Dear Mr Headington
Thank you for your recent letter and petition raising concerns about traffic movements and speeds in Sandhurst Lane.
You may be aware that the County Council implemented some measures in 2011/12, including improvements to signs and road markings and the installation of some high friction coloured surfacing. This was in response to local concerns following the occurrence of damage-only accidents, and the measures were supported by the local ember, Councillor Collett.
Since then, successive rounds of funding cuts for local authorities by Central Government has reduced the County Council's capacity to investigate and implement traffic management measures and required the Council to prioritise its remaining limited resources to address the causes of injury-accidents to reduce the number of people killed and injured on its roads. As a result we are focussing our reduced resources on dealing with casualty reduction.
Therefore, those sites that have casualty incidents are being prioritised above other locations. The Traffic & Safety Group has access to the Police database of all injury-accidents reported in Hampshire and this is used to prioritise our programmes of traffic and safety schemes.
We have checked the Police database for Sandhurst Lane and found that during the past five years for which data is available (up to 30 June 2016), there has been only one injury-accident reported throughout Sandhurst Lane. This occurred in July 2013 and involved a child cyclist entering the road from the footway and colliding with a passing car. The Police report attributes fault to the cyclist, who sustained minor injuries. There was no excess speed or other causations attributed to the driver. It is important to establish the causes of accidents in order to determine the most appropriate course of action, and accident patterns are usually analysed over a five year period. I can further add that there were no injury-accidents report on Sandhurst Lane in the previous five year period up to 30 June 2011. With only one such incident reported in ten years, this is a very difficult situation to improve upon and this road does not warrant any further measures at present, compared with other less fortunate locations.
The Council receives many request for measures to address potential or perceived hazards, but where injury-accidents are not occurring. In these circumstances, engineering measurers or traffic regulations will not improve the safety record, and our limited resources are more effectively targeted at locations with proved recurring patterns or clusters of injury-accidents and where it is felt that engineering measures will help to reduce these incidents occurring.
I not your comment that traffic is travelling along Sandhurst Lane at great speed. A survey carried out in 2010 shows mean speed of 29.1mph northbound and 30.2mph southbound, which shows generally good compliance with the speed limit. Whilst most road will suffer some incidents of inconsiderate or inappropriate driving, it is often the case that the perception of speed is worse than the speeds actually being driven. With a 30mph speed limit already in place, I'm afraid there is little that HCC can do to further improve driver behaviour here. The Police are responsible for speed enforcement, including the operation safety cameras, and concerns can be referred to them via the 101 non-emergency number or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Furthermore, if there are significant local concerns about traffic speeds, the residents may wish to consider starting a Community Speed Watch scheme. This initiative is managed by the Police and further details can be found on their website - Community Speedwatch.
I appreciate this may not be the answer that you were hoping for, but I hope this clarifies the position.
Cllr Rob Humby
Executive Member for Environment and Transport