Tag Archives: Road Danger Reduction

Review of Community Speedwatch in Bristol

A number of BCyC members are active in local community speedwatch groups. Support from police for CSW has been a bit hit and miss recently, mostly due to the endless reorganisations. Considering the  widespread concerns about speeding it’s surprising that there are so few CSW groups, possibly only 4 across the city.  There was a meeting in May to review and consider ways forward (review-of-community-speedwatch and community-speedwatch-meeting-may-2016).

Currently the details of vehicle are copied by hand at least 4 times, leading to unnecessary workloads and the possibility of errors. A new procedure (with the acronym ‘Swan’) is that the CSW volunteers will update a spreadsheet. Under Swan the target for letters to go to members of the public is 15 days, the same as for fixed penalty notices. Under the previous system that time was considerably longer.

Letters to offenders are now only going out at the time of the first offence.  The aim is to take a more educational approach rather than “big stick”. Repeated offences will still lead to follow up by the neighbourhood team.

Different teams have been using different speeds at which to make reports. It was confirmed that in a 20 mph zone vehicles travelling at 27mph and over should be reported, in a 30mph zone then 37mph and above should be reported.

New CSW volunteers are always needed and there is a top up training video for those who have been trained in the past on avonandsomerset.police.uk/services/watch-community-schemes/community-speedwatch.

By the way, Avon and Somerset Police caught 164 drivers exceeding 100 mph last year. The top speed being 144 mph on the M4. But as one driver said  “Modern cars are so isolated and insulated it’s sometimes difficult to tell (you’re speeding), and you can’t watch the speedo every second.” Carcooned is a good word for it. Police stopped 2,000 motorists ‘doing over 100mph’ in 2014-15

Here are the results from Bedminster for the start of 2016 with the proportion of ‘speeders’ (number of speeders/no of vehicles counted)

Date  Time Duration Location Total Vehicles Speeding % Average of speeders
2016 03:40 901 97 11%
12/04/16 09:30 30 St John’s Road 126 27 21% 28.5 mph
15/03/16 09:00 40 North Street 177 17 10% 28.9 mph
10/03/16 09:00 30 Bedminster Parade 139 9 6% 28.3 mph
23/02/16 09:30 30 Duckmoor Road 79 6 8% 27.6 mph
02/02/16 09:45 30 Greenway Bush Lane 72 10 14% 27.0 mph
26/01/16 00:00 30 North Street 136 12 9% 27.7 mph
14/01/16 09:25 30 Bedminster Parade 172 16 9% 27.8 mph

Are cycle lanes in the ‘door zone’ better than nothing?

Our Road Justice group has been working with the police on the issue of car doors and cycling incidents. Up to 20% of road traffic incidents resulting in injury to cyclists are the result of motorists carelessly opening vehicle doors.

We had a question from an officer working for Bristol Council saying that there had been only one incident in the past five years at three of the most notorious locations: opposite the BRI on Maudlin St (pictured), Midland Rd and the recent one on Bath Rd. There was a collision in September 2014 on Upper Maudlin Street opposite the BRI due to a passenger exiting a queuing vehicle, not a parked one.

This raises the question of how the painted cycle lanes that form the bulk of what passes for ‘cycle facilities’ in Bristol are being used.

Could it be that Bristol cyclists already understand the contrary and subtle meaning of these lanes? They are not in fact ‘cycle lanes’, but prompts to motorist to be aware of cycles.

The message to those riding bikes is of course ‘Don’t Cycle Here

Our more reasoned response to the Council is as follows:

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