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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:13 
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I was wondering if anyone here could give me any advice on how to go about getting the council to install speed cameras / bumps in my road?

My OH and I recently bought a house and it turns out that people use our street as a racetrack / rat-run / short cut. Apart from being dangerous to local children, my cat and wing mirrors on my car, the noise is really irritating. People are regularly doing 50-60mph on a 30mph limit road and it's driving me mad! Is there anything we can do to convince the council to do something about this?

Also, slightly irrelevant but bear with me, there's a guy on the street who has literally the noisiest motorbike I've ever heard. Even though he lives a few doors down on the other side of the street, when he revs the engine, it's so loud that we can't hear ourselves speak. I'm sure that can't be legal! Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:48 
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Anything which is not legal is best handled by the police.
Your best contact would be your community officer.
Humps and cameras are only effective for a matter of yards. On my estate, even normally complying drivers speed up between the humps, to make up for lost time, as they have to slow well below 10 mph to be comfortable.

Recently the council put yellow lines on a dangerous bend, as cars parking forced the traffic into a single lane.
Now drivers race round the bend, with no caution what so ever, and there have been numerous near misses.
The owner of a house two doors away from the bend, who has young children of his own is the worst offender!!

Exhausts are covered by the police - report your noisy neighbour to the nearest officer!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:52 
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Given the noise is irritating you do you really think installing acceleration points all along your road is going to lessen the irritation? IE - A camera will create a breaking (before) and acceleration point (just after the camera) - your noisy motorbike neighbour will now have cause to rev not once but twice. Installing speed bumps will create numerous accelerating and breaking points.

Perhaps a little bit more research into where to move would have been the best idea, and if you dont want the noise of traffic outside your house a move to another planet may have been in order.

As for rat-run/short cut - is it not possible that instead of being either of those negatively slanted descriptions your road is simply peoples route to somewhere else, and as such no amount of effort will be able to stop them using it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 13:20 
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So basically you're saying that installing cameras or bumps won't improve the problem because they just cause people to accelerate and decelerate between them which increases the noise anyway? Wow, bummer! So is there no way to get people to slow down? I'm not just worried about my own convenience and the annoyance of the noise. There are loads of children and teenagers on our street, as well as a big rec ground 200 yards or so further down the street. It's only a matter of time before there's a really bad accident. Is it true that there has to be a certain number of fatalities before the council will do anything? Is there any way we could convince the cops to come and sit on the street with mobile cameras every now and again? I know for a fact they'd do really well and catch lots of naughty drivers!

The reason I say it's a rat run / short cut is because that's exactly what it is. I've lived in this area for my whole life and I know that our road is a "short cut" for people wishing to avoid a particularly tricky junction slightly further up the road. It makes the journey slightly longer in terms of mileage but quicker because it avoids the nightmare junction. I know because I used to use it myself as such, though never at the sorts of speeds I've witnessed now I'm living there. We always knew the street would be busy traffic wise but I honestly had no idea that people drove at such outrageous speeds down it. Not that it would have made much difference I suppose, it's our dream house!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 13:54 
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Ernest's advice above is the best start.

Also write to the Parish Council putting your views. In my area, this is a forum for opposing views on traffic management to be aired. They can also approach the County Council.

You mention a "nightmare" junction locally. Is it dangerous? If this could be fixed by road engineering then might your problem go away?.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 14:26 
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As a side note, 1 year after my father in law bought a flat down a heavily humped road my steering rack packed up landing me with an £800 bill. I had the dangerous situation that I would turn right and then the steering was dificult to return to strieght as the wheel went back past the 2 o'clock position.

The humps also reduce the parking spaces available and then people start parking the first car home out on the street reducing parking further. Then people who are entitled to a blue badge request the space painted out side thier own house.
And parking goes from bad to dire.

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Speed limit sign radio interview. TV Snap Unhappy
“It has never been the rule in this country – I hope it never will be - that suspected criminal offences must automatically be the subject of prosecution” He added that there should be a prosecution: “wherever it appears that the offence or the circumstances of its commission is or are of such a character that a prosecution in respect thereof is required in the public interest”
This approach has been endorsed by Attorney General ever since 1951. CPS Code


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 22:50 
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Ms Scarlett wrote:
So basically you're saying that installing cameras or bumps won't improve the problem because they just cause people to accelerate and decelerate between them which increases the noise anyway? Wow, bummer! So is there no way to get people to slow down? I'm not just worried about my own convenience and the annoyance of the noise. There are loads of children and teenagers on our street, as well as a big rec ground 200 yards or so further down the street. It's only a matter of time before there's a really bad accident. Is it true that there has to be a certain number of fatalities before the council will do anything? Is there any way we could convince the cops to come and sit on the street with mobile cameras every now and again? I know for a fact they'd do really well and catch lots of naughty drivers!

