Traffic and Road Safety
Welcome and Introduction
A proposal was presented to Downley Parish Council (DPC) in July 2018 to introduce a one-way system around Plomer Green Lane, Littleworth Road & Commonside. DPC reviewed the proposal, felt it had merit and formed the Traffic Working Party. As of July 2021, all issues relating to road traffic reverted to full Council.
Terms of Reference
The draft Terms of Reference were discussed and some amendments proposed:
- Reference to other stakeholders to include: Downley School; Emergency Services; Service vehicles i.e. waste team) & bus operators.
- Other elements were agreed to form additional activities that may be explored later. These included:
o Gathering supporting data from parishioners concerning their perception of speed.
o Engaging Downley school to determine traffic stats from their Traffic Survey.
o Assessing the levels of off-road and use of off-road parking in ‘hot spot’ areas.
Following these additions, the Terms of Reference were agreed.
It showed Accident statistics between 2013-2017 (last year available) and were classified in one of three categories:
- Slight accident: One in which at least one person is slightly injured, but no person is killed or seriously injured.
- Serious accident: One in which at least one person is seriously injured but no person (other than a confirmed suicide) is killed.
- Fatal accident: An accident in which at least one person is killed.
These are the same status used by Thames Valley Police and recognised by Highways.
The meeting saw that, in that five-year period, there were:
- 13 slight accidents in the parish
- 4 serious accidents
- 1 fatal accident in the parish
The meeting concluded that, based on these stats along, they failed to represent a compelling case for action by Highways/TVP alone. The meeting agreed that additional data (SIDs and/or speed perception survey) was needed.
Analysis of Recent SIDs Data
Two sets of data from the Speed Indicator Devices (SID) were presented to the meeting.
One set of data was from Pheasant Drive based on SIDs data from 4th Jul to 24th Jul. The legend to the data summary is :-
The Pheasant Drive SID data showed that in the three-weeks of the survey, 20,000+ vehicles were captured on the device and of those, only 6 exceeded 29 mph. The maximum speed identified was 32 mph.
The WP noted that the data captured cars travelling downhill into a bend where cars were often parked. It was felt that this may have contributed to speeds.
The speeds captured were shown on the distribution chart to the left and show the majority of vehicles under the limit.
The second set of data was from Middlebrook Road. It was for a shorter period, but the data was notably different. The average speed was 26 mph and the maximum was 60 mph. Of the 46,000 vehicles, it was noted that c26% exceeded the limit, with 12,000+ speeders per week. The distribution chart shows that speeds were biased towards the limit.
Future Location of SIDs
On reviewing the SIDs data the WP noted that there were a number of considerations that would help provide a stringer set of data:
- Straight run - this would identify maximum speed as bends tended to result in more cautious driving behaviour.
- Minimise proximity to junctions - The data from Pheasant Drive showed a number of vehicles travelling at less than 10 mph and it was determined that this was likely to be vehicles turning into or exiting from the adjacent junction with Curlew Close. • Place on available stations (telegraph poles, street lights)
The locations proposed are shown below:
Three additional areas were proposed:
- Southfield Road (close to Plomer Hill)
- Hithercroft Road (close to junction with the green)
- Plomer Green Lane/Moor lane
The meeting agreed that a rota should be defined to ensure that priority areas (proximity to schools, playgroups and other hotspots) see SIDs deployed earlier, but for no longer than one month’s duration. The rationale of this was to ensure that drivers did not become desensitised to the presence of a flashing speed sign.
Post meeting, the following rota was drawn up.
1) Move SID from Pheasant Drive to Commonside, close to the bus stop/conservation area properties where parking takes place on both sides of the road (showing as #5m above)
2) Move SID from Middlebrook Road to Plomer Green Lane (showing a #2, above)
3) Continue collation of SIDs data to the rota shown above
4) Initial engagement of bus companies, emergency services and TfB to canvas initial views on perception of any traffic problems in Downley.