The Swallowfield Community Speedwatch Group has now been up and running for just over six months. Speedwatch monitoring sessions have been mounted, typically four times a week, during morning and evening rush hours (peak offending periods) at several locations in Swallowfield, Riseley and on the link road between our two villages. During this time more than 1,300 offenders have been recorded and details of the offending vehicles passed to Thames Valley Police for follow-up.
Of these offences the majority (over 90%) have been recorded on the Odiham and Basingstoke roads in Riseley. The events captured include serious offences (more than 50% over the limit) and multiple instances of repeat offending by the same motorists. Thames Valley Police (TVP) are responsible for sending warning letters to all offenders, with proportionately stronger responses for serious and repeat
offenders, or for ‘threatening’ behaviour. Unfortunately, the automated system for issuing letters and initiating follow-up action, announced last year, is still not operational; significant manual intervention by TVP is still required. With the huge number of offences recorded in the Thames Valley so far this year (more than 30,000) police overload is a real issue. The severity of speeding offences, particularly in Riseley, is a major concern locally and your council has now scheduled a meeting with Thames Valley’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Mathew Barber, to address this and other local issues.
On a more positive note, with thanks to Tony Griffiths, Traffic Management Officer for TVP, a police ’enforcement’ team was enticed to visit Riseley a couple of times in early September. They quickly apprehended multiple offenders and we hope to see them again soon. However, due to the shorter days and deteriorating weather our Speedwatch activities will be suspended over the winter.
Please bear in mind that Traffic Calming was, and is, the Parish Council’s primary objective, that Speedwatch was/is only the first step in that campaign and the only action the Council could take on its own initiative (i.e. without support and funding from Wokingham Borough Council). Under its new leadership there are signs that WBC Highways & Transport are beginning to take speeding more seriously and SIDs (Speed Indicator Devices) have been setup at various locations around the borough on a temporary basis. A meeting with WBC Highways & Transport to discuss not just speeding but alternative methods of traffic calming, especially for Riseley, has been requested.
Cllr Ian Fullerton, Planning Chair and Transport Lead