The Parish Council's Community Speedwatch Group, supported by the police, monitors the speed of passing vehicles using speed detection devices. It was set up in 2018 in response to the many concerns raised by residents about speeding in Westbourne.
So far, the Parish Council has reported 1,348 vehicles driving above the speed limit to Sussex Police. The aim is to educate drivers about reducing their speed, and if this is ignored and there is evidence of repeat or excessive offences, enforcement or prosecution may follow.
Since the start of the operation, the Speedwatch Group has been out 74 times. Each session is for about an hour at a time in groups of three, stationed at pre-determined spots around the village. Members are dressed in hi-vis jackets, armed with a small speed gun, pen and a pad. They record the speed of passing vehicles, together with the data needed to identify them. Details of any that exceed a certain threshold are passed to Sussex Police who send a letter of discouragement to the offending owner. Team members generally agree, however, that what is important is their road-side presence, which does tend to slow drivers down.
The highest speed recorded in the 20mph limit was 37mph; and in the 30mph limit 57mph!
If you are interested in joining the Speedwatch Group, please get in touch.
Training and equipment are provided. It's not taxing work, sessions are about an hour long and usually cancelled if it's raining, and you can volunteer for sessions as often as you like, when you like.
Traffic calming measures
The Speedwatch Group further enhances the speed reduction schemes already put in place by the Parish Council. This includes the 20mph speed limit, signs and road markings, and the gateways at the entrances to Westbourne which alert drivers to the village with its lower speed limit. So far, it has proved to be an effective means of slowing the traffic and raising awareness of speeding.
Speed indicator devices
The Parish Council has two mobile speed indicator devices which are currently fitted to lamp posts at the entrance to the village on Foxbury Lane and Monk's Hill - both in 30 mph zones. They show the driver the speed at which they are travelling and also record the speed of passing vehicles.
From August to October 2019, the device on Foxbury lane recorded 105,918 vehicles entering the village at an average speed of 34.3 mph. The highest recorded speed was 74 mph and 11% of vehicles exceeded the speed limit.
The device on Monk's Hill also records data which shows an average of 329 vehicles coming into the village each day at an average speed of 24.3 mph. The highest recorded speed was 52 mph in the 30 mph zone.
The Parish Council continues to collect data which will be used as evidence when working with the police and West Sussex County Council on future traffic calming measures. The devices are mobile and the Parish Council intends to move them to other areas of the Parish, including Aldsworth, to help reduce the speed of traffic and collect important information.