Speed gun man slows the traffic
By Daniel Knowles
Michael Edmonds uses his speed camera Picture Ref: 201023
# Michael Edmonds uses his speed camera Picture Ref: 201023
Aldbourne resident Michael Edmonds has launched a one-man speeding blitz.
Armed with a £500 speed detecting gun he bought himself, semi-retired bookkeeper Mr Edmonds, 69, has been clocking cars as they tear through the village on the B4192 Swindon-Hungerford road.
So far, the highest speed has been 45mph in the 30mph zone.
Mr Edmonds kicked off the campaign in February having seen cars racing along the road past pedestrians, including young children.
In the first five days he logged 124 vehicles exceeding 33mph during peak hour within 100 yards of the 30mph sign. He caught 20 doing more than 40mph.
Mr Edmonds said the council had approved extra houses in the village but had done nothing to protect the new residents other than install a sign saying pedestrians used the roads.
"It's like moving the deckchairs on the Titanic," Mr Edmonds said.
He wants an interactive speed sign installed to tell motorists when they need to slow down.
He said he had appealed to Wiltshire County Council in February to install the speed sign.
He has also collected a petition with more than 200 signatures.
"The residents of this village want a response to the speeding," Mr Edmonds said. "The people with children don't think it's safe."
He said just taking his speed gun out near the road slowed most drivers down. "It does have a preventative effect," he said.
Mr Edmonds' crusade has prompted a lively debate on the village website.
"We need real fixes not a well-meaning Charles Bronson with a few hundred quid's worth of self-funded gadget and no clout," one resident wrote. Another urged him to keep up the good work.
Wiltshire and Swindon Safety Camera Partnership said they would investigate the speeding issue in Aldbourne in the next two to three months, following a request from the county council.
A county council spokesman said the council was aware speeding could be a concern in some villages and was working on the problem.
"We are currently looking at how we can develop a strategy with the safety camera partnership to see how we may be able to make better use of interactive speed signs," he said. "It is hoped this will be completed later this year."
Four new camera sites
FOUR new sites for mobile cameras will enforce speed limits on Wiltshire's roads in a fresh crackdown on motorists.
Ministers have approved the new camera sites, despite the introduction of guidelines severely restricting any further increase.
Transport Secretary Alistair Darling placed a moratorium on cameras in December, unless safety partnerships could prove they were absolutely necessary.
Twenty-three out of 38 safety camera partnerships have nevertheless convinced ministers of the need for more in 2006-07, despite the strict new rules.
Wiltshire Speed Camera Partnership's new sites are on the A350 at Hart Hill, in Semley, and there are three sites on the A303 on the Mere bypass, the Wylye bypass and at Cholderton.
In total, 233 are expected to be set up across the country.
The partnership already has seven controversial sites for mobile cameras to catch speeders on the M4.
Partnership spokeswoman Saira Khan said: "Cameras have proved to reduce causalities and collisions and we are pleased we can carry on doing this in the coming year."
Ministers have approved funding for the partnership of £2.7m for 2006-07.