Response to county councillors from council officers:
Below is a brief outline of items discussed at our meeting on the 3rd August 2016 with reference to a petition that is to be submitted regarding the concerns of speeding vehicles on Brookhill Street Stapleford.
Accidents happen for a number of reasons and are not all associated with speeding vehicles i.e.
- Driving under influence of drugs or alcohol
- Mechanical failure
- Driving without due care and attention
- Taken ill at wheel
- Weather conditions
To obtain the maximum reduction in road accident casualties across the County the finite budget is not used for sites where accidents are ‘waiting to happen’, or where no strong pattern exists. In common with highway authorities around the country we are guided by our injury accident data. The budget is used at locations where a number of injury accidents have actually occurred and where an effective solution can be devised at a reasonable cost. Through this process we aim to maximise the benefits from our finite funding by achieving the maximum reduction in the numbers of serious accidents across the county. Road accident casualties have been reducing steadily over the years for many reasons, safer cars, legislation, better road designs, safety cameras etc. The method of accident investigation described above combined with the continued investment by local and central government has also contributed greatly to this reduction.
We clearly appreciate that there are many accidents which involve no injuries or that go unreported to the police. There are also many reported accidents which involve injury but which do not form part of an ongoing pattern, or which are not readily addressed by road safety measures. In an ideal world, with unlimited funding and staff levels, we would be pleased to investigate some or all of these problems. However, we are for the foreseeable future obliged to make the most of the funding available and restrict casualty reduction spending to sites where the worse patterns of accidents already exist.
In the last three and a half years there have been only four injury accidents recorded by the police on the length of Brookhill Street, one with fatal injuries and three with slight. Two of the four accidents involved a pedestrian and the other two involved a collision with a parked vehicle. The recent collision, which occurred on the 16/7/16 was recorded as non-injury by the police.
A comprehensive speed survey was carried on in 2010 which showed an 85%ile speed of 28mph westbound and eastbound, with an average speed of 21mph westbound and 22mph eastbound. It is accepted that traffic patterns do change and as the survey was over 6 years ago, I will arrange for a new survey to be undertaken with input from residents. The equipment is generally attached to a lamp column and the area needs to away from parked cars or bus stops has this has a negative effect on the results
Request for speed cameras
Whilst I understand the reasoning behind your request for speed cameras to be installed along this stretch of road, there are certain criteria that need to be met before the instalment of these types of cameras can be considered. As part of the National Safety Camera Scheme the Nottinghamshire Partnership will only deploy cameras where there is a history of fatal/serious road casualties related to speeding. Therefore, all proposed speed camera locations are required to meet government’s accident criteria for fixed or mobile camera sites. In addition to accidents, each potential location must also satisfy various speed and other site criteria and should only be used if there is no other appropriate engineering solution. For example, fixed cameras can only be considered at locations where there have been at least 3 fatal or serious collisions per kilometre in the last 3 calendar years and where at least 20% of drivers are exceeding the speed limit.
Community Speed watch
The residents themselves could contact the local Police neighbourhood team to set up a community speed watch if they can find some volunteers.
The environmental impact and noise created by traffic calming measures, as well as limited support, has led to traffic calming measures only being introduced where there has been an identified injury accident problem involving vulnerable road users. The traffic calming on Derby Road has been in place a number of years and the speed cushions meet specifications as per the highways (Road Humps) Regulations 1999.
If traffic calming was considered for Brookhill Street, it would have to be a similar type to Derby Road as it is a bus route (speed cushions). The houses are close the carriageway so there may be noise issues as vehicles cross the humps and there would be some loss of parking which could cause problems for residents as parking is at a premium on the lower section of Brookhill Street.
20 mph zones
There are large numbers of vulnerable young people outside schools at start and finish times and where it is feasible to do so we have introduced 20mph speed limits outside schools. The advisory speed limits, which make clear the association with a school, are introduced only at school entrances so they be more effective in achieving appropriate speeds.
One Way System
One way streets can be a means of reducing conflict and improving flows, but can also lead to increased speeds, safety concerns, access difficulties and a diversion of traffic on to unsuitable roads. At this time, we generally would not consider any new one way restrictions as a matter of policy. It has been shown that average vehicle speeds tend to increase on streets where one way restrictions are introduced due to there being no opposing flow of traffic. This means that although it may assist the passage of vehicles, a one-way restriction may make a road less safe rather than improving the situation. There is also the worry that some drivers will ignore the restrictions as they know there is no enforcement available and this obviously causes a further safety concern when drivers meet a car which shouldn’t be coming in the opposite direction. The size of the area and number of alternative access and exit points also does not make this a suitable option to consider.
The carriageway on the bottom section is in a poor condition and is on the list for consideration for the future resurfacing programme. Unfortunately, we have a high number of roads that are in a similar condition and insufficient funding to resurface them all. However, the carriageway is inspected on a monthly basis so it will be kept safe until it makes the resurfacing programme
There are a number of junctions that currently do not have any parking restrictions on them, they have been added to the list to be considered in a futures years’ programme for the introduction of restrictions on the junctions only
There is a weight restriction on Brookhill Street and there is a lorry watch scheme on the NCC web site, where members of the public can report the misuse by weight restricted lorries. The vehicle registration number and the time and date are needed to be recorded, then NCC will look into it further and decide what action is necessary
In the short term, and on hold until the meeting, I will arrange for a number of 30 for a reason signs to be placed at intervals along Brookhill Street.
The petition will be investigated and a report complied and the lead petitioner will be informed accordingly in due course.
Undertake a new speed survey after discussion with residents about a suitable location. They are undertaken in term time and can take several weeks before the equipment is installed and the results collated and returned.