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Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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We don’t need nannying


I have recently moved to Alvechurch and was saddened to hear that the village has a problem with speeding.

I have previously lived in areas that have been much more rural and also far more urban and have not encountered such strong views on speeding.

My observations over nearly 20 years of driving have been that speed limits of 30 mph are sufficiently slow enough to enable safe use of roads for all users when a degree of common sense is used!

There are generally a very small number of people who excessively abuse speed limits and I would suggest that these people would abuse any limit as they have no regard for the safety of themselves or others around them.

If a 20 mph speed limit is adopted I believe that the large majority of sensible drivers will be inconvenienced and in some cases feel alienated and frustrated, yet the few lunatics will continue to race through the village.

On the matter of speed bumps and some other traffic calming measures I can only despair! As a responsible driver the measures are annoying at best and dangerous at worst – I have had four very near misses at the current one-way speed bump in Swan Street when people have failed to give way as indicated on their side of the bump. . . and that is in the last three months.

I currently drive over some 10-15 speed bumps on my route to work and need my wheel alignment adjusted at least annually whereas when I started driving it was checked annually and adjusted perhaps once in five years
normally after an incident with a kerb or pothole.

Irresponsible drivers either “jump” over the speed bumps or accelerate aggressively between them (and sometimes reach faster speeds than they would otherwise have gone).

This creates excessive noise, pollution and additional danger to other road users. Lorries passing through the village will create the same noise and pollution problems but even more noticeably.

How do I know these things? Well, over the years I have owned a number of very fast cars and still do – but more importantly I have been one of the fast drivers for many years and behaved as I described above.

It is only as I have got older and wiser that I have respected urban speed limits.

The only answer to address the real problem is to target the few offenders without affecting the 90 per cent plus who are doing nothing wrong. The method?  Use either:

• well-signposted speed cameras, perhaps, with the profits being used to improve village life?

• a “speed gun” operated by residents of the village (as employed by several other villages across the country)

• pass registration numbers of any obvious/nuisance/repeat offenders to the police.

But please let me go about my daily business through the village at speeds of up to 30 mph without any extra obstacles to avoid or drive over – I have enough already on my eight-mile journey to work.

It is, after all, the residents of the village that make the village.

PS: What else do I need to do to make my voice heard against such measures; we only ever read of support for these things in magazines and I do not believe I am the only one who thinks “I am capable of making my own choices whilst driving and in the rest of my life – no more nanny state!”

If I am the only one then I will say no more!

K P Blanchard, Alvechurch