The Caston Blog

You can start a conversation on any subject or topic of your choice (click here for the Blog Entry Form) or you can comment on an article already written (using the form below).  Something in the village you want to compliment or criticise? - air your views right here. Anything goes on this page. Please note that whenever you submit something which will be publicly shown on this website you should take care not to make any statements which could be considered defamatory to any person or organisation, however as of 23rd January 2015 all entries must bear an email address as well as a first and last name.  Your name and email will be withheld if requested within the text of your blog or reply.  Your submission will not be published without this information.

The views expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the webmaster.

Click here to see a full list of all blogs - goes back a long way!


 

Speed Sign Working Group Report

by CPC - Working Group - 15:36 on 11 December 2015

Caston Parish Council – Speed Sign Working Group

Report compiled 4 December 2015

Background

This Working Group (WG) was convened to look into traffic issues, especially excessive speed, affecting Caston.

The group comprises Caston Speed-Watch Co-Coordinator Colin Bearne and Caston Parish Councilors, Frank Brown and Jaki Porter.

Consultations

In the process of their research the WG have consulted with, or sought information from the following people and companies;

  • David Law, Traffic Management Officer, Road Policing Protective Services, Norfolk Constabulary
  • Paul Sellick, Area Engineer, Highways & Transportation Community and Environmental Services, Norfolk CC
  • Janet Overton, Community Speed Watch Administrator for Norfolk Constabulary
  • Westcotec Traffic Safety Systems, VAS Sign suppliers N.B. Other Sign Suppliers were reviewed including TWM Traffic Control Systems
  • Automate Systems: Glasdon UK Ltd, Suppliers of Highway Safety Equipment
  • The Parish Clerks of Ashill, Great Ellingham and Wretham
  • Caston Parish Council – Speed Sign Working Group Report - 4 Dec 2015

Key Issues

Traffic Speed

Caston Speed Watch (CSW) records indicate a four-fold increase in vehicular traffic through the village since 2008. Speed Watch Sessions are typically carried out outside of the busier commuter hours, and signs warn drivers that Speed Watch is in progress, even so, a notable percentage* of drivers exceed the speed limit with some travelling at up to 50mph. Worryingly, CSW have also experienced an increase in verbal abuse and threatening behaviour from drivers.

NOTE: *A 14 day speed monitoring exercise, by Norfolk Constabulary was carried out near the village hall during November to provide precise data. Unfortunately it coincided with significant activity and temporary traffic lights around the “Allcrest” site, which may have artificially reduced traffic speeds overall. Consequently a new monitoring session is scheduled for early 2016.

Traffic Volume

Despite the re-routing of the B1077 via Carbrooke Hall during WWII, the road markings still give the impression that the traffic priority runs through Caston. Furthermore, Satellite Navigation systems have so far indicated it as the fastest and most direct route between Attleborough and Watton/Swaffham. Since 2013 there has also been a significant increase in HGV traffic, not necessarily associated with local deliveries.

NOTE: Approximately 10 years ago attempts were made to get the CC to correct the road markings at the junction of Attleborough Road & Carbrooke Road to indicate the priority, but the WG understand that the request was rejected on grounds of the cost of the land that the authority deemed necessary to purchase to modify the junction.

Through consultation with the advisors listed above, the WG has explored options designed to address these issues.

Options and actions

Caston Parish Clerk has written to the main SatNav service providers to request that they amend their information where possible. Replies have been positive, however it is unlikely that much effect will be felt in the short term.

The WG intend to re-apply to Norfolk CC highways to have the traffic priority of the B1077 marked more appropriately at the junction of Attleborough Rd & Carbrooke Rd. however we understand that this is unlikely to succeed.

The WG has also reviewed the options and costs of specific traffic calming measures suitable for Caston.

Speed Reduction / Traffic calming measures

Traffic calming measures fall into two main categories; physical and psychological. Physical measures include road width adjustment and ‘speed humps’, and are, not unexpectedly, the most effective method of reducing overall speeds and improving driver behaviour. However, cost notwithstanding, these measures are unsuitable for Caston due to the required movements of farm vehicles and machinery. Consequently we have not explored these further at this point in time.

Psychological traffic calming measures include village ‘gateways’, road markings and signage. After consultation with advisors listed above, the WG has concluded that a combination of village Gateways and vehicle activated speed warning signs would be both effective and feasible.

