A big thank you for the terrific support that myself and the Parish Council received with the recent Community Speedwatch project in Wymeswold.
‘Community Speed Watch’ is a scheme to help people reduce speeding traffic though their community. The scheme enables volunteers to work within their community to raise awareness of the dangers of speeding and to help control the problem locally. Wymeswold has become one of over 120 communities that have benefited from the ‘Community Speed Watch Scheme’ in Leicestershire and Rutland. The scheme is a partnership between Leicestershire County Council and the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership. It is fully supported by Leicestershire Constabulary.
Volume and speed of traffic has been a concern amongst village residents for a considerable amount of time, whether it’s crossing the main road to pick up your paper or taking the children to school, we’ve all been caught at some time, mid- point of the main road when a vehicle appears out of nowhere!
Wymeswold Parish Council initiated the scheme and 18 volunteers were trained to use hand-held radar guns to record the speed of passing vehicles by Leicestershire County Council Speedwatch Coordinators Mike Wilson and Allan Smart. Fifty people from the village in total gave up their time to monitor the speed of traffic at nine different locations around the village, over a period of 28 days. Volunteers generally worked in groups on three or four at a time for an hour, over four different time slots each day.
Over the four week period 1076 motorists were recorded as driving in excess of 36mph in 30mph zones, some were even recorded in excess of 50mph on East Road and Rempstone Road! Details have been passed onto the Police and letters have been sent to vehicle owners asking them to slow down.
The simple fact is that the faster a car is driven, the greater the risk of an accident. The statistics are that two-thirds of all crashes in which people are killed or injured happen on roads with a speed limit of 30mph or less and that 35mph a driver is twice as likely to kill someone as they are at 30mph. This is because even in good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 30mph and 35mph is an extra six and a half metres (21 feet) which is more than two car lengths!
Moving on from those gloomy statistics, it's been a good humoured affair despite some cold Autumnal mornings, and had the added benefit of introducing different groups of people in the village, relative new comers and people have lived in the village for over thirty years, or in some cases all their lives!
The Parish Council are extremely grateful to Steve and Allison Morris for uploading the handwritten information onto excel spreadsheets and forwarding the data to County Hall, Raj and everyone at the ‘G.G.Granville’s’ for storing the radar gun, the fifty volunteers who gave their time and Beat Officer Richard Gosling and PCSO Stu Venables who were on hand to support the volunteers whenever possible.
The Parish Council will consider purchasing a hand held radar gun out of the precepts monies in the Spring 2013. The Parish Council will also be working with Wymeswold Primary School to raise awareness of national 'Road Safety Week', an initiative by BRAKE the road safety charity, between 19th and 25th November 2012. Road Safety Week is a community event that aims to inspire you, whoever you are, to promote road safety to people around you, during the Week and beyond!
Jo Ling, on behalf of Wymeswold Parish Council.
Volunteers Laura Turner, Amanda Worthington and John Hill pictured with Allan Smart Assistant Speedwatch Coordinator, Leicestershire County Council. Rempstone Road.