‘No Crash’ group fights for safer roads

A road safety group called ‘No Crash’ has been lobbying for road safety measures. It has been chaired by County Councillor Paul Hodgkinson and includes residents and parish councillors from Coberley, Shipton, Andoversford, Notgrove and Whittington.

Paul with Andoversford Primary School students at the opening of the School Safety Zone in 2015

The group has successfully lobbied for a School Safety Zone in Andoversford and for action to be taken against dangerous overtaking on the A436.

Now, the group has met again in June with residents and Paul says that further action will be taken to promote road safety:

“Parents with children at Andoversford Primary School have repeatedly voiced real safety concerns when walking to school along the busy roads with narrow pavements. A traffic survey was done by Glos Highways and showed that although most people were obeying the 30mph speed limit a significant minority weren’t. Not only that but even less drivers were taking notice of the flashing 20mph signs during peak school times.”

Glos Highways have now taken the concerns away to look at various options to slow traffic. Shipton already has a thriving ‘Community Speedwatch’ team of volunteers who are trained to check vehicle speeds. The aim is to get the same in place in Andoversford – if you’re interested please contact the Parish Council there.

 

 

No Crash – one year on

Residents and councillors who formed an action group to campaign for lower traffic speed are celebrating their first anniversary by issuing a report on progress.

The action group, the North Cotswolds Rural area Against Speeding Harm (No Crash), was set up to combat the excessive speeds of some motorists on the A436 and surrounding villages. The road is one of the busiest in Gloucestershire and runs between the Air Balloon and Bourton on the Water.

Paul Hodgkinson (right) with residents and councillors from along the A436

Paul Hodgkinson (right) with residents and councillors from along the A436

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (GCC, Bourton & Northleach) is chairman of the group, “Last August we launched this campaign in the face of ongoing concerns from Cotswolds residents over road safety in rural areas. Since then we’ve met with the authorities regularly and have lobbied them to take action. Gloucestershire Highways have been very helpful although there is still a desire for lower speed limits along part of the road. The police have committed to speed checks following their survey last November which recorded a staggering 92,000 vehicles speeding in just one week.”

Information was collected by the police from ‘speed data recorders’ in October and November 2012 along the road and showed the number and speed of vehicles. The highest speed recorded was 136mph at the old restaurant near Andoversford. In total, just over a quarter of a million vehicles were recorded, of which 92,000 had broken the speed limit.

Peter Hellyar, who lives on the busy road near Shipton is group secretary: “Speeding is now referred to by some as anti-social. Those of us who live along the A436 are literally in the firing line of traffic. The initial response from the police was reassuring. The tests they carried out backed up our view that there is a real speeding problem. However, we do feel frustrated and what we now need is a very visible and high profile speed check campaign by the police which will remind drivers of the speed limit.”

Hugh Piggott works at the Star College and lives near to the Air Balloon roundabout: “I’ve received a renewed request from members of our golf club to push for a 40mph limit on this stretch of the A436. That is what I want to see in place.”

The group has listed the road safety improvements achieved to date:

  • Hamlet signs have been put up to flag to drivers that they’re approaching some houses
  • Andoversford – ’20 is plenty’ temporary signs have been put up in the area around the school to alert drivers to the hazards there and to protect children. Highways have now confirmed that a ‘school safety zone’ will be out in place in the next 6 months (this would include yellow flashing lights at key school times and roadmarkings near to the school)
  • Lorry companies have been contacted by the group to alert them to some of their drivers exceeding the 40mph limit on the A436.
  • Shipton has launched a Community Speed Watch group in the village to check vehicles speeds.

Cllr Hodgkinson thanked Highways and police for the actions they’ve taken so far but added a word of caution, “We can see some real progress over the last year as a result of our campaign but more needs to be done. This is clearly a long term campaign!”

Now, the group is calling a public meeting for October to allow residents to see the progress made and let the authorities know what they would like to be tackled. Full details will be released next month.

See the press coverage here: http://www.cotswoldjournal.co.uk/news/10639291.Work_to_be_done_say_campaigners/

New safety zone on the way for village

Gloucestershire Highways is looking to make improvements to the School Safety Zone on the A436 by Andoversford Primary School.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson with Andoversford resident and mum Emma Bowen who have both been pushing for greater road safety

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson with Andoversford resident and mum Emma Bowen who have both been pushing for greater road safety

The aim of the scheme is to try to increase driver awareness, reduce vehicle speeds and create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists on Gloucester Road in the village during peak school times.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson has been chairing the ‘No Crash’ campaign (North Cotswolds Rural area Against Speeding Harm)  for greater road safety along the A436 and in surrounding villages:

“We have been pushing for added road safety measures and its great to see the possibility of safer roads around the school and along this busy road which runs though the village.”

