Many readers will know that West Bergholt have a SpeedWatch Group. This is a group of volunteers, trained by the police to use an approved radar speed device. Members are able to go, at a convenient time, to approved sites and monitor the speeds of the traffic. Any motorist exceeding a threshold speed has their vehicle details written down, with time and date, and this is passed to Essex Police. The keeper of the vehicle will then receive a letter from the Police asking them to obey the speed limits in future. The Police state:
“Persistent high violators will be targeted by Essex Police resulting in prosecution.”
Many people have been concerned about the speed of traffic along the B1508, Colchester Road, and Lexden Road in particular. Lorries and other large vehicles can be particularly intimidating where the footpaths are so narrow. Most of these vehicles are not exceeding the speed limit, but even then they create frightening turbulence.
The rail company paints yellow lines on the platform, to separate people from the trains. Most of our footpaths are not wide enough to allow such a gap. The B1508, Colchester-Bures Road in West Bergholt has similar issues. Many people also complain about the skip lorries. Again most of these are within the limit, but when we went at 6 am on September 30th, the first one we saw was doing 44 mph, in a 30 mph limit! Miraculously all the others were within the limit.
Town Event for SpeedWatch
A Town event was held in Colchester on 18th September 2013, which involved several speedwatch groups. I would like to share with you the final results for the day;
Road Safety staff gave advice and showed education videos to 51 offenders at enforcement sites, 300 people on community wheels outside the Town Hall with road safety staff and staff from the fire brigade giving advice, and 66 drivers were recorded traveling between 36 mph and 49 mph in Fingringhoe, Langenhoe, Peldon and West Bergholt by your local Community SpeedWatch Teams who conducted 5 sessions during the day.
One resident reported to me that their cat had been killed by a speeding and hit-and-run driver. It could easily be a child or an old person next time!
Nuisance to drivers?
If you are a motorist who regularly speeds and thinks we are a nuisance, I would just ask you to do a simple experiment. Try driving within the speed limit and see how much longer it takes. Inevitably we have to slow for junctions and traffic lights, so the actual maximum speed has a surprisingly small effect on total journey time.
If you would like to come and join us, please let me know, so that you can receive the police training. Once trained members can go when they are able to find another volunteer(s) to join them.
Anthony C Robin
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