Tackling road related concerns
Many road related concerns for our South Cambs Communities fall into the broad categories of speeding, parking or large vehicles. Unlike many other elements of this toolkit, these problems are often very visible to the community and can be chronic in nature. The common response for many communities will be to demand enforcement and a policing presence do deal with a specific location. However, we have found that the short-term presence by a police officer does not have any long-term impact to the targeted behaviour, nor does the implementation of double yellow lines as this simply moves the parking problem to elsewhere in the community. Often, the answer to these chronic issues lies within the community itself and community engagement becomes the key to more holistic, long term solutions.
Local voluntary initiatives such as Speedwatch and HGV Watch can provide a more regular presence and have a greater impact within a community. These activities are more sustainable and provide a more effective preventative effect on serial speeders or even serial poor parkers, than the sporadic visit of a local enforcement officer.
A driver caught speeding through a local village by somebody they know performing Speed Watch monitoring, will provide a much greater deterrent to future driving habits than being issued a ticket by a nameless police officer. Why? Because the police officer may issue a ticket and the payment of that fine will be done in private by the individual. However, the shame of being caught speeding by your neighbour is far more impactive in the long term.
As detailed in the local 'Crime Prevention' information section of this toolkit, it is vitally important to ascertain if there really is a problem that needs solving and what that problem really is. Or if there is simply the perception of a problem. Speed watch and HGV Watch provide vital statistical data to inform both Police and Local authorities on the realities of the problems of speeding and oversized vehicles. This information assists Police, Local Authorities and the Highways Department in identifying whether additional enforcement or architectural design interventions are required in the local area, to reduce the problem.
There may be times when the 'risk' associated with one problem like speeding is mitigated by the presence of another problem such as on street parking. Think about the impact of parked cars on the ability of drivers to speed through the village. Clearing parked cars from a through road may have the unintended consequence of increased speeding on the now clear thoroughfare. So, is it appropriate to place double yellow lines in this location? Where would the parking issues be displaced to? Therefore it is so important to consider issues within a community, using community-based groups with diverse opinions and ideas. Communities are often best placed to identify and deal with many of these issues themselves when they take on the opportunity.
If your community group would like to tackle any road related concerns in your village, please see the partners below who may be able to assist you with this.
Community Speedwatch (CSW) is a national initiative where active members of local communities join with the support of the police to monitor speeds of vehicles using speed detection devices. CSW Online is working on behalf of the Police and communities to organise and coordinate CSW activity. Volunteers receive appropriate training, and are supported by neighbourhood policing team (NPT) staff. The scheme aims to cater for the problem of real or perceived speed related offending, and through partnership with the community.
Concerned about HGV traffic?
HGVs have an adverse effect on road surfaces, structures and underground services. They can cause unnecessary air and noise pollution in residential areas and can create serious safety hazards for other road users and pedestrians, in particular children.
HGV Watch is a new scheme backed by the police but lead by local volunteers. Volunteers undertake high-visibility roadside operations to educate HGV drivers that they are travelling through weight, height or width restricted routes in local towns or parishes. Any vehicles seen using those restricted routes can then be reported. These reports will enable the police to communicate with the haulage companies involved and send advisory letters to confirm that their vehicles have been observed and that this could have led to prosecution.
HGV Watch is not enforcement – it is about raising awareness of weight, height and width restrictions within communities and about educating drivers.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reducing road traffic around your local school
Modeshift STARS is the national awards scheme that recognises schools that have shown excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel. The scheme was launched nationwide in September 2012 and was created to support the development of School Travel Plans and reward schools over three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) for achieving a shift to sustainable modes of travel.
The Walking Bus scheme is a safe and healthy way for groups of children to walk to and from school. Each walking bus has an adult 'driver' at the front and an adult 'conductor' at the rear. The children walk along a set route picking up 'passengers' at planned 'bus stops' along the way.
Promote cycling in your community
Maybe you would like to create a cycling group in your community to encourage residents to leave the car at home and reap the health benefits. Find out more at Cycling UK.
THINK! is a campaign by the UK government that has been running road safety campaigns for more than 75 years. The Central Office of Information (COI) ran the government’s road safety campaigns until 2000, when THINK! was officially established as the government’s designated road safety campaign.