Report to the 2018 AGM:

At our last AGM, we raised the road safety issue for pedestrians in Digswell and highlighted the work the DRA and the Governors of the School have been doing to tackle the issue.  The main areas of concern raised were speeding, HGV abuse and overgrown vegetation which was obstructing pavements and road signs. Earlier this year, the DRA set up a Road Safety Campaign to raise money to tackle our issue. Our aim was to raise £10,000 to address these concerns, in particular, to raise awareness and investigate traffic calming measures and to purchase a Solar Speed Indicator Sign (SID) that can be moved around the village. To date, we have raised just over £6,500 and are in the process of submitting a bid to the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Road Safety Fund for £5k.  Extensive talks with our Local Councillor and Highways have identified two potential sites for the SID and we are waiting to hear whether these have been approved. In addition, maintenance on some overgrown hedges have been carried out and works will start in March 2019 on Hertford Road to raise kerbs and reconstruct the existing pram crossings and siding near the mini-roundabout at the junction of Station Road. The DRA will continue to actively manage the Road Safety Campaign to improve road safety in Digswell. Regular updates are provided on the DRA website.

 

Furthermore,  Digswell still has a Drivesafe team that meets throughout the year.  Drivesafe is a PCC Initiative which allows local residents to use roadside speed monitoring equipment with the aim of educating drivers and making local roads safer.  We have three police-approved DriveSafe sites - two on the Hertford Road, and one on New Road. The Drivesafe team are always in need of more volunteers to help. To find out more information please contact  Katy Hayes: saferoadcampaign@gmail.com

 Katy Hayes.

November 2018

 

 

ROAD SAFETY CAMPAIGN IN DIGSWELL  

Raising money to improve road safety in Digswell 

At our last AGM, we raised the road safety issue for pedestrians in Digswell and highlighted the work the DRA and the Governors of the School have been doing to tackle the issue.   

The main areas of concern raised were: 

  • Speeding  

  • Overgrown Vegetation obstructing pavements and road signs 

  • HGV abuse 

More details on each of these areas of concern are given below

We already have a number of traffic calming measures including speed bumps, chicanes, mini roundabouts and have recently been successful in implementing flashing 20mph signs outside the SchoolHowever, our issues still remain and more needs to be done. 

The DRA and the Governors of the School  continue to work with the  Police, Local Councillor, and MP to  tackle  our issue. Although  sympathetic to our cause,   we  do not qualify for funding  for additional  traffic  calming measures simply because there haven't  been 4  serious incidents within the last 3  years.  

WE HAVE NOW SET UP OUR ROAD SAFETY CAMPAIGN

As of the end of August 2018, we have raised £4,600 in donations and secured over £2,000 in Grants. A big thank you to everyone that has donated so far and displayed their 30 mph wheelie bin stickers

We will be submitting a bid to the Police and Crime Commissioner's Action Fund for £5k in September when the applications open.

The Highways Agency visited Digswell In August to assess site locations for SID's and look at other potential road safety measures. A meeting will be held in the next few weeks to discuss their findings and the outcome will be posted here.

Road Safety Campaign Letter 

Hopefully, you will have received our Road Safety Campaign letter through your post and 30 mph bin stickers if you live on Station Road, Hertford Road or New Road. The letter provides an overview of our Campaign, please click on the Road Safety Campaign letter link above to see a copy. More details on the Campaign are shown below:

The Road Safety Campaign is to raise money to tackle our issue and make a change. Our aim is to raise £10,000 to 

  • raise  awareness  and investigate traffic calming measures options 

For example, purchase of 30mph bin stickers, banners, additional speed monitoring studies etc 
  • purchase a  Solar  Speed Indicator Sign (SID) that can be moved around the  village 

 A recent study of the 13 SIDS within Hertfordshire showed that average speeds were reduced by up to 5 mph in the initial 2 weeks and up to mph over 1-year period. A recent study shows approx 750 cars a day traveling over 35 mph through our Village Therefore, the installation of a SID would have a huge impact in reducing the probability of a fatal accident if a pedestrian were to be hit by a motor vehicle. To overcome the reducing effectiveness over the year, it is suggested that the SID is relocated approx every 6 months to different sites around the Village. The purchase and installation of a SID that can be moved around the village would cost approx £8k. The installation needs to meet certain criteria set by the Hertfordshire County Council and is subject to Highways approval. It is believed the SID is the most cost-effective traffic calming measure we can introduce that benefits the whole Village 

   

  • assist  with maintaining overgrown vegetation that obstructs our narrow pavements and road signs.  

Investigating land ownership, funding maintenance teams etc 

  

 

 

SPEEDING  

Research has shown that there is a significant difference in the probability of fatalities between pedestrians involved in collisions at 30mph versus 40mphThere have been a number of traffic surveys taken in Digswell in recent years and which have proven motor vehicles speed  through  Digswe ll  well in excess of the 30mph  speed limit and 20mph  speed  limit outside  the  School. The feasibility study conducted in March 2017, showed a 85% percentile speed on the Hertford Road of 37 mph, which is consistent with studies from previous years that had a 85% percentile speed of 38 mph The expected speeds on other roads in the Village are similar. These speeds put pedestrians at great risk, especially taking into account the narrow pavements.    

DriveSafe Initiative 

Digswell has an active DriveSafe team. DriveSafe is a Police and Crime Commissioner initiative which allows local residents to use roadside speed monitoring equipment with the aim of educating drivers and making local roads safer.  We have three Police-approved DriveSafe sites in Digswell – two on the Hertford Road, and one on New Road. During a one-hour session, it is not uncommon to record in excess of 40 cars traveling above 35 mph, with a top speed of nearly 50 mph!  Police Community Support Officer had been requested to attend a DriveSafe session to act as a visible enforcer, although they have no powers to issue speeding tickets. 

The DriveSafe team are always in need of more volunteers to help. To find out more information please contact saferoadcampaign@gmail.com. 

 

OVERGROWN VEGETATION OBSTRUCTING PAVEMENTS AND ROAD SIGNS  

We are working with our Councillor, Richard Smith who is in direct contact with Ringways, the Highway Maintenace Agency. Constant reporting to the Council of overgrown vegetation ensures that areas are not overlooked. In addition, we are investigating if some of the more offending areas could be cut back significantly, for example, near the Viaduct. 

 

HGV ABUSE 

In 2016, a lorry watch scheme was proposed to the local police which would work in a similar way as the DriveSafe scheme, recording HGV registrations who did not adhere to the 7.5 ton limit. Unfortunately, local police rejected it due to resourcing issues. However, this continues to be an issue and there have been many incidents of wing-mirrors hitting pedestrians. 

The DRA is currently seeking a volunteer who is proficient in Twitter. The volunteer would be the main contact for residents/parents to send details of HGV abusers and then to name and shamoffenders on Twitter. If you are interested in this role please e-mail: saferoadcampaign@gmail.com.