Speeding in the villages is a problem that is a constant complaint we hear from our residents. In particular most people complain about vehicles doing excessive speed on Sleaford Road when heading out of the village towards Sleaford, and on College Road. The Parish Council have been investigating what action can be taken to try and combat this antisocial and dangerous behaviour.
In principle there are several “speed calming” methods that are available. “Speed humps” and “road width restrictions/build outs”(chicanes) are often mentioned as being the best way to calm traffic speeds but these are unfortunately not available for use in our location. The nature of the B1429 as a diversion route for the A17 means that these measures cannot be used on our roads as they are considered to be a hazard to the HGV's that might be diverted through the village.
Speed Indication Devices (or SIDs) are like cameras but they do not take pictures of the traffic. They monitor the speed of approaching traffic and flash up the speed of the vehicle and a warning to "slow down". The more sophisticated ones record data about the speeds, time, date etc which can be downloaded and analysed. They are mains, solar or rechargeable battery operated.
Speedwatch Groups consist of a group of people who stand by the roadside with a speedgun to record the speed of passing traffic. They require a membership of around 5 or 6 people and must be officially organised through the Parish Council to comply with legislation and be insured. It requires the purchase of equipment that costs around £2,000. When they "catch" a vehicle it is reported to the Police and they send the vehicle owner a warning letter. If caught a second time the police send out a much firmer letter that warns of the consequenses of being "caught" again. A third "offence" merits a visit from the police and possible prosecution. We are told that 95% of the recipients of the first letter never appear again.
So the Parish Council have decided to purchase two SIDs to be moved around the village and three rechargeable batteries. These have been acquired and will be used continuously at four different locations at various times – two sites are travelling west into and out of the village and two more are travelling east. The devices are battery operated and will be mounted on stand-alone poles on the grass verges and they will periodically be moved between the four locations to monitor the traffic speeds at different places. They are designed to warn passing vehicles of the speed they are travelling and to “slow down” if it is over 30 m.p.h. They do have a data recording facility – not to photograph vehicles but to record the speeds observed at the time of day. This data will be downloaded by the P.C. and we will periodically report about the analysis of this information on this website.
We are currently (in June 2021) waiting for the next stage in the process which is for Lincs C.C. to view and approve our chosen locations. Once approved we can then arrange for the installation of the four mounting poles and we can then start using the SIDs. We will also be posting additional small 30 m.p.h. signs onto some lamp posts along the B1429. At the time of writing in early June 2021 there is a delay in receiving the new cameras due to a world shortgage of micro-chips. More news will be posted when we have it.
It would be great if everyone who drives around our villages would see this development as a serious reminder about driving within the speed limit at all times.
UPDATES ON PROGRESS
AUGUST 2021. The microchips were being held up in the Suez Canal blockage for several months but we finally received news that they had arrived from China into Felixstowe. Once they enter the manufacturing process we can anticipate delivery in 4 - 6 weeks.
AUGUST 2021. We had a site meeting with LCC and received approval for our four pole locations and also permission to put additional 30 m.p.h stickers onto existing lamposts. We will prepare a map of these locations and post them on this page.
AUGUST 2021. We have received the mounting brackets for the SIDs so hopefully the devices will soon follow. We have also been offered a stack of adhesive 30 mph stickers for fixing to household waste and recycling bins. The idea is to encourage everyone living on Sleaford Road and College Road to put these on all their bins to create a blaze of warnings along the roads on Tuesdays when their bins are on the roadside. We are currently looking at ways of trying to promote this to those residents.
SEPTEMBER 2021. View the agreed positions for the SID poles by clicking here.
SEPTEMBER 2021. We are coming to the end of a long discussion with Lincs County Council about whether our SIDs can be erected onto the existing lamp posts or whether we have to erect our own mounting posts (see above). The County Council are saying that the devices are too heavy to go on the lamp posts due to the danger of "wind shift". We have been arguing that as they are already fitted to lamp posts in North Lincolnshire surely they should be o.k. here. We are losing that argument and it looks like they will have to go onto newly erected posts. Lincs C.C. (LCC) are insisting that they are put in by their "preferred contractor" who wants to charge over £1,620 plus v.a.t to do just 4 posts (we have the posts). We have managed to do a deal with L.C.C. whereby they will pay half of the bill, leaving us to pay £800. Hopefully this can be done within the next few weeks - watch this space for more news.
SEPTEMBER 2021. We have acquired, free of charge, eight luminous 30 m.p.h. signs (see picture) that can be attached to existing lamp posts throughout the village to visually reinforce the speed limit. These should appear in the next few days.
SEPTEMBER 2021. We have managed to acquire, free of charge, a large supply of adhesive 30 m.p.h. stickers from L.C.C. These can be affixed to waste and recycling bins and we are requesting that every resident along the main road (Sleaford Road and College Road) fix these to each of their four bins so on on the Tuesday bin-days that road is festooned with 30 m.p.h. stickers. We are taking the view that "every little helps" in the fight against speeding in our villages. We will, in due course, deliver three stickers to every household on these two roads.
