Speed Watch in Elstead
We are re-starting the Speed Watch scheme in Elstead.
Most of the drivers driving at really high speeds in the village are outsiders and they are the real targets for the scheme. The aim is to get people used to driving reasonably in Elstead because the Watchers are there and actively monitoring their speeds. The combination of yellow jackets and a "hair dryer" does have an effect and can make a worthwhile impact, provided that we do it often enough and at unpredictable times.
If anybody is interested in doing an occasional half hour checking speeds in Elstead please use the contact form on this page. Volunteers go out to pre-arranged points in Elstead for about half an hour and record speeds and registration numbers of vehicles travelling at more than 35 mph. Locations and times are varied to get the maximum cover.
WHY SHOULD WE PUT UP WITH SPEEDING IN ELSTEAD?
Many people in Elstead are unhappy about the number of drivers, who drive well over the speed limit, most of them just passing through the village. This makes it more difficult for pedestrians to cross the road safely and for local drivers pulling out onto the main road from drives and side roads. It is also scary for riders of bikes and horses using the roads.
A recent traffic survey carried out in Elstead during two separate weeks, 24 hours a day, found that of 10,000 vehicles passing Burford Lea on the Milford Road, between 6:00 am & 10:00 pm every weekday, fewer than 2,000 were keeping within the speed limit and over 1,000 were travelling at between 40-60 mph. The average speed was around 40 mph and there is concern about the speed of some vehicles approaching the Milford Road pedestrian crossing.
In other parts of the village average speeds were not so high but there were still too many cars travelling at over 40 mph.
There does not seem to be much reason to drive over the limit. Elstead is about 1 mile across and driving ten miles an hour faster saves no more than 40-60 seconds.
The results of the survey have been reported to Surrey CC Highways and the Police. Surrey Police have said that they will investigate and make their own traffic checks but the number of officers available is limited.
In the meantime WE can do something positive to help control speeding, by reviving the Elstead Community Speed Watch scheme.
The original Elstead Community Speed Watch scheme ran between 2009 and 2010. It recorded similar results to the recent survey, with large numbers of vehicles driving at more than 35 mph in the village and a worrying proportion at speeds ranging from 40-60 mph.
The results helped to strengthen the campaign for the Milford Road pedestrian crossing and encouraged the Police to make more official checks. There was also a measurable reduction in overall speeds in Elstead.
The scheme was wound up because of a shortage of volunteers and we need at least ten to be sure of making it a success.
The original scheme involved reporting any vehicle travelling at over 35 mph to the Police, who then wrote a warning letter to the owner of the vehicle. Drivers cannot be prosecuted on Speed Watch reports but repeat offenders could receive a visit from the Police to ask why they ignore speed restrictions.
In the past the Police have also done School speed checks in Elstead. They stop speeding motorists and give them a choice of penalty points and a fine or an interview with children from the School.