A Safer Stoke
Safety at Home - Safety on the Road - Safety at Work - Safety at School - Safety at Play
No Nanny State, but let's make Stoke a safer place to be
Safety on the Road
Thanks to everyone who responded to our post about a possible 20 mph speed limit in Stoke St Gregory. It was really just a means of raising the issue of road safety in the village, and the following responses show what a wide range of possibilities we have if we want to look after each other when we are out and about. England might follow Wales in a few years' time and impose a blanket speed limit in towns and villages, but in the mean time are there better alternatives? Here are some of the initial responses:
20 mph Speed Limit - people feel strongly, but both for or against. If you are unsure have a look at the 20's Plenty site HERE but to start here's a comment from an ex Stoke resident: “I was Lollipop man at the school between 2000 and 2005 prior to the crossing being put in front of the school it was a 60 mph road unbelievable in front of a school!!” Another comment was: "Would be excellent especially as we have many roads without pavements definitely a positive action" Whatever the speed limit, another responder said: "The problem isn't the 30 mile an hour limit, it is people not respecting it, a lack of consideration for other road users/hazardous areas and the inappropriate national speed limit on the other village roads, that are just too narrow and bendy for this to be safe." And another: "It would be safer for pedestrians if some drivers were to slow down on the bends in Woodhill; that’s for sure."
Other Road Users - as road users we all have our pet hates, and they are always other road users. Cyclists, horse riders, tractors, slow drivers, fast drivers . . . . (and some people hate us as well, even though we are perfect road users). Here are a couple of experiences shared by our respondents: "It’s not only the children that you should slow down for. Coming through North Curry last week a women with two dogs came out from a field, dogs not on leads and partner on other side of road, dog ran in front of me and lady not far behind with other dog, good job I was only doing 18 miles an hour." And by Stoke School: "Luckily I was going slowly approaching Stoke School from the playing fields (the lights were not flashing) and a boy dashed straight across the road in front of me from the school." The posters on this page are from Nether Kellet school in Lancashire. Check out their web site HERE
Parking - this is a recurring issue "People parking in the square" was just one of the comments. The School and HOTV have been trying to discourage this, and the Parish Council has issued a statement, but it continues to be a problem. Official parking restrictions have been considered, any ideas would be welcomed.
Personal Pledges - several people have said that they are already committed to driving at no more than 20 mph through the centre of the village. If this could reach a significant number, traffic generally would be slowed down. Are there other areas where pledges could be made?
Parish Council - "Spend some Community Infrastructure Levy money on signs telling people how fast they are going." The SID (speed indicator devices) in North Curry appear to have been so successful that the Parish Council is planning on buying and installing three more in the village. This has been raised at a parish council meeting in Stoke, but no conclusion has been reached. Do you think it would be worth campaigning for this to happen? There is still a large pot of CIL money to be spent on village infrastructure.
Safer Walkways - "Make it safer for people to walk, cycle and use mobility scooters round the village and separate them more from vehicles. Start with tarmacing the path from Polkes Field all the way to the shop and the school." This is another job for the Parish Council, but it is unlikely to happen unless the people involved make their wishes known and show that there is a need. Please respond to this post if you think this suggestion is a good one email@example.com and ask your friends who may not use use the internet.
Posters - "I would love to see these kind of signs appear all throughout the village. A friendly community message displayed through a variety of graphic signs rather than a law enforced speed restriction I think would have a real impact." This probably sums up an attitude of many of us in the village. We don't want to be told what to do by busybodies, but we accept that traffic is not what it was 60, 40, or even 20 years ago. Is there anyone out there who would like to approach the school with a view to including road safety in the village to a greater extent in the curriculum?
If you've read this and any of the ideas grab you as worth following up (or indeed any other suggestions to make Stoke safer), do please get in touch by email, social media, or a note though the letterbox at Stoke House. It would be great if a few people could get together and see how some of these ideas could be moved forward. Anyone willing to stick their head above the parapet?