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In Full . . .

THE VILLAGE VIEW

Posted on May 30 2016 at 1:11:38

There are many recurring themes of village life, almost all of them positive. Many of us have, tucked away at the back of our minds, the idea that we don’t suffer the negatives of city life and have instead only to step a few hundred yards to be in countryside or to find special views across beautiful landscapes.

This is probably why anything perceived to be impinging from “faster” lifestyles can really rankle, as letters on these pages about speeding drivers clearly demonstrate.

It is, too, a topic always close to our hearts at The Village magazine, where we have campaigned many times over the past two decades for more traffic calming and lower speed limits through our villages.

We have seen schemes come and go, some of which have helped, others which seem to mark the starting grid for idiots to accelerate away from.

What is clear is that traffic calming has to be imposed in a way that shows you really mean it.

erhaps the most successful example is in Barnt Green’s high street, where 20mph speeds are ensured by decent-sized raised road surfaces and a near-constant movement of cars in and out of the parking spaces outside the shops.

Another excellent way of keeping speeds down is for the police to catch motorists breaking the limit every now and then.

Word soon gets around: most people will know someone who has been caught speeding down the Old Birmingham Road from Lickey through to Marlbrook and it is noticeable that traffic tends to be a little more respectful than it might be along that stretch.

Unfortunately, our local authorities, which would normally be installing traffic calming schemes, will tell us they have no money left, while it seems police resources don’t stretch to regular speed traps these days either.

Which leaves it up to us, the villagers, to do what we can: and that is to drive at or below the speed limit through our own villages so the antisocial would-be speeders behind us have little choice but to abide by the law.

Unfortunately, we know some of you won’t want to do this because, contrary to the perception of this being an intrusion by outsiders, past police speeding campaigns have shown the menace to be within – on one occasion in Alvechurch, all the speeding tickets issued were to village residents.


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