The proposed scheme will feature new signs indicating ‘Max Speed 20 when lights flash’ and a school warning triangle sign which will notify drivers of their entry to the School Safety Zone. These will be supplemented by flashing ‘wig-wag’ lights that will operate at the beginning and end of the school day.

Glos Highways is also suggesting red patches on the carriageway with SLOW markings.

Consultation on these proposals is now taking place with a view to the scheme being introduced in the next year.

No Crash group making “good progress” in bid to reduce speeds on A436

A stop speeding campaign to cut the number of deaths and collisions on a notorious road near Cheltenham is making good progress, say leaders.

Paul Hodgkinson with residents and councillors who formed 'No Crash' last year.

Paul Hodgkinson with residents and councillors who formed ‘No Crash’ last year.

Members of action group North Cotswolds Rural area Against Speeding Harm (No Crash) say they have made some initial breakthroughs in calls for improved signage along the A436 and surrounding villages.

The group was formed last year after residents voiced concerns over speeding on the route between the Air Balloon roundabout and Bourton-on-the-Water. Alarming figures released in December showed that 37 per cent of motorists broke the speed limit along the stretch with some travelling at up to 130mph.

Councillor Paul Hodgkinson, (Churn Valley), who is chairman of No Crash, said following meetings with police and Gloucestershire Highways, several improvements were planned.

They include:

·         A school safety zone in Andoversford to make it safer for children crossing including flashing signs to alert drivers.

·         Clearer warnings of upcoming junctions for motorists travelling along the A436.

·        Two new signs for the Hampen village hamlet to alert drivers that people live along the road.

·         A survey in Andoversford to look at the flow and direction of traffic through the village with a view to establishing whether traffic for the A40 should be diverted away from the village.

·         Gateway features for Shipton village to reduce speed at the entrance and exits.

Mr Hodgkinson said the moves were a good start to tackling issues on the road, which has been the site of numerous collisions over the years. Only last month there was a nine-car pile-up with two vehicles flipping onto their roofs.

He said: “Given that we only set up the group last summer we feel we are making good progress, but there is still a lot to do.

“We are still concerned about speed along the eastern parts of the A436 – in particular on the way to Bourton.

“Police have confirmed they have carried our regular speed checks along parts of the road, focusing on the old restaurant site near Andoversford.

“Quarry lorries have been seen regularly going over the lorry speed limit by our group members so police and Gloucestershire Highways are now also aware.

“Overall it’s good news so far. Progress is being made and tangible steps are being taken to improve safety.”

The No Crash group’s next meeting will be in April.

20 is plenty for Andoversford

The campaign to cut excess speeds along the A436 and through our villages is gathering pace.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson with Andoversford resident and mum Emma Bowen

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson with Andoversford resident and mum Emma Bowen

‘No Crash’ (North Cotswolds Rural area Against Speeding Harm) was set up last summer and consists of residents and councillors from all along the A436. Their goal is to make our roads safer, particularly near to homes and villages.

Now, after lobbying police and Highways, some real improvements are happening.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson is chairing the group, “We’ve called for changes to the roads so people can feel safer. Already, Glos Highways have put up 20 is Plenty signs in Andoversford near to the school. This is to alert drivers to the fact that parents and children are walking in that area and that there are alot of homes next to the road through the village leading to the A40.”

Andoversford resident and parish councillor Emma Bowen is a parent and is backing the No Crash campaign. She was as disturbed as the rest of the group to see the results of a road survey last November which saw a staggering 92,000 vehicles breaking the speed limit at various points along the A436.

In total, 282,000 vehicles were recorded in the survey. Paul said, “We always knew that speeding was a real problem and not just perception. One vehicle was recorded at 136mph. The police have carried out a series of high profile speed checks and this will be ongoing along different parts of the A436 and through our villages.”

New figures show thousands of speeding vehicles on Cotswold road

Residents and councilors who formed an action group to campaign for lower traffic speed along a Cotswold road have been astonished by a new set of police figures.

Paul Hodgkinson and the No Crash group

Data collected from six points along the A436 between the Air Balloon Roundabout and Bourton on the Water shows a large number of vehicles travelling at over the speed limit.

The action group, the North Cotswolds Rural area Against Speeding Harm (No Crash), held a public meeting in Andoversford in September at which 50 residents voiced their concerns over road safety. The group was set up to combat the excessive speeds of some motorists on the A436 and surrounding villages.

