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Wednesday, May 12, 2021



How many times have we written about speeding traffic in this magazine over the past 15 years? Yet little seems to get better.

This time it is Finstall where villagers finally thought their 30mph limits were to be enforced, only for the police to discover they were unenforceable.

How on earth does this happen?

In any case, as one resident told a public meeting, it probably makes little difference whether they are enforceable or not – if someone cares so little about the possible consequences of their speeding, they are not going to give a hoot about speed limits and signs.

At the Finstall public meeting, called by the parish council to let villagers know they were doing the best they could, some present wondered if they could get some sort of “chicane” or pinch-points, such as those Alvechurch won after a ten-year fight by the late parish council stalwart Syd Caddick.

They should know that even those make no difference to the brainless, selfish idiots who think it is their right to defy all laws and expectations.

Witness the car we saw heading south through the pinch-point outside The Swan Pub in Alvechurch the other day – the driver was clearly aiming to get to 100mph by the time he reached the children’s nursery 300 yards away.

Flashing signs telling him he was breaking the law and risking lives would probably only have added to his enjoyment.

The only village centre we can think of where traffic calming has made a significant difference is in Barnt Green.

Apparently, decent-sized road humps are now out of favour with highways chiefs, but even an idiot is not going to risk crushing his transmission for the sake of a few extra miles an hour.

They are certainly part of the solution in Barnt Green, but what really slows people down is the narrowness of the road past all the parked cars and the volume of vehicles trying to get through this bottleneck.

Too much traffic = traffic calmed. So is it time to just accept that nothing is going to work until there are too many cars to get through our villages at any speed?

Perhaps after another 15 years of ranting in these pages, the problem will just gradually grind to a calm hum on its own?

What a future to look forward to . . .