Help Forum

Help requested posted on 26th June 2018:

Speeding drivers on a side road

I live at in Thackley and drivers are using my road to avoid the speed cameras and as a cut through - all at speed. I think it is called a 'Rat Run'. We have more children living here now but the majority are elderly and find it difficult to reverse out of their drives for fear of getting hit. How can we get a slow down sign or a speed limit sign before an accident happens?

Elizabeth Bennett

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Response posted on 27th June 2018 by:
Mark Foweraker

E: m.foweraker@cardiff.gov.uk
T:

Speeding drivers on a side road

The only people who can legally erect signs on the Highway are the Highway Authority (normally your County Council or Unitary Authority), so you will have to write to them, or possibly better go to your Councillor (again CC or UA) to get them to raise the issue.

However, I would advise that you say "have difficulty exiting their driveway" as you “should not be reversing out” and that would risk that being the easy answer.

The options for signage may be limited as they can only erect those in the Regulations (TSRGD) and if the road is lit and 30 mph, then 30 repeaters are prohibited. Slow down signs need a special reason and driveways are not unusual.

However, Councils have extremely limited budgets and often find it difficult to justify any works without a record of (injury) collisions.

Finally, a foible of mine is to use the term “inappropriate through traffic at speed” not “Rat run” as no rats are involved. ;-)


Response posted on 27th June 2018 by:
Peter Wilson

E: pwilson@westminster.gov.uk
T: 02076412016

Speeding drivers on a side road

Firstly the reversing out of drives. Evidence shows that a cold engine in reverse uses more fuel than a cold engine going forward. If you reverse onto the drive at the end of the journey and start off going forward you will save nearly half a tank of fuel over a year. Have you approached the police who may be running a community roadwatch scheme whereby volunteers can be trained to use a speed gun to assess speeds and the police can warn drivers. There may be restrictions about doing it on your own street to avoid neighbour conflicts but the more schemes that are about, raises the issue in drivers minds. People have successfully erected signs on their own property but may get a request to remove them. I have built a bird nesting box for a friend which "just happens" to look exactly like a speed camera and it is in his front garden ! Not really recommended but the first approach would be to talk with your neighbours and find out if you are an individual or a group with an issue. Then approach the council and ask them to collect data from loops to confirm the volumes, times and speed of vehicles. Then you may have evidence that there is a problem. It may be as in many cases a perceived danger as tyre noise and engine rebound noise might suggest a faster speed than seems. Good luck.


Response posted on 27th June 2018 by:
Martin Evans

E: martin@verodrive.co.uk
T: 07712877508

Speeding drivers on a side road

It's poor practixe to reverse onto a main road for exactly this reason. The highway code advises against it. Much safer for all to reverse in and forwards out.


Response posted on 28th June 2018 by:
Mark Foweraker

E: m.foweraker@cardiff.gov.uk
T:

Speeding drivers on a side road

Elizabeth, I hate to sound negative, but I would, as the result of many years of responding to concerns such as yours, make the following comments.

> Many concerns are 'backed up' by statements about the age of residents, both young and old, and assertions that traffic is diverting and has increased in volume and speed.

> As these are often common factors in such concerns they rarely have much influence on the decisions that Council Officers can take as they have to have provable information. For example: elderly flats, Community Centre, School or path to one of these. Clearly the best data police road casualty figures* (damage data is hard to come by and is unreliable, but we wished that the insurance companies would get together to do something).

> Softer data would be to find (and photograph) evidence of skid marks, including on the face of kerbs, broken lights (red and orange are best) or other car detritus.

>Your local Councillor is less constrained but the need for hard facts and may have influence over some 'community or Ward' funding that does not have to meet the same criteria, used to be common but it tended to be the first thing to be cut.

>As pwilson said, see if your local Safety Camera Partnership or police can come out and assess your “Community Concern”, though again without actual casualty data there is a limit to what they normally can do.

*I know that complaint is “does someone have to die/be injured before the Council/Police will act”. However, and regrettably, with a fixed amount of money if you have to choose between somewhere where people have been injured and presumably will continue to be injured against somewhere where they have not, the one where people have been injured will get priority (all other things being equal).

Sorry if I have gone on a bit… I’ve been doing this too long, but my views are my own!


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