Vehicle Activated Speed Warning Signs.

The WG found consensus among its consultants that these are effective in slowing driver speeds overall. They also clearly indicate that the driver is in a residential area.

The mobile versions* – SAM2 signs - particularly overcome driver complacency by appearing in different locations at intervals of between 2 and 4 weeks. With the assistance of the Norfolk CC Highways Area Engineer, the WG have identified 5 suitable locations around Caston and Northacre.

Norfolk CC recommend the SAM2 as suitable for locations such as Caston, consequently the WG will be submitting an application to recoup 50% of the purchase and set up cost through the Parish Partnership fund.

Having reviewed all realistic options the WG conclude that this is the most immediately accessible and affordable method for Caston to improve driver behaviour and reduce speeding overall.

The cost of sign, data recorder and posts and brackets identified as suitable is £3750 + VAT. The units run on rechargeable batteries, the indicative running costs for which is 6 pence per week.

* The WG envisage that the work of moving the unit between sites would be undertaken volunteers led by the CSW team.

Village Gateways

As mentioned above, the main route between Attleborough and Watton/Swaffham is perceived to run directly through the village. Currently, village signs and planters indicate entry to the settlement. Though attractive, neither are visually arresting to a fast moving driver, nor can they be seen at night.

Clearer indication that traffic is entering a village/residential area would reduce the impression of the road as a ‘through route’. Studies indicate that Village Gateways are a useful contributor to improved driver behaviour overall, with some studies showing drivers perceiving the safe driving speed limit between 1 and 7 mph slower than that without the gateways.

The gate units create the visual impression of road narrowing without actually affecting the width at all. The white versions appear to be significantly the most effective, although they are available in light and dark oak finishes. New design units are made from a durable synthetic material – not wood - and are low-maintenance, typically requiring only an annual wash.

Following consultation with Road Policing Protective Services, Norfolk Constabulary the WG are looking at the potential installation of gateway markers at the Eastern entry point to the village.

Measurements taken during an inspection visit from a recognized supplier show that verge widths at the relevant points are more than adequate to comply with legal requirements.

An indicative cost for the supply of one pair of gates suitable for siting on the Attleborough Road adjacent to the flower troughs is £1,200. At the time of writing the WG is seeking costing for installation and any signage. Subject to further interest the WG will seek quotations for gates for other entry points, and investigate any economies of scale.


The content of this report was aired at the last Parish Council meeting.  We are currently applying for partial funding of the speed awareness signs and would appreciate it if you would like to add your voice to support our cause which would be a great help.

You can add your comments below or if you prefer write a brief email message addressed to castoncouncil.clerk@gmail.com   If you would prefer not to be named that’s fine too – just let us know .

Thanks again,

Speed Sign Working Group, Caston Parish Council

 

Comment from Mr. & Mrs. A. Ash at 14:54 on 12 December 2015.
As residents of Caston living on The Green we have got increasingly concerned about the speed of traffic through the village especially when turning out of our drive which is sometimes hazardous due to the speed at which some drivers go.
We would be very pleased if some traffic calming measures were put in place.

Sue & Tony Ash
Comment from Ruth & Rob Trown at 10:18 on 13 December 2015.
We are concerned about the speed and volume of traffic through the village, particularly in the light of the uneveness and width of the pavement, which forces walkers into the road on occasions. We would heartily support the introduction of speed calming measures.
Ruth & Rob Trown
Comment from Nicole & Henry Prince at 00:43 on 14 December 2015.
We have lived in Northacre for over 30 years and in that time have seen the volume and speed of traffic increase to what are now dangerous levels. Both of these parameters have been exacerbated by the construction of Wayland Prison and the associated vehicular movement particularly when shifts are changing.Add to this the now huge farm vehicles which often occupy the complete road width and the problem becomes acute. It is no longer safe to ride horses because of the size and speed of vehicles; it is unsafe for children and elderly people to walk along the verges which are narrow and offer no refuge from speeding traffic. Any calming measures would be welcome. We hope it will not take a tragic or fatal accident to initiate some action.

Add your comment

Your Name


Your Email (only if you are happy to have it on the site)


Your Comment - no HTML or weblinks


Enter this number in the box below and click Send - why?Unfortunately we have to do this to prevent the system being swamped by automated spam

 
Please note that whenever you submit something which may be publicly shown on a website you should take care not to make any statements which could be considered defamatory to any person or organisation.