The reason I say it's a rat run / short cut is because that's exactly what it is. I've lived in this area for my whole life and I know that our road is a "short cut" for people wishing to avoid a particularly tricky junction slightly further up the road. It makes the journey slightly longer in terms of mileage but quicker because it avoids the nightmare junction. I know because I used to use it myself as such, though never at the sorts of speeds I've witnessed now I'm living there. We always knew the street would be busy traffic wise but I honestly had no idea that people drove at such outrageous speeds down it. Not that it would have made much difference I suppose, it's our dream house!

Your community PC will be able to help if he is worth his salt.
A few random sessions with a speed gun will serve notice to crazy drivers that they will get CAUGHT.

Speed cameras dont catch drivers - they send a fine out in the post several days later. Anne Robinson (Weakest Link) has just been caught speeding a 4th time - and been banned for 6 months. She was of course not put off by the prospect of being fined each time. [She may also have been the victim of a limit which was far lower than the road design would indicate!]
Our local PC has been out so many times with the speed gun, that drivers now respect the limits where required. He also pulls over those parents taking their kids to school who have not ensured they are strapped in, in the back seats!
Most get a warning for the first week or so, then they get a ticket. He also has a PCSO who assists him and she in turn enlists the help of the council dog warden to ensure dog owners clean up after their dogs - so your road will benefit in many different ways.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:46 
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How about an approach that is carrot, not stick?

Why is the tricky junction so tricky? Can something be done to make it flow more smoothly, negating the need to rat-run?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:30 
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I smell a rat.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:53 
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mpaton2008 wrote:
I smell a rat.

It's OK - I have some air freshener.. or a Magic Tree! :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 19:37 
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I'd hoped that old chestnut would have been 'thought' rather than 'written' :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 22:05 
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Ms Scarlet, just be care full what you wish for. Last winter in our parish magazine our local bobby said that there had been complaints about speeding and he would be waving his lazers about. I emailed my thoughts to him as I live as close as anyone to any bad behaviour living as I do on the high street. Anyway, he called by one evening and was a top bloke. It's fair to say we had some common ground, but he did say that it is nearly always the locals that get done. A previous employers wife complained about speeding through her village and was one of the first "customers".

I don't like driving over speed humps, so won't ask for them. I don't like driving on road policed by grey boxes, so I won't ask for them either. I don't however, mind real traffic cops, so best have a word with them, these guys and girls would probably also have a word (if he could still hear) with your noisy motorcyclist (vote for me in the next election and he will be fed to the lions :twisted:)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:56 
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Well I've just phoned the local cop shop and they said they'd look into it and possibly post mobile radar cameras from time to time. They said it would be better if a few people on the street mentioned it to the police so they can be sure that people are speeding there regularly rather than it just being a one off.

Wow, I'm impressed now. As I was typing this, they called me back and said it has been passed to the local traffic department, or whatever they're called, and they will be contacting me again to see what can be done. I think if we can just get the cops to set up occasional radar thingies, that might help things a lot.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:56 
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As malcolmw said above, be sure to warn anyone you know to obey the limit rigidly from now on (it sounds like you probably have done so already, but now with additional reason!), as the locals often get the bulk of the tickets.

This is why a lot of community speedwatch campaigns collapse quite quickly, once a few locals have been nabbed, support melts quite rapidly. Example:

Quote:
Three members of the Women's Institute in Herstmonceux, East Sussex successfully campaigned for a speed camera. In the following weeks, all three ladies were snapped and fined £60.


http://www.tiscali.co.uk/news/stupid-criminals.html

By the way another curveball: would making the street one-way remove its use as a rat run?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 13:45 
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Location: Treacletown ( just north of M6 J3),A MILE OR TWO PAST BEDROCK
On humps/speed tables etc -don't know if it's common knowledge ,but in Warks ,after what could have been a nasty ,bollards were placed around them .Cause - in ice it is possible for a car to go off sideways straight on to the pavement --any pedestrians then have a good chance of becoming :angel:

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Drivers are like donkeys -they respond best to a carrot, not a stick .Road safety experts are like Asses - best kept covered up ,or sat on


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 18:19 
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That's a very british attitude isn't it? "I don't like people doing X so I want them to be punished, even though it will harm others and probably even myself.".

