Covert survey points to 'extraordinary turnaround' for Barley's B1368 used by some 'as a racetrack'

PUBLISHED: 09:37 06 October 2015 | UPDATED: 16:08 07 October 2015

The Community Drivesafe scheme has proved a success in Barley on the B1368.

The Community Drivesafe scheme has proved a success in Barley on the B1368.

Archant

Efforts to stop cars speeding along a rural road with a safety campaign has seen an 'extraordinary turnaround' if the latest survey is anything to by - that's the view of the sergeant who has been working with villagers to tackle the problem.

Sergeant Guy Westwood, who leads the Royston Rural Safer Neighbourhood Team, has been working with villagers to tackle the speeding problem.Sergeant Guy Westwood, who leads the Royston Rural Safer Neighbourhood Team, has been working with villagers to tackle the speeding problem.

In 2011, a six-day covert traffic survey for the B1368 in Barley recorded 11,407 vehicles – with the average northbound speed 39mph in the 30mph zone, and 37mph heading southbound.

After SpeedWatch campaigns, police speed enforcement and, more recently, Community DriveSafe awareness events, an identical survey in July this year showed 14,169 vehicles passing through in seven days, with an average speed of 30mph northbound and 29mph southbound.

Sergeant Guy Westwood, who leads the Royston Rural Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “The B1368 has been used for years as a rat run or bypass by some motorists wanting to avoid the traffic on the A10 and by others as a racetrack, perhaps forgetting that the road passes through villages where there are pedestrians, children, pets, horse riders, slow-moving farm traffic and local drivers.

“Residents have reported many near misses, as well as some collisions, but the main issue is the real fear speeding vehicles bring to people living along the road and using the pavements.

“As this stretch of road does not qualify for speed calming or safety cameras because of the low number of actual collisions, the only option is for police enforcement, whenever possible, and for residents to step up and take action, as they have done.”

Commenting on the survey, he added: “This is an extraordinary turnaround. There is no doubt the determination of Barley residents, who have volunteered to carry out speed monitoring and keep the issue in the minds of the police, is key to this achievement.”

Richard Emmerson, who lives in The Mount and is Barley’s team leader for Community DriveSafe, said: “The survey is a snapshot, but it’s an anomaly and is not in keeping with what we see on a day-to-day basis.”

Community DriveSafe is run by volunteers and funded by the police and crime commissioner.

Visit www.hertscommissioner.org to find out more.

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