Sidbury speed campaigners conduct own traffic survey

PUBLISHED: 12:15 18 July 2018

Sidbury residents conducting a traffic survey. Ref shs 28 18TI 7751. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidbury residents conducting a traffic survey. Ref shs 28 18TI 7751. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Eagle eyed volunteers are hitting the streets of Sidbury to collect data to back claims of increased traffic, large vehicles and speed through the village.

Sidbury residents conducting a traffic survey. Ref shs 28 18TI 7751. Picture: Terry IfeSidbury residents conducting a traffic survey. Ref shs 28 18TI 7751. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidbury Traffic Action Group (STAG) is conducting three day- long surveys in the next three months as part of its community campaign tackling traffic issues in the village.

The first survey began on Wednesday, with 22 volunteers monitoring traffic from both directions between 6am and 7pm.

A campaign spokesman said: “We want definitive data that we can rely on, something to back up what people say.

“There are a number of elements to all of this, it’s how much goes through, the size of what goes through and the speed of which it goes through; it is multifaceted.”

The group was born out of two public meetings held by Sidbury WI to find out residents’ concerns and enlist volunteers for a community speed watch group.

The group has also recruited 19 people to sign up to start a Speed Watch group.

The spokesman said: “The police are in the process of vetting these residents ahead of providing training for them.

“All of this shows that the residents in Sidbury have not only expressed their concerns about the traffic in the village but are also prepared to do something about it.”

Following the meetings in April, Devon County Council placed a speed monitoring device in the village’s 20mph zone recording data 24-hours-a-day for a week.

STAG has approached DCC’s chief highways officer for a meeting with officers and police to discuss the data and how the organisations can work together to reduce vehicle speed in particular.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC’s cabinet member for traffic management said that speeding was a concern for many communities and that traffic surveys followed national recognised guidelines.

He added: ““Speeding remains a genuine concern for many communities and Devon County Council conducts traffic surveys following nationally recognised protocols.

“These protocols govern the way speed, volume and vehicle classification data is collected and the time of year surveys should be carried out.

“This ensures that we can accurately compare the results with previously collected data and any future surveys.

“Surveys conducted by community groups can provide useful anecdotal evidence of traffic behaviour.

“However, unless they are carried out using the same procedures the data cannot reliably be compared with that gathered from professional surveys.

“If a community group wishes to carry out a speed survey we advise that they first seek our guidance on how best to conduct it and that they should ensure that it is conducted in a safe way.”

“Surveys conducted by community groups can provide useful anecdotal evidence of traffic behaviour. However, unless they are carried out using the same procedures the data cannot reliably be compared with that gathered from professional surveys.

“If a community group wishes to carry out a speed survey we advise that they first seek our guidance on how best to conduct it and that they should ensure that it is conducted in a safe way.”

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