In 2011 the Nettleton Parish Plan survey reported that ‘90% of the respondents who live in Burton say that traffic drives too fast on the road through Burton (B4039).’ In 2014 A Metrocount automated traffic survey was carried out in the Street for a week. This showed that in that in one week 2265 cars (15%) exceeded 38.5 mph – more than 300 cars every day. Following this a Community Speed Watch (CSW) team of volunteers from the village was trained by Wiltshire police.
In the scheme, a small group observes traffic using a speed monitor provided by Wiltshire Police. The details of any vehicle going over 35mph (or 46mph in a 40mph limit) are recorded, and forwarded to the police. The registered vehicle owner receives a letter after the first and second offences; this is escalated to a formal police visit after a third offence, or if the speed exceeds 45mph (or 60mph in a 40mph limit) on any occasion.
2. Last year’s actvities and results
With two new members and the ending of Covid restrictions, the team became more active. In total for the year ending 31 March 2023 there were 60 sessions with 12229 passing cars. 312 cars were reported to the police for exceeding the reporting threshold (35mph for a 30 limit; 46mph for a 40 limit). These are roughly twice the numbers for the previous year. The cars reported were 2.6% of passing cars, an average of 5 cars each session; 8 cars were reported for exceeding 45mph.
3. Looking forward
In 2023 we have recruited a new member and she has received the necessary training. This is making it possible to do three one hour sessions most weeks. The availability of another member has very recently improved, so we may be able to do four sessions in some weeks, with individual team members still doing only two hours per week.
We are also going to restart sessions on Hillside on a trial basis. When we last did some sessions there, we found that only one or maybe two cars exceeded the reporting threshold of 46mph in a session. Also the somewhat restricted visibility splay from the approved monitoring site makes the speed checks quite challenging, because the observers have very little time to capture the registration number of a speeding car.
Many of us feel that cars are going too fast on Hillside, but this may reflect the speed limit being too high as much as drivers failing to observe that limit. It is understood that Wiltshire Council may review the limit.