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Sway's Flashing SLR Project

What are your views?

Sway Parish Council want your views on where a Vehicle Activated flashing Speed Limit Reminder device should be located.

If you are a Sway resident, please use this link to tell us your preferences

Sway Parish map showing some possible locations.
Map showing possible VASLR locations Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

What is a flashing SLR?

A Vehicle Activated flashing Speed Limit Reminder sign is one that displays the speed limit along with an appropriate message when it detects that an approaching vehicle is exceeding the speed limit. It differs from a Speed Indicator Display (SID) in that the latter will show the vehicle's speed, whereas the SLR actively reminds the driver of the speed limit. An unattended SID can often act as a challenge to some drivers who may attempt to discover just how high it goes. An SLR does not.

An example of a Speed Limit Reminder (SLR)
flashing SLR  

An example of a Speed Indicator Display (SID)
SID Dec 2015

Why does Sway need an SLR?

Since April 2014, Sway Community SpeedWatch (CSW) have been monitoring the speeds of vehicles on roads in Sway Parish that were identified as potentially having a speeding problem. Since July of that year, detailed statistics have been collected from the SID used by SpeedWatch. These statistics show the speed of every vehicle that went past (a total of nearly 62,000 as of November 2017). From these, we have been able to determine the number of people who exceed different speed thresholds ie around 26,700 exceed 30mph, 10,700 exceed 35mph, 2,200 exceed 40mph and so on. Since we also know the total number of vehicles that have passed (62,000), we know the percentage of those who exceed these thresholds. Our CSW webpage contains a number of statistics along with detailed reports going back to early 2016.

These statistics show that overall, 43% of motorists speed, and 40% of those that speed, do so at over the police enforcement threshold. Some locations are worse than others. For instance, at Arnewood Bridge overall we have seen 60% of motorists speeding with 49% of those at over the police enforcement threshold. That's 56 vehicles per hour that could be reported to the police.

Sway CSW is very effective at educating drivers to reduce their speeds; we regularly note drivers slowing down as soon as they observe us and the numbers we see speeding now are lower than when we began in 2014. The problem is that we are only able to be out there for a few hours each month - equivalent over the year to about 1.5% of the time. When CSW are not active, too many inattentive drivers are not being actively reminded of the speed limit.  

 A flashing SLR can be out there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How effective is an SLR?

Anecdotally, most people double check their speed when they see one of these, and most try and slow down before the sign is activated. The reasons why are probably varied and complex, but often it will break down to the simple fact that most people do not want to be seen to be breaking the law. The sign only activates when someone is exceeding the speed limit so it's fairly obvious who triggered it.

Hampshire County Council have stated that on average, vehicle-activated signs have proven to have a beneficial effect on traffic speeds and can reduce traffic speeds on 30 mph roads by around 4% to 7%.

Analysis of the effect that this reduction in the speed of traffic through Sway suggests that this could reduce the numbers of vehicles speeding by anything from 24% to 44%. So for example, if the device was mounted at Arnewood Bridge, the numbers speeding could reduce from 56 per hour down to 42 per hour, and maybe even as low as 31 per hour.

Who will pay for the SLR?

In September 2017, Sway Parish Council approved the earmarking of £5,000 from reserves for the purchase of a Vehicle Activated flashing Speed Limit Reminder along with the infrastructure required to position it at three locations around the Parish.

Where will the SLR be put?

There are strict rules on the siting of such an SLR. It must be somewhere safe and easily visible. Advice from Hampshire County Council is that such a device should be moved regularly, typically every 2 weeks or so. They say that leaving it too long in any one place results in motorists eventually disregarding it.

The chosen locations will necessarily require the full support of Hampshire County Council, New Forest District Council and Hampshire Constabulary. Some locations may well also require permission from the Verderers. Hampshire County Council have policies relating to the purchase and deployment of such equipment by the parishes. adobe icon Parish Purchased Speed Signing Policy and guidance 19.02 [1Mb].

In October 2017, Sway's Planning and Transport Committee agreed that recommendations on where to locate this SLR should be delegated to the Sway Community SpeedWatch team. Subsequently in November 2017 it was agreed that this process should also involve the residents of Sway through various media including this Parish Council website.

Our purpose here is to explain the project and ask Sway Residents for their help in identifying where they think the equipment should be sited.

Current ideas for locations are (in no particular order):

  • A - Durnstown - positioned to slow down traffic coming into Sway from the open forest. Location might be near the Hare and Hounds.
  • B - Arnewood Bridge Road - again positioned to slow down traffic coming into Sway. Location might be close to the bridge over Avon Water, or further South West up the hill nearer the double bends.
  • C - Arnewood Bridge Road - again slowing down northbound traffic coming into Sway but closer to the Station Road/South Sway Lane crossroads by Kitchen Makers.
  • D - Brighton Road - positioned to slow down traffic coming into Sway from the open forest. Location might be close to Moser Grove.
  • E - Pitmore Lane South - positioned to slow down traffic coming into Sway from the direction of the Wheel Inn. Location might be close to North Common Lane.
  • F - Pitmore Lane Middle - positioned to slow down traffic coming into Sway from the direction of the Wheel Inn. Location might be close to Kings Lane.
  • G - Pitmore Lane North - positioned to slow down Northbound traffic about to enter the open forest. Location might be close to the cattle grid near Shirley Holmes.
  • H - Pitmore Lane North - positioned close to Chapel Lane to slow down Westbound Traffic about to go past the allotments.
  • I - Durnstown - Similar to A but positioned closer to the cattle grid to slow down traffic coming into Sway from the open forest.
  • J - Birchy Hill - positioned near the bottom of the hill just South of the dangerous Church Lane/Back Lane staggered cross roads where pedestrian are often forced into the road due to presence of parked cars - to slow down traffic heading North towards the open forest.

Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge the map showing these possible locations.
Map showing possible VASLR locations Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Other suggestions for locations are welcome. You can email them to info@sway-pc.gov.uk or send them by post to the Parish Clerk. In time it may be possible to deploy the SLR in other places so your ideas are important. At current rates it costs in the region of £560 to establish the infrastructure required to position the SLR at each location.

On 8th March 2018, Hampshire County Council responded positively to our inquiries and have agreed that all the above locations look feasible. They have stated

In most cases this would need to be by post socket which allows a post to be locked into position when the SLR is operating and then removed when not required. This approach ensures that unnecessary street clutter is minimised. Some of the locations are alongside footways and in these cases the clearance between the lower edge of the SLR and paving will need to be at least 2.1m. You have identified at least one site that is within the open Forest and therefore the provision of a post socket will need to be considered by the Verderers as the roadside verge is grazing land that is not part of the publicly maintainable highway.

The next stage for the Parish Council is to identify the precise locations where the SLR may be placed...

This is where your thoughts are now needed. We have started a consultation to find out which three of the above locations should be chosen. 

If you are a Sway resident, please use this link to tell us your preferences

Keep visiting this page for updates.