Village Radar Speed Sign
The village now has it's own radar Speed Indicator Device (SID), managed by the Parish Council.
Purchased by the generosity of one of our village residents, and maintained by the Parish Council, the Speed Indicator Device (SID) is located at one of a number of locations and directions along the main road of the village for three weeks at a time.
The SID is not an enforcement device and does not log vehicle data to be passed onto the police - although they can request the speed data in the event of an incident. Instead, The SID encourages and influences drivers to slow down to the speed limit. While there will always be drivers who in the absence of enforcement measures will still drive above 30mph through the village, the data shows that the device has a general positive effect on behaviours. The SID gives the driver their speed as their vehicle comes into range, but only logs the last reading (speed, no vehicle data) as they pass the device.
The SID records an average of 4000 vehicles going along the main road per day (roughly 2000 each way), and while some of the maximum speeds are extreme (and worrying - the highest speed recorded so far has been 92mph), the overall figures are interesting. Between October 2021 and January 2022, The SID was moved regularly to one of seven locations agreed with Highways in a campaign to understand the traffic behaviours and test the efficacy of the device in each location. For each location, the Parish Council recorded a baseline (without the sign flashing, for one week) to find out what the normal speeds are, followed by the device operating for two weeks.
After a full round of the seven locations, the centre three (at the bus stop opposite the Ship, in the centre near to School Lane, and at the bus stop opposite the Village Hall) were removed as they were not needed enough (see 'What more does the data tell us?' tables below), compared to the baseline speeds and the efficacy of the device near each end of the village. The remaining four locations are rotated (in order of location 1,4,2,3) every three weeks as the data and advice from Highways shows that longer stints at a location start reducing in their effect.
Location 1 Village Boundary West
This location is just within the village boundary on the Alresford Road. It is very close to the 30mph incoming border.
Without the sign running (fig.1), only around 44% of traffic is at or under the speed limit after entering the village. A further 28% are doing up to 35mph. Of concern is that higher speeds (above 35mph) account for 27% of traffic, which is significant, considering the Mill Lane exit just beyond the bend.
the SID running at this location only records the speed as the vehicle passes it - it lights up outside the 30mph zone, but it does not log those speeds (fig.2). It clearly encourages more traffic to slow down earlier than the 30mph border, increasing those at 30mph or under to 65%, up to 35mph down to 18% and importantly reducing the higher speeds down to 16%.
Fig. 1: Location 1 normal traffic. Data collected 30 Oct-5 Nov 2021.
Fig. 2: Location 1 with the SID operating. Data collected 6-19 Nov 2021.
Location 2 Sutton Manor Farm
Further into the village, round the bend and on the long straight towards the Ship.
It was expected that this would have a higher figure of speed compliance than Location 1 at the border, but the figures are very similar.
(Fig.3) Only around 47% this far into the village is within the speed limit, with a further 28% up to 35mph. The higher speeds taking up 25%.
With the SID operating (fig.4) the 30mph or under drivers increases to 66%, up to 35mph reduces to 20%, and the higher speeds reduce to 14%.
Fig. 3: Location 2 normal traffic. Data Collected 9-15 Oct 2021.
Fig. 4: Location 2 with the SID operating. Data collected 18 Sep-9 Oct 2021
Location 3 Bus Stop East
Located at the Bus Stop opposite the Old Plough.
This is the second location from the West end, much further into the village. By this time the normal traffic is around 65% adhering to the speed limit, which rises to 79% when the sign is operating.
The mild offenders (31-35mph) drops by around half when the sign is on, but the high speeders drop only slightly. The good news is that the numbers of these are lower
Fig. 5: Location 3 normal traffic. Data collected 10-14 Jan 2022.
Fig. 6: Location 3 with the SID operating. Data collected 15-31 Jan 2022
Location 4: Cobbs Farm
Located around 20 metres in from the village border, this monitors the long straight incoming from the Ropley Roundabout.
This end of the village is a very different picture (fig.8): the amount of traffic that is within the speed limit is very low, even 20 metres in from the 30mph border - only 35%. Those going at up to 35mph is 22%. The big change is also in the higher speeds accounting for 43% of traffic - worryingly with 10% at very high speeds (which amounts to over 1600 vehicles in one week). If this traffic is slowing down, much of it will not go down to 30pmh until half of the village distance. Over 65% of traffic is breaking the speed limit.
With the SID operating (fig.9), the 30mph compliance goes up to 56%, the up to 35mph offenders 17%, and the higher speeds reduce to 27% - which is still significant compared to the other locations. To put this into context, the very high speeds with the SID in use are still around two and a half times that of other locations without the SID in use.
Fig. 7: Location 4 normal traffic. data collected 16-22 Oct 2021.
Fig. 8: Location 4 with the SID operating Data collected 23-29 Oct 2021.
What more does the data tell us?
The good news is that the very high speeds through the village are a very small proportion of drivers, with speeds over 46mph reasonably low, but with the exception of the Cobbs Farm end, which is much more significant at 10%. This still equates, however to thousands of vehicles over the year.
The maximum speeds themselves are surprising, ranging up to over 80mph even well within the village, and 70mph coming down the bends at Ship Hill past School Lane, where pedestrians cross.
These numbers do not really change even the SID is operating (in some cases going even higher), so it is clear that these drivers simply do not care, the SID is not effective at these speeds (again with the exception of Cobbs Farm where there does seem to be some effect) and a solution would be enforcement measures.
Data collected 9 Oct 2021 to 30 Jan 2022. 264,412 vehicles
The slow speeds (up to 30mph) show a more effective result of using the SID. The biggest effect is at either end of the village, where a 20% increase in 30mph drivers is seen, gradually becoming less effective the further into the centre where the percentage of 30 mph drivers increases and the percentage difference becomes less.
Drivers up to 35 mph drops correspondingly and there is a marked difference with the SID. These are drivers who probably are not aware they are driving at slightly higher speeds. 35mph does not sound like much, however the stopping distance compared to 30 mph is disproportionately longer, and even at these speeds collisions, injury or death will be more likely. A driver at 35 mph will be prosecuted even if it wasn't their fault as their extra speed will have added to cause harm or worse to a pedestrian or car driver.
The mid speeds (35-45 mph) are still affected by the SID, and one again the numbers of drivers at these levels drops the further you get into the centre of the village, and the efficacy of the SID also drops.
From these graphs we can infer that the most effective locations are the two outer ones at either end of the village and this is where we should focus the campaign.
Things to note
The use of the SID only affects the side of the road that it is pointing at. For this side, the device has had a significant impact on driving behaviours:
The device has influencing/encouraging an approximate further 20% of drivers who naturally drive above the speed limit to slow down to within it.
In addition, the number of drivers who are still speeding against the SLR has more than halved across all of the speed ranges.
The largest area of concern is the Ropley entrance to the village, with the road acting as a straight runway
These improvements are only for one direction of traffic at a time. The traffic on the non-SLR side of the road is still the higher ratio, indicating that once the SID is removed, traffic speeds rise once more.
From data collected by Highways, the longer a SID is at a single location, the lesser an effect it has, which is why the device is regularly relocated.
Based on the data collected, the centre locations have been stopped as the traffic is better here, the effect of the SID is minimal and the numbers at these locations will remain the similar anyway because the outer locations are slowing down traffic.