Friday, 22 March 2013

Speed of Traffic in Low Westwood

The main concern I hear from residents living in the villages of Hamsterley, Low Westwood, Ebchester and East Law is the speed of traffic along the Low Road (A694). I decided to try and investigate the extent of the problem. 

I stood opposite the flashing speed visor in Low Westwood in a high visibility vest. The speed visor flashes if traffic is approaching at over 30mph: This is a simple method to find out if the traffic was obeying the speed limit. 

The 30mph visor is 200M into the 30mph zone and traffic should slow down from 40mph before it enters the built up area. I recorded a vehicle as speeding when the it was still travelling in excess of 30mph 100m after the 30mph speed limit sign.

  • Time: 8.20 to 9.20
  • Direction of Travel: East, Consett to Newcastle
  • Total Number of Vehicles: 148
  • Number exceeding 30mph: 58

The results were surprising: 38% of vehicles broke the speed limit. I had assumed drivers would see the flashing sign, see me in a high vis jacket and then slow down. Some drivers appeared oblivious to the speed limit, the sign or the brightly dressed prospective local councillor glaring at them with a notepad. 

I learned a lot in my hour watching traffic: The concerns of the residents are completely justified. When we are in our cars we sometimes disregard the people who live in the villages through which we travel. I will report my findings to the Police and discuss what further action can be taken to address this ongoing problem.

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