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Martin Taylor, Barry Thunder and Des Fitzpatrick take part in the South Marston Community speed watch scheme

Martin Taylor, Barry Thunder and Des Fitzpatrick take part in the South Marston Community speed watch scheme

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @BerenCross

VILLAGERS in South Marston must recognise community organisations need to grow in line with the proposed expansion of the village, according to resident Barry Thunder.

South Marston is the subject of an application to build 2,380 homes, which would cover a 162-hectare site to the south of the village, and ultimately create a second village around Rowborough Farm.

Barry, who is a member of the village’s parish council, is calling on current neighbours and prospective residents to match the increase in traffic and footfall by volunteering with the Community Speedwatch scheme (CSW).

As well as the expected upturn in vehicles passing through the village, plans are currently being passed through for the introduction of a 20 miles per hour speed limit in the village centre.

“One of the biggest things we have to keep an eye on in the scheme is Old Vicarage Lane. Along that road there are going to be 400 to 500 more houses,” said Barry.

“Exactly where they will be positioned is still to be determined, but they will come out on that main road.

“As a part of the development on either side of the road there are two exits from the houses onto the road, though there may be four or more.

“There are going to be more cars using that road though.

“It would be a lovely long-term thing to have more people to involve in our plans for the future.

“A lot of volunteer groups in the village are struggling.”

Barry has been involved with the Speedwatch scheme, along with five other volunteers, since its inception around 18 months ago.

The group meets usually meets once a week and sets its goals at protecting the school children in the village.

Times and locations change from week-to-week, but the speed gun is usually aimed at those cars entering the village from the north in Highworth Road, and from the south along Old Vicarage Lane.

“We try and improve safety for the school children,” said Barry. “It is an incredibly long straight down Old Vicarage Lane and it doesn’t look like a 30 zone, so there are many cars speeding down there.

“We have caught people travelling at 50 miles per hour or more on that stretch.”

Talks are at an advanced stage with Swindon Council for the introduction of a 20 miles per hour speed limit in the centre of the village too.

If the plans come to fruition, the speed limit would come into effect close to the bus stops in Highworth Road, a short distance south of the South Marston Hotel and in Thornhill Road near Bell Gardens.

If anyone is interested in volunteering with the scheme, they should contact co-ordinator Tony Leathart on 01793 827744, 07765 703228 or tony.leathart@btinternet.com

Comments (1)

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7:07pm Thu 13 Feb 14

trolley dolley says...

It is stated in your article that "The group usually meets once a week and sets its goals at protecting the school children in the village".

How does pointing a speed camera at a speeding car make children safe. If the road is straight and cars speed down it surely what is required is traffic calming.

Speed bumps or road narrowing, not three locals in yellow jackets taking cars index numbers.

As you state in your article these three move around so how can they stop children getting hurt in different places in the village.

I can understand their feelings but I think their method is too slow and not as effective as traffic calming.
It is stated in your article that "The group usually meets once a week and sets its goals at protecting the school children in the village". How does pointing a speed camera at a speeding car make children safe. If the road is straight and cars speed down it surely what is required is traffic calming. Speed bumps or road narrowing, not three locals in yellow jackets taking cars index numbers. As you state in your article these three move around so how can they stop children getting hurt in different places in the village. I can understand their feelings but I think their method is too slow and not as effective as traffic calming. trolley dolley
  • Score: 0

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