Information was collected by the police from ‘speed data recorders’ in October and November along the road and shows the number and speed of vehicles. The highest speed recorded was 136mph at the old restaurant near Andoversford. In total, just over a quarter of a million vehicles were recorded, of which 92,000 had broken the speed limit.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (CDC, Churn Valley) is chairman of the group, “These figures do underline the extent of the problem. Whilst some spots show that the average speeds recorded were within the limit they also show just how many people ignore it. We always knew that speeding was a real issue, not just perception. Now, we are asking for regular action over the long term to promote road safety.”

“Last night we met with Inspector Clifford and he has committed to targeting areas along the A436 where the data shows that there is a particular speeding problem. Some checking will also take place near to the school in Andoversford where safety of children is a concern. This is a real step forward, but it is just the start.”

The meeting with the police was also attended by Simon Redmond (Chair of Andoversford PC), Robin Finch (Chair of Shipton PC), Hugh Piggott of the Star College and other Parish Councillors.

Peter Hellyar spoke at the meeting and is a resident along the A436 who has been frustrated by speeding cars and bikes for many years, “The police carried out a high profile check on traffic last month along with other checks in our villages – we thank them for that. However, we would like this problem resolved. Only regular enforcement of the speed limit along various parts of the road will show drivers that it’s unacceptable to use the road as a race track.”

The group is also lobbying Highways for changes to speed limits and features to promote road safety and will meet with them in the New Year to assess progress.

Cllr Hodgkinson added, “So far, our campaign has led to a greater awareness of policing on the road and that can only be good. We’re in this for the long haul and have signaled on behalf of the local community that we are very serious about this issue and our aim is to prevent accidents and save lives.“

See more about this story at: http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Drivers-speeding-100mph-thousands-breaking-limit/story-17532496-detail/story.html

and

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-20632238

Road safety campaign group meet authorities

Residents and councilors who formed an action group to campaign for lower traffic speed have now met with police and Highways to lobby for their list of requests.

The action group, the North Cotswolds Rural area Against Speeding Harm (No Crash), held a public meeting in Andoversford last month at which 50 residents voiced their concerns over road safety.

The group was set up to combat the excessive speeds of some motorists on the A436 and surrounding villages.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (CDC, Churn Valley) is chairman of the group, “We’ve now met with the authorities and have lobbied them to take action. The police have committed to one major speed check along the road before Christmas. They have also conducted a check in Andoversford village where parents have been worried about speeding cars near the school. Another check is planned in November near to the Cowley crossroads on the A436.”

“This is all good news but we want to ensure this is an ongoing operation by the police. I would like to mirror the good work that’s been done along the nearby A435 where accidents have dropped by three quarters in 4 years. That’s been achieved through year in year out enforcement of the speed limit. That’s where we want to get to.”

The group has also met officers from Gloucestershire Highways today who have committed to the following:

  • Cleaning signs along the A436 and cutting back vegetation where appropriate – by Christmas (this work has already started)
  • Putting up signs to flag to drivers that groups of houses are coming up – signs for Hampen have been ordered and will be erected on the A436 in the next few months as this has been a speeding hotspot for local residents
  • Speed data – data from 6 sites along the A436 will be collected on the speed of traffic. This will then be used to assess whether a reduction in speed limit at various points along the road can be justified
  • Andoversford – ’20 is plenty’ temporary signs have been put up in the area around the school to alert drivers to the hazards there and to protect children. Highways are also looking into whether a ‘school safety zone’ is viable (this would include yellow flashing lights at key school times and roadmarkings near to the school)
  • Potential closure of the road through Andoversford – Highways and the parish council are exploring whether closing the rat run through the village – forcing traffic to use the A436 to reach the A40 – is practical. More news on this will follow.

Cllr Hodgkinson thanked Highways for the actions they’ve taken so far but added a word of caution, “We want to have a constructive relationship with Highways, but we must see some more concrete actions on their part to answer the concerns so forcefully expressed by residents. This is clearly a long term campaign!”

Also attending the meeting with Highways today were Simon Redmond (Chair of Andoversford PC) and Robin Finch (Chair of Shipton PC).

Road safety campaign group issues list of requests

Residents and councilors who formed an action group to campaign for lower traffic speed have now issued a list of requests.

The action group, called the North Cotswolds Rural area Against Speeding Harm (No Crash), is holding a public meeting on 5 September at which it will share its concerns with the authorities.

The group has been troubled by the excessive speeds of some motorists on the A436 and surrounding villages.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (CDC, Churn Valley) is chairing the meeting next month and has issued the list of requests, “The group has put together a number of suggestions which we believe are easily done and sensible solutions. We will be asking the police and Highways for their feedback at the meeting and we hope for a positive response so we can all work together to achieve these things.”

No Crash have called for lower speed limits along parts of the A436 along with better signage for hamlets to alert drivers to points on the road where people live. They are also calling for more visible and regular policing of the speed limits to help reinforce the road safety message.

