But our speeding traffic needs to be taken in context with the sheer quantity of traffic and the unsuitable nature of the road that the vehicles are speeding on!
The numbers shown above are fairly typical of what we see on a weekly basis. They are in one direction only and this was a 5 day data gathering exercise on the West Haddon Rd. It should also be noted that our VAS (vehicle activated sign) struggles to record data from motorcycles as they are such a small target and it is likely that they are in many cases travelling more quickly than even those numbers recorded above!
You can see the highest speed recorded (thankfully just the once) was a truly outrageous 75MPH. This is for a vehicle travelling into the village from West Haddon which means that it was approaching the traffic calming (the camera picks vehicles up from approximately 100m away) at approximately the point that children cross the road to get to the park, where people are pulling out of Church Lane and it's the entrance to the Bowls Club. In other words this isn't on the outskirts of the village this is properly in the village and immediately outside of people's homes!
Perhaps you might think this is just a one off and that there will always be the odd nutter prepared to travel at 75 mph in a 30 mph zone. However a quick glance at the numbers will show that 64% of all traffic using this bit of road through Cold Ashby are exceeding the speed limit and that 3375 of them are doing so at a rate likely to be prosecuted by the police (35+MPH Band A). Of the 3375 (and remember this is just in one direction) 1070 were speeding in Band B, and of the 1070, 31 were speeding in Band C (for what the bandings mean see below)!
This isn’t just an issue on the West Haddon Rd either. it’s a village wide problem and whilst speeds might not be so excessive in other parts of the village, the roads are often even more unsuitable for speeding in the first place. On Main Street, for instance, where as many of you know it's practically single lane traffic and lined with houses, we have recorded speeds in excess of 50 mph. On the Stanford Road which has the main entrance to the childrens park it's a similar story and even on Church Lane with its poor road surface and blind corners vehicle speeds of 40 mph are not uncommon.
Whilst we don’t have a school in the village, we believe that when combining the sheer volume of traffic (in excess of 20,000 vehicles a week), with the speed of traffic (an 85th Percentile of: 37.8 mph) and the fact that the road is officially a “C” road (and as such just not designed to handle this amount of traffic) that a village-wide 20 mph speed limit would be a very useful way of calming traffic and we aim to push for this on the way to achieving our longer term ambition of getting a bypass.
However by far the best way to have an impact on speeding traffic is one of education and just pointing out on pages like this what a blight and danger to local communities speeding traffic is and to encourage people to just SLOW DOWN. So here goes...
Please remember when you travel through Cold Ashby that you are on residential roads and driving (very close in many cases) to people’s homes. We have children, elderly people and much loved pets all wandering around just as you would expect there to be in any other village and they are all likely to step off the path when you least expect it. PLEASE don’t let it be you responsible for causing a serious accident.
The Police are now taking a very active interest in our speeding traffic issue (we imagine because business has been brisk for them!!). With this in mind we thought it might be a good idea to remind you of the penalties for speeding as they have changed recently and if anything is going to encourage us all to slow down it's the thought of points and even worse what is now the potential of an eye watering fine!!
Band A – This refers to the lowest level of speeding. For example, you could be driving at between 21mph and 30mph in a 20mph zone, 31mph to 40mph in a 30mph zone, or 71mph to 90mph on a 70mph road. You can expect 3 points on your licence, and a fine of around 50% of your weekly income. Remember in Cold Ashby this is represented by over 5,000 drivers a week (and that's in one direction).
Band B – This is for more serious cases of speeding. If you're in a 20mph zone and you drive at 31mph to 40mph, or in a 40mph zone at 56mph to 65mph, or up to 100mph in a 70mph, that'll be a Band B fine. That means 4 to 6 points on your licence, or disqualification for between 7 and 28 days, plus a fine of 100% of your weekly income. Remember in Cold Ashby this is represented by over 1,000 drivers a week (and that's in one direction).
Band C – This is for the most egregious speeding. If you're doing 41mph or above in a 20mph zone, 51mph or above in a 30mph zone, or above 100mph in a 70mph zone, that's a Band C fine. That means 6 points on your licence or disqualification for between 7 and 56 days, as well as a fine of 150% of your weekly income. Remember in Cold Ashby this is represented by over 30 drivers a week (and that's in one direction).
So our message is a simple one... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE... slow down through our village, drive quietly and show respect for our residents. In return we promise to do the same when we drive past your home!
This a vehicle travelling out of the village towards West Haddon. Although not clear from this picture the car is just leaving the traffic calming chicane and is already doing 40 MPH!
Unfortunately the driver is one of 5000 each week that drives through our village in this speed band.
This vehicle (recorded at the same time as the one adjacent) is in the 40~45 MPH band. There aren't as many people in this band but they shouldn't feel lonely as there are generally at least 2000 other drivers driving at similar speeds each week past this point!
What makes both of these noteworthy however, is that on the day these pictures were taken we were being given a demonstration of a roadside speed monitoring device mounted on a tripod. The device (around the size of a briefcase) was coloured yellow and there were 8 of us gathered around it wearing high viz coats. We think any sensible person driving towards what appears to be (and actually was) a speed camera surrounded by people that appeared to be the police (although we weren't!) would probably consider this to be a good time to stick to the speed limit...takes all sorts I suppose!
Unfortunately this is an all too regular occurrence...please remember you are driving or riding along a residential street...ask yourself this question; if a young child ran out into the road to fetch a ball would this rider be able to stop? At 30 mph you have a greater chance of stopping, but at this speed there's going to be an accident.
If you really must use the road through our village then at least do us the courtesy of driving slowly, quietly and carefully.
This might seem like a strange thing to say, but we really don't want you to get caught speeding through the village and we have a suspicion that you dont want to get caught either...
Following pressure from the Parish Council the police are now taking a more proactive approach to detection and are parking the speed detection van on West Haddon Rd...we imagine business has been brisk!
Its quite simple really...you don't want to get caught, we don't want you to get caught and the foolproof method of achieving this is to keep to the speed limit...
Here's another good reason for keeping to the speed limit. From one village gateway to the next is approximately 0.5 miles...at 30 mph this will take you approximately 1 minute to cover. At 40 mph it will take you approximately 46 seconds. Assuming you get caught doing this by the chap in the van the fine will be 50% of your weekly wage which will be £265.00 or around £19 a second (assuming you're an average wage earner).
Obviously we appreciate that there are a lot variables in this (not least the fact you'll have to fight your way down Main Street) but you get our drift...there really isn't anything to be gained by racing through Cold Ashby but there is the potential to loose a lot...Please, do yourself and us a favour and if you must drive through Cold Ashby please do so at the speed limit.