I read with interest the article in last week’s Gazette about the Town Council’s interest in Speed Indication Devices (SIDs). I hope the Council has more success than our Council in Weston-under-Penyard has had.
Weston is bisected by the A40, a major road carrying nearly 9000 vehicles on an average day. In our Neighbourhood Plan, the major concern raised by residents was road safety, specifically vehicle speed.
The Council, not surprisingly, resolved to install one or more SIDs in the village. It was expected that we would be encouraged in this by any authority interested in road safety.
We did not bargain for the bureaucracy involved in the process. First, we had to apply to have a speed census in the Village – not unreasonable - to see if vehicles really did speed. This cost of this survey was £400, paid in January 2018.
Over the following six months we failed, despite efforts, to get any response from Balfour Beatty. We now have been told we do qualify, which allows us to apply for SID bases at a cost of £510 each. The use of the SID is closely proscribed.
The device can only be used on any one site for one month, with no return for two months. If BB set up and remove the device, the cost is £300 a time. If we do it ourselves, we have to be trained and qualified to work on the highway.
There are a total of 13 regulations which have to be complied with. Herefordshire Council will not guarantee to provide the SID when required, even if a plan of deployment is agreed with them. If the device is bought privately, the cost is around £2000 for a basic model (which still has to be operated within Herefordshire Council’s rules).
Clearly, erecting equipment on a major road must be controlled to some extent. But it is a shame that efforts to encourage road safety should be met with delay, detailed regulation and significant cost, where some support and assistance would have been welcomed.
Weston-under-Penyard Parish Council