Road humps will cause more noise, damage to vehicles and nearby buildings, and pollution. Of course this means more cash in taxes for the government so they're happy with that.

Why not try and solve the problem? Why are people driving down the road? Why are they not using any more appropriate roads? If there's a particularly bad junction why not get that fixed instead so that traffic flows more freely on the main road, so that people will chose that road rather than yours?
That way everyone benefits.

Adding restrictions doesn't help anyone except those who make money from them.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 09:39 
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Actually that's not what I'm saying at all. I don't want people to be fined, I hate speeding tickets as much as the next person. I've only just got my licence back down to a respectable 3 points! What I'm saying is that people drive at completely irresponsible and reckless speeds down my street and clearly the only way to stop them is to have bumps, cameras or mobile units. I don't especially want bumps or cameras on my street but I do want to stop people driving at 60mph, a daily occurrence at the moment. It's not just for my convenience; there's a park at the end of the street and a school a bit further down. At speeds like that, it's only a matter of time before someone, probably a child or teenager, is injured or killed.

Even if there were some way to fix the nightmare junction, I don't think that would stop people using our street as a racetrack. Because of the way it slopes slightly down, is open and you can see all the way down it, and it being quite wide, it's just a very tempting little road to race down. Short of changing the layout of the road to make it less tempting, I really don't see any other way. If you could see for yourself the speeds that people drive through at, you might understand why I'm so concerned and annoyed about it. Or perhaps I should wait until somebody's been killed or injured before doing anything?..


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 14:32 
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Because of the way it slopes slightly down, is open and you can see all the way down it, and it being quite wide...

This is quite interesting as you are describing what is probably a quite safe road to exceed the 30mph limit. Do you know the reason for the low speed restriction?

The vast majority of drivers go at a safe and reasonable speed having regard to the road conditions and from your description above it seems unsurprising that, as you claim, a lot of people regularly "speed".

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 14:51 
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malcolmw wrote:
Quote:
Because of the way it slopes slightly down, is open and you can see all the way down it, and it being quite wide...

This is quite interesting as you are describing what is probably a quite safe road to exceed the 30mph limit. Do you know the reason for the low speed restriction?


Well yeah, it's a residential street! Are you suggesting the speed limit should be higher? What? 40mph? 50mph perhaps?

Yes it's quite wide but there are always parked cars on either side. There are a lot of children living in the area, there's a park at the end of the street and a school a few hundred yards away. So there's always a lot of children and teenagers walking, often crossing the road. As I'm sure we all know, children don't have much road sense and don't understand how dangerous walking out from between parked cars can be. Having been run over once myself at a very low speed but I still ended up in hospital, I know I'd much rather be hit by someone doing 30mph than the 50mph or 60mph I often see on our street.

As I may have said previously, if people were only exceeding the speed limit by a few mph, it wouldn't be so bad. I don't for one minute pretend to always rigorously stick to the speed limit at all times but I drive appropriately to the situation. Driving at 50 or 60mph on a busy residential street with parked cars, lots of kids, a park and a school is not appropriate. So I fail to see how increasing the speed limit, as you seem to be suggesting, would help.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 15:34 
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Forgive me not quite understanding what you are saying.

In one post you say:
Quote:
Because of the way it slopes slightly down, is open and you can see all the way down it, and it being quite wide, it's just a very tempting little road to race down.


In another you say:
Quote:
Yes it's quite wide but there are always parked cars on either side. There are a lot of children living in the area, there's a park at the end of the street and a school a few hundred yards away. So there's always a lot of children and teenagers walking...


It will not be tempting for drivers to "race" (your emotive word) if, indeed, there are lots of hazards and you can quite easily see them. Most drivers, being responsible, will just slow to an appropriate speed for the conditions. However, you will never stop the tiny minority of lunatics driving unsafely no matter what you do.

You do not claim that there have actually been any accidents and it may be that this is because your road is actually quite safe due to the benefits of visibility which you state.

I don't think you will find any reference in my posts suggesting the speed limit be raised. I want to understand why you think very large numbers of people "speed" if it is as hazardous as you say. Speed limits should be set on the basis of the 85th percentile speed, as used to be the case until political interference started. This method demonstrably produces the safest roads.

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