Parish Council Meeting:
Wed 6th Jan 2021.
Next Meeting: Wed 3rd Mar 21 @ 7.30 pm - Agenda (conducted via Zoom)
Swans W.I. March meeting report; date of next meeting tbc
Valley Art; details
Speeding through our villages – how you can help.
Earlier in 2020, my family and I were delighted to move to South Newton from the centre of Salisbury. I am grateful to everyone who has made us feel welcome.
Like you I am sure, the excessive speed of traffic through our villages is causing me a great deal of concern. I run regularly along parts of the A36 and also take our children to school in Salisbury. Too often I have seen transport lorries or speeding drivers thundering too close to our pavements. From speaking with the South Newton and Stoford Parish Council members, I know this is a long-standing issue and there have been serious accidents and fatalities. Another problem is the quality of road signs and road paint – inadequate and sun faded.
Recently, I reported a Highways Maintenance lorry for dangerous driving (very clearly speeding through our village and over the white line). The Highways Agency told me to telephone 101 and report it. I did so and the lady was very helpful, took the registration, but unfortunately advised that, without an independent witness, no action would be taken. If just two of us report the registration of a speeding vehicle to 101, I have been told the Police will take action. The more of us that report, the higher a priority the matter becomes to the Police.
I have been in contact with John Glen, MP, Cllr Pauline Church, the Chief Constable for Wiltshire, Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner to express my concerns about the daily risks to pedestrians and road users and make suggestions for improvements. All have responded, acknowledging the problems and I appreciate their support. Our Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Jerry Herbert, kindly visited me at home (socially distanced) and was very helpful with suggestions and also in supporting actions that are needed.
I have been told that during the first six months of 2021, the Highways Agency will review and replace sun faded road signs and paint – my thanks to PC James Barrett and others who have arranged this.
Early in January 2021, I have been advised that a traffic monitoring system will be installed near St Andrew’s Church to measure the volume and speed of traffic. My thanks to Cllr Pauline Church and Cllr Derek Blake for arranging this. Subject to the monitoring meeting the criteria, we will be able to form our own Community Speed Watch (CSW) team.
CSW is a national initiative where active members of local communities join together, with the support of the Police, to monitor speeds of vehicles using speed detection devices. Vehicles exceeding the speed limit are referred to the Police with the aim of educating drivers to reduce their speeds. In cases where education is blatantly ignored and evidence of repeat or excessive offences is collated (even across county borders), enforcement and prosecution follow. The recently announced recruitment of a new enforcement officer, who will go out on patrol with the CSW teams, and improvements to police IT systems will mean that more drivers caught speeding by us as volunteers will be fined.
I will gladly co-ordinate our CSW and I am asking for volunteers. We will receive training, high visibility clothing and recording equipment. Working together, I am certain that we can make our community safer for our families and friends. If you are interested, please do email me at [email protected]. Thank you.