27 April to 14 May 2016
A great deal of traffic passes through Holcombe Village, and villagers have often been concerned that many vehicles exceed the speed limits – 40 mph on Lumb Carr Road, 30 mph through the village and 50 mph beyond it on Helmshore Road. There is also a 20 mph limit, notified by flashing warning signals, during the times when children are entering and leaving the primary school.
During April and May 2016, residents of the village participated in a Community Speedwatch, which was authorised and supported by Greater Manchester Police. The aim was to ‘educate’ drivers to stay within the speed limits through the village and to record details of excessive speeding. A speed gun was provided by GMP and all the participants received training in how to use it and how to keep safe. While on duty they wore high-visibility jackets and prominent “Community Speedwatch” signs were displayed.
The results, collated by Debra Batchelor were as follows:
27 sessions were run, each lasting around an hour. Some planned sessions were cancelled as the heavy snow and torrential rain could be unsafe to both drivers distracted during adverse weather conditions and those recording excess speeds.
10 sessions were in the morning starting around 8am, 7 sessions around 3pm and the remaining 10 sessions from 4.30pm.
Locations were Lumb Carr Road (20 sessions) and Helmshore Road (7 sessions) i.e. at both ends of the village (Helmshore Road location also has other speeding initiatives).
In total, 364 vehicles exceeded the speed limits and of these:
- 149 vehicles were recorded in the morning sessions 8 to 9 am (over 10 sessions); and
- 215 vehicles afternoon sessions in the period 3pm to 6pm (over 17 sessions).
The 364 vehicles comprised:
- 11 vehicles speeding (mid 40’s and above) in the 40 mph zone Lumb Carr Road;
- 233 vehicles speeding (mid 30’s and above) in the 30 mph zones at both Lumb Carr and Helmshore Roads,
- 120 vehicles speeding (mid 20’s and above) in the 20 mph zone by the school on Helmshore Road when the 20 mph was operating.
Of the 11 vehicles in the 40 mph zone on Lumb Carr road, one car was travelling at 63 mph entering the village and continued at speed beyond the 30/40 mph sign.
Of the 233 vehicles speeding in the 30 mph zone at both locations, speeds of up to 48 mph were recorded.
Of the 120 vehicles speeding past the school at the time when the 20 mph signs were operating, 54 vehicles were travelling at speeds above 30 mph, with the highest speed recorded at 38 mph.
Another issue was ‘out of service’ buses using the village as a route back to the depot in early morning up to 9 am to avoid other high traffic areas, which caused traffic gridlock in the village at the pinch point with Chapel Lane. The Holcombe Society has agreed to follow this up with the depot in Helmshore.
The results and supporting session logs with registration numbers, time and speeds have been made available for inspection by GMP.
Thank you to all the volunteers who gave time to run all these sessions.
The impact on reducing excess speeding for the majority of drivers was visible and audible, however it does not provide a permanent solution.
A co-ordinated approach to further speedwatch activities in the village could include the school and local police initiative, GMP’s mobile monitoring van (with powers for prosecutions) and Holcombe Community Speedwatch.
Sharon Bradley, GMP, has sent thanks and congratulations on the way the study was carried out and the commitment of the volunteers.