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Traffic Calming – Message from FVCA Chairman

Residents may wish to see the notice that has been placed on the FVCA website today (10th March 2021) detailing the proposed revised 40 mph plan, please do have your say and inform WCC if the revised plan is acceptable,

FVCA have pushed for a 40 mph buffer to the planter from Stoneybridge Island, and so welcome this more sensible proposal.

Of course, more needs to be done to reduce the speed of vehicles entering and driving through the community.

The Parish Council are considering the proposal to replace the VAS with one that displays the vehicle speeds. If installed it will use the current VAS site and electricity supply.

It has been suggested that we should adopt a gated entrance, and funding has been offered to part support the purchase of the gates – an offer that been made previously from our County Councillor’s Divisional Fund. To date, both FVCA and the Parish Council have been reluctant to spend any additional money on what studies have said may be ineffective.  Studies have shown that gated entrances can reduce speeds by up to 6% should certain other road conditions be met and if sited in the correct position. The entrances of our village do not meet the required conditions.   And, with the speed that some vehicles enter the village at (in excess of 50 & 60 mph), any speed reduction needs to be greatly more than 6%.  Another factor to consider is that regular drivers through a community get so used to seeing the gates that they take no notice, driving on “autopilot”, and most driver found speeding through our village are regular users of Stourbridge Road.

FVCA strongly believes that meaningful traffic calming should be adopted that will actually slow down all vehicles, preferring Road Speed Tables that have the support of the emergency services and other groups.   The Road Speed Tables just before the village, near the planters, will reduce vehicle speeds entering the village and will slow down vehicles exiting the village, making the road safer for residential properties nearby.  Road Speed Tables could also be installed at other strategic locations, but with regard to properties and minimising any unintended consequences.  Should Speed Tables, or any traffic calming measures, be considered by Worcestershire County Council, FVCA believes that residents should be consulted.

Residents may wish to read  which gives the Department of Transport pros and cons for various traffic calming measures. Hopefully by reading this document you will understand why we have not pushed for some other traffic calming measures.

It is worth noting that when discussions have taken place with County Cllr Shirley Webb and Richard Clewer (Worcestershire Highways), they have both refused any traffic calming works (except gates).  FVCA and the Parish Council’s Traffic Calming working group have even turn round and said if they will not fund Speed Tables, what will they fund and install, so far the answer is zilch.

In the past 5 years, not one traffic calming measure, including visits by the Police Speed Enforcement Unit, has been supported.  FVCA battled for the speed enforcement visits to take place.  Until nearly 5 years ago, even though 30 mph signs were displayed at both ends of the village, the police would only stop and give you a verbal warning if driving above the speed limit, they could not fine a motorist as the TRO was non-compliant.  Thankfully FVCA lobbied for the TRO to be compliant, MR. Clewer arranged for the installation of the appropriate signs in the correct locations and now motorists are fined, etc if found exceeding the speed limit. 

County Council election will take place on 6th May.  Candidates/existing Councillors need your votes, perhaps saying what you want to hear.  Something that you could do is ask the candidates for a written/email commitment that they will not oppose and will fight for meaningful traffic calming engineering works in Fairfield Village.   If they agree and provide the statement then do not honour their written commitment that can be held against them, perhaps at a future election.