The group consists of residents Peter Hellyar, Peter Ellis, Amanda Kitson, Robert Buck, Peter Davies and Frank Hemming along with Hugh Piggott from the National Star College and Simon Redmond, Andoversford Parish Council Chairman, Shipton Parish Council Chairman Robin Finch and Cotswold District Councillor Robin Hughes.

The meeting will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 5 September at the Andoversford Church Centre.

Star College adds its weight to road safety campaign

The National Star College based at Ullenwood has thrown its weight behind the new road safety campaign called ‘No Crash’.

Hugh Piggott (left), Simon Redmond (right, Andoversford Parish Council, Paul Hodgkinson (3rd right) plus Star College employees by the A436

The College is a provider of specialist further education, training and personal development for young people aged 16 to 25 with complex physical and mental disabilities. Its employees and students use the nearby A436 regularly and are increasingly concerned about the dangers which the busy road present.

Hugh Piggott works for the College and lives along the A436 between the Air Balloon and Seven Springs – he has seen the traffic along the road increase beyond recognition in the last 20 years, “Both the College and the Cotswold Hills Golf Club exit onto the A436 – the junction is very dangerous and it would be much safer if the speed limit were reduced to 40 from the current 50mph.”

“A large number of staff leave the College via the A436 at the Cowley junction and at peak times its very difficult to cross. I’m concerned for their welfare as its a blind corner. In fact, as you approach the junction you can’t see anything coming at you.”

Reducing the speed limit to 40mph would also make it eligible for the new Community Speed Watch initiative where residents are trained up to take speed readings.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Churn Valley) supports a lower speed limit along the road, “There have been accidents along that stretch of road and the College and residents are interested in being part of the Community Speed Watch, but that only triggers in when there’s a 40mph limit. So, as part of No Crash we’re calling on the authorities to really look at helping to cut speed along the road.”

No Crash are meeting with the police, County Council and county councillors in early September to discuss their requests. The campaign group is cross-party and cross-parish.

Community demands urgent action over ‘racetrack’ road

Residents of villages along the A436 have formed an action group to pressurize the Highways Department and police. They want measures actioned urgently to combat the unacceptable speed of traffic along the stretch of road from the Air Balloon Roundabout to Bourton on the Water.

Paul Hodgkinson (right) with residents and councillors from along the A436

The action group, to be called the North Cotswolds Rural area Against Speeding Harm (No Crash), will provide a focus and co-ordinated approach to the authorities. The A436 is a major thoroughfare for traffic from Oxford, Cheltenham and Gloucester and is used by tourists visiting our area. Running past Andoversford and Shipton and through a series of hamlets it currently has large stretches which are derestricted and the lowest speed limit is 50mph.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (CDC, Churn Valley) chaired the first meeting of the new group last month and welcomed the joint effort as a good example of communities working together for a common goal, “There is a history of serious speeding along this road. Residents living along it have not only seen constant increases in traffic but talk about the road being used as a racetrack by some drivers. It’s out of exasperation at the lack of action in countering this that we have all joined together to do something positive.”

“The villages next to the A436 also have the same issues – Shipton, Andoversford and Syreford all experience speeding traffic where people are living, working and going to school.”

The group also consists of residents Peter Hellyar, Peter Ellis, Amanda Kitson, Robert Buck, Peter Davies and Frank Hemming along with Hugh Piggott from the National Star College and supported by Simon Redmond, Andoversford Parish Council Chairman and Shipton Parish Council Chairman Robin Finch.

The group has put together a list of demands which they say are ‘easily done and sensible solutions’. They will be presenting these to local councillors and police to launch their campaign.

Peter Hellyar, who lives alongside the A436 near Shipton, has taken numerous speed readings and is frustrated at the lack of action by the authorities against those who speed, “We have had awful problems with some vehicles. I do not believe that any person with any common sense would take the risk of driving at more than 100mph knowing that if they get caught they risk losing their licence.”

Amanda Kitson, another resident who lives by the A436 between Shipton and Bourton, described the impact on him and other neighbours, “We are taking our life into our own hands pulling into and off the road because of the excessive speed of drivers. There’s been no willingness from the police to take any action and we need managed enforcement of the limit.”

Councillor Hodgkinson said he hoped that the forgotten voices of residents would now be heard, “My own experience of campaigning for greater road safety along the A435 and as part of the successful SAFER group at Leckhampton Hill is that people power can win out. Accidents do drop and speeds can come down too as a result of heightened awareness. We all hope that the quality of life experienced by residents along this stretch of road can be improved. Now that the Government is consulting on reduced speed limits in rural areas, the will is clearly there to promote road safety.”

The Group will be meeting again shortly to share its solutions with the authorities.