Community Speedwatch is a scheme which enables residents working within their community to raise awareness of the dangers of speeding and help control the problem locally. It allows the public to get actively involved in monitoring the speed of vehicles travelling through their neighbourhood. Speedwatch operates in areas where the control of speeding has been identified as a priority and in Weston & Basford it was set up following the response to the Community Survey document that was circulated by the Parish Plan Steering Group to every property within the parish. The scheme is a partnership between Cheshire Police and the Weston & Basford Parish Council and volunteers are trained to use a speed indicator device which displays a vehicle’s speed. The registered owner of any vehicle recorded as exceeding the speed limit is sent a letter by the local neighbourhood policing team, advising them that speeding is unacceptable to the local community and of the potential consequences of any future offence
Speeds can be measured of vehicles travelling towards (a) or away from (b) the operator
Towards the Operator
Away from the Operator
Community Speedwatch History
Our local Community Speedwatch Scheme started in November 2008 and we can operate from 9 approved locations throughout the parish (4 in Weston, 2 in Basford and 3 in Englesea Brook) Sessions usually last about 1 hour and can be at any time of any day during daylight hours.
Detailed records over the years 2010-2012 showed that during that time we recorded 16,448 incidents where the drivers had been exceeding the marked speed limits, were excessively abusive to volunteers or had been using mobile phones whilst driving. We reported to Cheshire Police the details of 4,259 of those vehicles. Cautionary letters are sent to the vehicles’ registered owners, repeat offenders are targeted by the police and, if they are local residents, personal visits might be made to their homes.
Not surprisingly, these were our busiest locations, especially those on Main Road. Over the years 2010-2012, there were 198 Speedwatch sessions recording over 12,800 speeding vehicles of which 3,334 were reported. In other words, there was a vehicle driving through the village in excess of the 30mph speed limit every 58 seconds!
The results from our recordings have supported the parish’s successful safety campaign for more signs, clearer road markings and crossings for pedestrians. Reviews of the highway changes were carried out by Cheshire East Council and Cheshire Police.
Weston Lane provides a link between Shavington and Weston and is also used by many drivers as an alternative route to and from junction 16 of the M6 motorway. Our Speedwatch volunteers and those from our neighbouring parish of Shavington operate from different locations along Weston Lane and it can be frightening to see the speed at which some vehicles travel along the narrow stretch between Back Lane and Larch Avenue. Over the years 2010-2012, there were 54 Speedwatch sessions and 614 vehicles were reported.
The speed limit through Englesea Brook was set at 40 mph, which was regarded by most residents as far too fast for the narrow, hedge-lined roads there. It is not surprising that our recordings did not show a significant number of vehicles exceeding the figure of 40mph and after 20 sessions, only 48 offenders had been reported.
The campaign to get a further reduction in the limit was finally successful and since the 16th January 2012, a lower limit of 30 mph has been in force. It was hoped that we would increase our team numbers with residents from Englesea Brook but nobody volunteered. For a few months in 2012 our Speedwatch efforts were concentrated in Englesea Brook to ensure that drivers adhered to this lower figure. After 17 sessions, 205 vehicles have been reported to the police! Two new "Community Speedwatch" signs were installed (one at each end of Englesea Brook Lane) in the hope that these visual warnings would help to improve the situation.
Summary of Recordings over the 12 Months ending May 2012
Other facts and figures
Fastest speed was recorded at 6.05am on 23rd July 2010 - a VW Golf travelling at 67mph!
Busiest single session was on 28th July 2011 when we reported 57 vehicles!
Driver Engagement Day
On 23rd May 2012, with the support of Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, we held our second "Driver Engagement Day". On this occasion, our volunteers, operating on Main Road, Weston, were accompanied by police officers and looking out for offenders who were speeding, using mobile phones, eating or drinking whilst driving, not using safety-belts or driving in any other fashion which might have appeared to be potentially dangerous. Any "offenders" were stopped and spoken to by a police officer and given the options of either being served with a warning letter and entered onto the police database or visiting Crewe Fire Station, where they were shown a DVD with graphic details, which highlighted the potential dangers and consequences of speeding or dangerous driving. Not surprisingly, most drivers chose the second option and, hopefully, learned a valuable lesson!
**APPEAL FOR MORE VOLUNTEERS**
Over the last few years, the number of active volunteers has reduced for various reasons – illness, work, family and other commitments, and we need more volunteers to share the Speedwatch duties. The team members do not stop or have any contact with the speeding vehicle or driver. Training takes place at Crewe Police Station and takes only half an hour or so. If you would like to undergo training and become part of our team, please contact Steve Edgar (01270 588737) for further details.