Speed Watch in Elstead
We are about to re-start the Speed Watch scheme in Elstead.
Six volunteers have been found who want to take part and they will have training from the local Police Safety Officer as soon as it can be arranged. Hopefully they will be able to start before the days become too short to catch the commuters who use the Milford Road as a rat run in the mornings and evenings. 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.
The original Elstead Community Speed Watch scheme ran between 2010 and 2011. It recorded surprisingly 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 also encouraged the Police to make more official checks.
There was also a measurable reduction in overall speeds for a while in Elstead.
The scheme was wound up because of a shortage of volunteers.
Many people in Elstead are unhappy about the number of drivers, most of them just passing through the village, who do not stay within the speed limit. This makes it more difficult for pedestrians to cross the road safely at peak periods and for local drivers pulling out onto the main road. It is also scary for riders of bikes and horses using the roads.
There does not seem to be much reason to drive over the limit. Elstead is about 1 mile across and driving five miles an hour faster saves no more than 20-30 seconds. It is difficult to see any good reason for driving above the limit.
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. A new scheme might report only the worst offenders
Previously most checks were done on the Milford Road but a new scheme could spend more time checking the Thursley Road around the school at peak times.
In the first check 5 vehicles, including a waste lorry, were captured travelling at 36-39 mph in the Milford Road and one driver received a speeding ticket from PC Pete Harris for driving at 38 mph past the shops. Warning signs were in place and the volunteers were wearing obvious yellow jackets.
Previous Police radar checks have found that many offenders are local drivers, who know the roads well and can be relied on to take some care of their neighbours' interests. However this scheme is not aimed at our own people unless they are being totally reckless. Drivers who carelessly stray a mile or two over the limit are not likely to be caught.
We passed warning leaflets around much of the village and are hoping that local drivers will realise the benefits of more relaxed driving. Our real concern is with the early morning commuters, weekend boy racers and some commercial drivers, who charge through the village with no regard for the welfare of residents.
This survey was run to see what Elstead residents felt about the scheme.
We are looking for information from drivers and local residents in support of the Speed Watch scheme that we are setting up in Elstead. Please tell us what you think. Click here
Responses will not be used for any purpose other than the preparation of a summary report, which will not identify individual sources.
The results can be downloaded at: http://www.surreycommunity.info/elstead-30/news/speed-watch-survey/