The Sheldon Speed Watch Team
During the summer of 2014 and following many months of speed issues being raised at the Sheldon Police Tasking meetings, a proposal to establish a Speed Watch group was made and supported by the Sheldon Police with PC and PCSO efforts.
This was supported by residents in Arden Oak Road and Shepheard Road who managed to get a traffic sensor investigation carried out which showed significant increases in the numbers of vehicles now using these roads, due mostly to the Morrison’s supermarket development and the new traffic management at that point.
Over the following months a number of Speed Watch events took place using a small hand held radar device, clipboards and with members calling out details of vehicles exceeding the 30mph speed limit on several roads in Sheldon. Whilst a number of vehicles and their owners were identified through the Police and the Police National Computer (PNC) at Swansea, the owners were sent formal letters informing them that the speed limits had been breached, including the date, time and road. It was a difficult process to sometimes see the vehicle registrations, make, model and colours of the vehicles.
In 2015, two members of the Speed Watch team Bob Toms and Colin Parker, investigated more advanced and alternative equipment, and so as to obtain this equipment, they set up a support group called STAG (Sheldon Traffic Action Group) to obtain grants and raise funds to purchase a special Laser Camera. With grants from the Birmingham Safety Partnership and Birmingham Airport, money was raised and at the beginning of 2016 a Sentinel II Camera was purchased costing nearly £5000. This equipment immediately gave considerably improved details including automatically date, time, speeds and a colour image of the vehicle and its registration!
Still working with the local Sheldon Police, PC’s and PCSO’s, STAG provided this Speed Camera to undertake Speed Watch events. Since April 2016 this Camera has undergone trials and operations on a number of roads in the Sheldon area and a total of some 120+ vehicles have ‘had their picture taken’ exceeding the 30mph speed limits. These details have been passed to the Sheldon Police who are working their way through the Ministry of Transports (MoT) National Computer to identify owners and to send them initial ‘Speed Watch Warning letters’.
It is planned that in continued co-ordination with the Police, over the coming months many more Speed Watch events will be taking place on the roads around Sheldon in an effort to identify and report those motorists who speed through our residential roads. Results will be monitored and where appropriate, such motorists may be subject to escalated reporting and observations.
The STAG team also visited the TRAFFEX exhibition at the NEC in November 2014 at the suggestion of the Acting District Engineer Mr Lewis Cashmore and identified other more permanent equipment that could be installed in the Sheldon Roads to advise drivers of the speed limits together with radar Data Collectors that will allow traffic flow data to be captured.
Sheldon Traffic Action Group with representatives from Westcotec Traffic Safety Systems, plus Cllr Anderson and Sheldon Police Team, photographed with the new Speed Warning sign in Sheldon yesterday. (click on photo to see a larger image)
With the help of the councillors and Mr Cashmore, and after nearly 2 years of ‘pester power’ we were able to secure additional funds to support the purchase and erection of this equipment from specialist manufacturers Westcotec Traffic Safety Systems of Norfolk.
This equipment consisting of 2 Speed Warning signs and 4 Data Collectors were finally delivered, installed and commissioned in mid-September 2016 and are now monitoring some of the Sheldon roads.
The STAG/Speed Watch team, with the support of the local Liberal councillors, and other local residents now plan to target other funding streams over this next 12 months so that the number of units in the Sheldon area can be increased to monitor and reduce speeds, and protect the residents of Sheldon.
Our aims are: MAKE SHELDON SAFE FOR THE RESIDENTS AND OUR CHILDREN.