OCTOBER 2021. As you may know we share a mobile Speed Indication Device (SID) with two other parish councils (Rauceby and Ruskington) and we each have it for periods of two months. It is our turn again to have it during October and November. We intend to position it in the four places that our own static SIDs will eventually be and move it around every 4-5 days during this period. The battery only lasts this long and then it will disappear for a day or so while it is recharged.
OCTOBER 2021. .Update on our SID order - we are being told that the two devices should be delivered during October. Once we get them we will start to deploy them in our chosen positions.
OCTOBER 2021. After more negotiations with LCC we have reached a final agreement about the poles needed to mount them. It has now been explained that we can't use the existing lamp posts because they are not built to withstand the "wind shift - pressure that can occur with large objects on them. However we have been advised that we can utilise existing posts that hold traffic signs as these are able to withstand that pressure. We have agreed to use two of these positions at the RAF Cranwell end of the village - one going out of the village near the Thorold Avenue junction and another coming into the village opposite the Convenience Store. There are no suitable traffic signs at the Sleaford Road end of the village so we will have to instal new posts in our two locations there - at a cost of £400 to us and £400 to LCC. Once they are up-and-running we we will move the SIds around every few weeks between the four locations.
NOVEMBER 2021. We are now considering trying to set up a Community Speed Watch Group consisting of volunteers from the community. CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS.
DECEMBER 2021. Huge progress on our project this month. On December 21st the contractors erected our two mounting poles on Sleaford Road so, with the two traffic sign locations on College Road we now have the four sites established for our Speed Indication Devices (SIDs). Even better news - on that same day we had delivery of our SID devices after 9 month of waiting due to Covid problems. Once we get the preparations completed we hope to have the units fully installed and working by the end of 2021. Watch this space for further news.
DECEMBER 2021. We now have one of the SID units installed and working on a pole on Sleaford Road near the junction with De Gaunt Drive (see picture). We will soon add solar panels to that unit and prepare the mounts at the College Road end of the village. We are experiencing some teething problems with the other SID unit so it will take longer to get that one up and running.
DECEMBER 2021. After the first week of one of the SIDs operating on Sleaford Road we have downloaded some data from it and can now report back our findings.
During the week ending Dec 29th 2021 there were 9,563 vehicles recorded. Of these 1,748 were exceeding 30 m.p.h. (that's 18%) with 52 going over 40 m.p.h. and 6 passing at over 45 m.p.h. No vehicle was recorded at a speed of over 50 m.p.h.
Most speeding vehicles were doing between 30 m.p.h. and 35 m.p.h while 4% were doing over 35 m.p.h. There is some evidence that compliance with the speed limit improved slightly as the week progressed.
JANUARY 2022. An update on the siting of the SID units. It has been reported that some people are puzzled about the location of the SID as they think it should only be checking the speed of vehicles entering the village. We started our checking near the junction of Sleaford Road and De Gaunt Drive because there is a long-standing problem with vehicles accelerating too fast after they go round the double bend and go past the church on their way out of the village. Early indications show that 22% of the traffic is exceeding the speed limit at this point. We have 4 mounting positions in the village (two at each end of the village for both entering and leaving) that have been authorised by Lincs C.C. and we will be moving the two units reguarly between those four places. The current operational unit will soon be moved to the position for entering the village on Sleaford Road and when we get the other one working it will go at the College Road end of the village.
APRIL 2022. The first comprehensive set of data is now available from our SIDs after 96 days of use. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO TO THAT REPORT.
OCTOBER 2023. We now have two new SIDs that are fully operational. At the moment they are both working at the eastern end of the village while we get set up to have one of them at the westerrn end. They have to be installed on special mounting posts which can only be "planted" by L.C.C. contractors as they have to x-ray the ground first for gas mains, water pipes etc.before digging any holes. We have now received approval for two locations at the western end of the village and are waiting on L.C.C. to arrange the work. Once this is done one of the SIDs will be relocated to that end. The new SIDs are working extremely well. Although they face one direction with the visual display, they actually record the speeds in both directIons. The latest data (see the pictures) show that during a 6 week period ibetween August and October we were getting 94% or more vehicles restricting their speed to under 40 m.p.h. which is a great improvement on previous statistics although still not good enough ! The solar panels are providing sufficient power to the units and they will hopefully never need recharging. Watch this space for more statistics when we have them.
The Speedwatch Group is growing steadily and they are now able to send out two different groups at the same time.They have now conducted about 15 monitoring sessions in various locations and they are attracting more members. However they are always keen to have more peole involved so please contact Cllr Dave Graves by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more or get involved.
We are still awaiting the assistance needed from the County Council to have the two new camera positions installed at the western end of the village (near the Convenience Store).
Here are the latest results from the camera mounted on Sleaford Road at the entrance to the village> As you can see they show that nearly 97% of vehicles are going through at under 35 mph which is a further improvement and which shows that these SIDs really do make a difference to speeding through the village. Its very disappointing to see that there are still 197 people (0.21%) who are travelling at over 70 mph.