Vandals jeopardise road safety

One of the signs in operation near Badger FarmA road safety initiative, involving the use of flashing speed limit signs, has been thwarted by vandals.

The City Council has been using two flashing road signs at different sites around the District to highlight the presence of speed limits, particularly around schools and other built up areas.

The portable signs are temporarily deployed for two weeks at a time at various locations throughout the District. They contain a sensor which triggers a flashing speed limit reminder when a vehicle is travelling in excess of the speed limit.

The signs have been used in numerous locations around the District. However, during the latest deployment in Sun Lane, New Alresford, one of the signs was broken by vandals.

This is not the first time the sign has been vandalised in New Alresford and on one occasion the sign was stolen from the B3047 opposite the junction with Sun Lane. It was later recovered by the Police undamaged. On another occasion, the sign was covered in tape to prevent the sensor from working.

The signs are used purely to increase driver awareness and, unlike speed cameras, they cannot record details of vehicles which exceed the speed limit. Studies have shown that, when used on a temporary basis, the signs help to reduce overall speeds and make roads safer.

The City Council has been using the signs continuously since April 2007 and has received numerous requests for the sign to be erected in different locations around the District. Consequently there is a long waiting list of locations where the sign is needed.

With only one sign remaining in operation, it will take some time before every area of concern can be addressed.

Andy Hickman, Head of Access and Infrastructure at the City Council commented:

"It is unfortunate that this useful road safety device has deliberately been put out of action. Each sign costs in the region of £3000 to purchase. It is unlikely, given the current economic climate, that a replacement sign can be provided at present"

Cllr Keith Wood, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Access, added:

"The City Council has been working very closely with local residents to improve safety on our roads. It's a shame that a petty act of vandalism has cast a shadow over this important area of work to make our roads safer."