In 2016, Stroud Town Council was invited, by the Police and Crime Commissioner, to apply for funds to buy Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) for Stroud Town.
The Commissioner’s Fund ear-marked funding to address the PCC’s priority for Safe and Social Driving in Gloucestershire.
Stroud Town Council asked members of the public to identify locations where VAS might be particularly useful to highlight driver speeds to motorists, in the hope that drivers would police their speeding and meet the speed limit.
There was a huge response from the public. Hundreds of people identified 12 areas for the cameras, which were subsequently assessed against Highways criteria.
There are 5 criteria for a mobile VAS site:
- Speed - a speed survey must be undertaken which shows there is non-compliance of the posted speed limit.
- Community Support - evidence must be provided.
- Collision Record - there should be a proven record of collisions within 500m in each direction.
- Traffic Flows - more than 4000 vehicles per day using the road.
- Environmental Concerns - weighted accordingly, so that a school, college or nursery, nursing home, community facility, insufficient footway etc. may receive additional priority scores.
The site must pass on speed and community support and 2 of the remaining 3 criteria.
Four out of the twelve roads nominated met the criteria. These were Stratford Road, Slad Road, Beeches Green and Bisley Old Road. Subsequently speed surveys on Parliament Street and London Road, revealed additional potential sites.
There were some additional issues in locating the VAS. The project had initially identified the potential to hang VAS off lampposts, creating a network of flexible locations for the signs. Unfortunately GCC withdrew permission to use lampposts, citing the weight of the cameras to be an issue. This caused delay to the project, however in partnership with County Councillor Eva Ward and Local Highways Manager, Dan Tiffney, the Town Council was able to establish 5 locations in the town where Highway’s funded posts could be installed.
The location of the posts has not been perfect, however data is now being collected at sites on Stratford Road, London Road, Slad Road, Bisley Old Road and Parliament Street and the team are searching for new locations which meet the criteria.
The displays on the VAS are turned on for 2 weeks in every 8 but continue to collect data 24/7.
The displays are switched off so that drivers do not become too accustomed to the signs and start to ignore them.
The data is sent to the police who are the speed enforcement agency. Safe and Social Driving remains a priority for the PCC.