Mobile camera units used to periodically enforce the controversial 30mph speed limit on the Stoke Gifford By-Pass detected more than 1,200 offences over a 12-month period, the Journal can reveal.
With the speed cameras being deployed for just 30 hours and 15 minutes over the period, the average detection rate works out at 41.95 offences per hour of enforcement, the equivalent of a ticket being issued every 86 seconds.
Comparison with data from other mobile speed camera sites in and around the Stokes (see facing page) shows that the detection rate on the Stoke Gifford By-Pass is more than four times the average seen elsewhere, which comes in at less than ten detections an hour.
The by-pass speed limit has proved controversial ever since the road was opened two years ago, in December 2017.
Travelling south from Parkway North Roundabout (near Nuffield Health), the by-pass (officially named Rosedown Avenue) initially has a 40mph speed limit before changing to 30mph shortly before the traffic light-controlled junction with Hambrook Lane.
Between Hambrook Lane and the Oxleigh Way traffic lights (entrance to Highbrook Park) the road sweeps across open countryside and has the appearance of one which might be expected to have a higher speed limit of at least 40mph, save for the presence of street lighting columns.
Although many motorists have complained that the speed limit signage is inadequate, particularly when joining the road coming north off the A4174 Ring Road. South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) says national guidelines forbid it from installing ‘repeater’ speed limit signs at intermediate points.
In early 2019, one frustrated motorist ran a petition calling for the speed limit on the by-pass to be raised because “it has a speed limit that quite drastically does not match the engineering standard of the road”. The petition attracted 527 signatures over the three-month period that it was open.
SGC’s response to the petition said that “the vertical and horizontal alignment on the southern part of the by-pass [is] below the desirable minimum for a road with a speed limit above 30mph, as specified in national standards”. It also pointed out that planned housing development along the road [i.e. the East of Harry Stoke New Neighbourhood] would have the effect of “naturally reducing traffic speeds”, although it noted that the house building has not come forward as quickly as had been anticipated when the by-pass was designed.
Above: Table showing hours of enforcement carried out, number of notices of intended prosecution (‘tickets’) issued and the number of ‘tickets’ issued per hour of enforcement at mobile speed camera sites in the Stokes area over the 12-month period November 2018 to October 2019.
Above: Map showing location mobile speed camera sites numbered 1 to 7 in data table.
This article originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on pages 6 & 7). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.