A second road safety initiative to curb speeding drivers is being examined by Uckfield Town Council.
It is hoping to set up a concerted campaign in the town, with the help of residents, to make drivers more aware of the speed at which they are travelling.
A mobile Speed Indication Device (SID) would be borrowed from East Sussex County Council for the volunteers to operate on the roadside at appropriate places around the town.
Speeding on residential roads
Some councillors were concerned when the matter was discussed, saying that the county council was too restrictive in the places where it allowed the equipment to be used.
Speaking at Monday’s (May 30) town council environment and leisure committee meeting, Cllr Diane Ward, Trust Independent, Central Ward, suggested the council spoke to residents’ and community groups which could take the lead in SID operation, with the council acting as a facilitator.
Cllr Duncan Bennett, Trust Independent, New Town, said in the past the council had operated a SID and it needed “a lot of organisation”.
The work had been done by the then councillor Jim Molesworth Edwards and it had taken up much of his spare time.
He reminded councillors that there were places where a SID was needed but could not be used.
“I would like to see that looked at in any future discussions. I think it is a very valuable resource and on the estate roads it could be even more valuable.”
County ‘feels sorry for motorists’
Cllr Ian Smith, Independent, Ridgewood, said the town had to use the SID in locations approved by East Sussex County Council which “feels very sorry for motorists, so we must not put it where it might surprise them, which I think is the whole point”.
Cllr Smith said the scheme should go ahead.
Cllr Helen Firth, Conservative, Central Ward, said she didn’t want to put a damper on it.
“I would welcome it if it could be used on residential roads. The county council will refuse flatly to allow that to happen.
Harcourt Road ‘ruled out’
“Last year the residents in Harcourt Road attempted to have one of the ‘gun’-style indicators and they were told they could not use it on residential roads,” she said.
• The town council is also to meet with the county council to try to get a blanket 20mph speed limit on Uckfield housing estates and residential roads, as reported by this website yesterday.
What is SID?
The county council provided Uckfield Town Council with the following information:
“The county council’s road safety education team has invested in a new generation of Speed Indication Device (SID) which is available for community use.
“SID is a portable road sign that indicates the speed of approaching vehicles and encourages them to slow down with a smile, if within the speed limit, or scowl if not.”
The county’s report went on:
“Studies have demonstrated their effectiveness in reducing speeds by as much as 8.8 mph.
“During a monitored trial, analysis of 4,730 vehicles identified that 2,091 (44%) were over the speed limit when the SID first registered them. By the time the vehicles had reached the SID only 80 were still in excess of the speed limit (3.7%).
“Since their introduction SIDs have proved extremely popular with the general public as a means of reminding motorists of the speed they are travelling and encouraging them to slow down.
“Following the success of local SID deployments a number of town and parish councils have purchased their own SID which are operated in their community by trained volunteers.
“In order to support town and parish councils wishing to operate a SID in their community the county council has made the SID available for loans of up to one week at a time, at no cost.
“Volunteers would need to be trained by road safety staff and suitable sites risk assessed for SID deployment.”