Speeding through Wiltshire villages
A number of residents in villages blighted by speeding vehicles including heavy lorries wrote to Junab asking for his views.
The email from villagers in Shaw, Atworth and Whitley is shown below Junab’s reply:
Dear Residents of Shaw, Whitley and Atworth
Thank you for taking the time to write to me and ask about my proposed policies on the matter of speeding and speed cameras. By coincidence it follows a meeting I had today with the Police and Crime Commissioners office where I raised my concerns about how to deal effectively with speeding, especially in villages like yours. Your experiences in a small village are replicated across Wiltshire and I recognise and share your concerns.
I feel that in breaking up the Wiltshire and Swindon Camera Safety Partnership, the local councils have done a disservice to their residents as the fixed cameras were helpful in keeping speeds down in recognised black spots and, in my view, there is no doubt that average speed cameras in appropriate village situations would be highly effective. If elected, I would certainly wish to engage with the local councils to try to re-establish a partnership as that will help create a consistent approach to these issues across Wiltshire and lead to experience of effective approaches being shared.
That said, at present, and in the absence of Wiltshire and Swindon Councils being prepared to install speed cameras, one of the only ways of bringing about change would be to establish a Community Speedwatch scheme which could then pass on intelligence to Wiltshire Police about when motorists are speeding so that mobile cameras could be brought in to catch regular offenders.
However, my view is that, re-establishing the Wiltshire and Swindon Camera Safety Partnership would help to provide the enforcement needed to keep your village (and many others) safe from the real and constant dangers, noise and pollution caused by motorists speeding through.
I also agree that Roads Policing is an important specialist field that requires suitably and consistently trained officers and, if elected, I would certainly ensure that the recommendations of HM Inspectorate of Constabulary & Fire and Rescue Services are followed through so that Wiltshire and Swindon Police is a leader in the implementation of effective road policing training.
I hope that answers the points raised and I hope to be elected to follow through to help you remove this scourge of motorists and heavy lorries speeding through your villages.
The letter from residents is below:
“We are writing to ascertain your views as a candidate for the post of Wiltshire Police & Crime Commissioner.
We live on the A365 in Shaw near Melksham and are also in touch with concerned residents in Atworth, Whitley, Box, Beanacre and Bradford on Avon. Obviously, we have seen a huge increase in traffic with the building of thousands of homes (more to come) and an increase in HGVs with the closure of the Cleveland Bridge in Bath. This would be bearable if the speed limit was kept to but sadly we believe that 90% of drivers exceed the limit with some using excessive speed. With a lack of prosecutions since 2009 when the Wiltshire & Swindon Camera Safety Partnership was operating, there is little to no deterrent to speeding.
The most frightening are the HGVs, the noise and vibration are horrendous and many of us are deterred from walking because it is so intimidating when on the pavement to be passed by a speeding lorry. We have requested that when Road Policy is reviewed this year the Department for Health and Social Services be included along with the Dept for Transport and the Home Office in formulating policy as at the moment it is based mainly on road safety with no regard for the health and wellbeing of residents. See attached reply.
Excessive speed causes more pollution, disturbs the sleep patterns of residents and noise is increased substantially, even with modest increases in speed.
Wiltshire Council has no interest in installing speed cameras, even though the Transport Select Committee has recommended Average Speed Cameras as they are well tolerated by drivers. Wiltshire Police have added us to their long list of communities requesting speed checks. However these are ineffective long term and obviously don’t work at night, they also rarely take place.
We are also concerned about the roads policing training that Wiltshire Police receive and wonder if they follow best practice or not. See attached recommendation excerpt from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary & Fire & Rescue Services report entitled “Roads Policing: Not Optional. An Inspection of Roads Policing in England and Wales”.
We would like to know your proposed policies on the above matters.
Villagers names and addresses have been removed for privacy reasons