Many residents are concerned about motorists speeding through the village. The Residents Association has had extensive discussions with the police and highways officers. Basically it boils down to this: there is insufficient money to patrol Stanhill Village as frequently as we would like, and there is absolutely no funding to install a speed camera. They do in fact use a speed van – you may have seen it in the village – but this can only be every 4 – 6 weeks. The speed indicator does slow some cars down and the rate of reported accidents in the area has improved slightly.
We have discussed with the police, the County Council and local councillors, the possibility of redesigning the road e.g. road humps, parking restrictions or the installation of a chicane in the centre of the village and/or another speed indicator at the other end of the village. Again, there is either no money and/or technical arguments preventing these measures. The use of volunteers with speed guns has been proposed but rejected by police on the grounds of cost [£2000 to train the volunteers], the cost of equipment and the safety implications if motorists retaliate. Stanhill Village has in fact received more support than many other non-fatality areas already although we as residents of course feel this to be inadequate.
The government’s announcements on cuts of 25 – 40% cuts in public expenditure, and funds for speed cameras in particular, make it even more unlikely that money will be available to spend on road safety. For example, a recent fatality on a road around Clitheroe drew the observation from the County Council and local MP Nigel Evans that perhaps they should put up a sign showing how many accidents took place there! So I think we have no chance. The Residents Association and Doug Hayes have pressed this again and again. The fact is that whatever the police or the County Council do, a number of idiots will speed through the village in cars deliberately designed with large, noisy exhausts and sound systems. It is an unsatisfactory fact of modern life that some people see speed cameras and other restrictions as a ‘war on the motorist’ despite the fact that the chief casualties of this ‘war’ are usually local residents, especially children.
When communities such as ourselves campaign for more controls we are confronted by the argument that there is no money. That is now truer than ever. The police and authorities understandably wring their hands and tell us there is nothing more we can do. Short of us all lying down in the road in protest there appears to be little option left open to us but to accept the situation. We beat Barratts it seems, but the speeding motorist provides a much more formidable opponent! We held discussions with the County Council but were advised that a 20 mph scheme was not feasible.
We keep on keeping on!