicle-activated sign  (VAS)  has emerged as the favourite. 

The main reasons are:

  • significant and sustained speed reductions at moderate cost
  • can take action at more than one location
  • moving the VAS between locations avoids drivers becoming “desensitised”
  • education aspect – makes drivers more aware of their speed
  • choice of suppliers and plenty of operating experience

A detailed table comparing the options is available for anyone who is interested.

Playground Improvements

This aspect of the survey is not related to the Speed Watch Group, but for completeness here are the key findings.

  • 58.5% of responding households are in favour of funding playground improvement via an increase in council tax
  • The calculated increase in precept for this purpose came out at just under £1,500.

The Parish Council decided that rather than increase the precept they would allocate £500 towards the development of proposals.

Other community projects suggested

The following suggestions were received:

  • reinstatement and maintenance of public footpaths (3 households suggested this)
  • contribution towards cost of a village magazine
  • contribution towards the maintenance of the churchyard
  • village pub
  • new noticeboard next to the bench near the bridleway up the Hill
  • electric vehicle charging point

The Annual Parish Meeting in May (date not yet decided) will be an opportunity to discuss these ideas.  With any luck we will be able to meet in person by then.

And finally … privacy issues

All the responses have been put into a spreadsheet, which does not include any names, postal addresses or email addresses.

I have explained why we needed to know your street and council tax band.  This information does not identify an individual property except in a very small number of cases.  In such cases, it will be removed if the spreadsheet needs to be shared.

The unique reference number on each survey form has not been linked to your address.  Its purpose was to ensure that no household submitted more than one response.

Where people submitted their form electronically we unavoidably have email addresses.  The emails are stored in a dedicated, password protected account.  Copies of the forms themselves will be kept temporarily, but the emails will shortly be deleted. Where people have put their response in the email instead of using the form, it will be copied to a new document.  This document will not include their name or email address.

Paper and electronic copies of the completed forms will eventually be destroyed/deleted.  They are being kept for the time being in case the Parish Council wishes to check the accuracy of the spreadsheet. 

Kath Hudson

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