October 12, 2016
Half of drivers breaking 30mph limit along busy Burnham-On-Sea road

Fresh calls have been made this week for safety improvements along a busy Burnham-On-Sea road after a new survey revealed half of drivers continue to exceed the 30mph limit.

A speed indicator device installed in Burnham's Stoddens Road recorded just under 50% of drivers exceeding the 30mph limit during the period between August 17th and September 5th this year.

The study of 40,000 vehicles found 20,252 were driven at or below the speed limit of 30mph. But 19,134 vehicles travelled between 30-40mph, while 594 drivers travelled between 40mph-50mph, and 20 vehicles were recorded driving over 50mph.

The median speed was calculated at 29mph for August and 30mph for September, both of which are compliant with the posted speed limit of 30mph says the County Council.

But Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge town councillors have expressed differing views on whether the figures are promising during their latest meeting.

Cllr Janet Keen said: "There are a very small number of excessive speeders, but we shouldn't get complacent about one or two because it only takes one to have a major tragedy on our hands."

Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton added: "I think overall these speeds are pleasing - I think a median speed of 29mph in a 30mph zone shows the traffic calming in Stoddens Road is working. I am very pleased with these results - they are promising."

But Cllr Phil Harvey responded: "I would add a word of caution. The 'median speed' means the mid-point of the range so if there's a 29mph median then 50% of drivers are doing more than the speed limit. They are not exceeding by much, but there is still an issue here. It is still an area where the speed indicator needs to be used at regular intervals."

Cllr Andy Brewer added: "I'm sure a lot of the residents along Stoddens Road would dispute the figures or their perception would be different. I am in agreement that we need to keep up the speed indicator device here. The overall average is coming down, which is encouraging, but there were still 20,000 vehicles exceeding the speed limit and we shouldn't lose sight of that."

Cllr Mike Facey said: "There are still some drivers going at exceptionally fast speeds, paarticularly past Middle Stoddens just up from the BASC ground. Last week there were two young men who were driving way over 50mph - cars were having to pull in to the side of the road to get out of the way of them. We need the speed monitoring to continue."

Cllr Paul Young said it may be time to consider road narrowing along the road, saying: "the yellow lines work well on the sharp bend juist beyond the Rectory Road junction, so perhaps a similiar scheme further up towards the BASC ground could be an option."

Town Clerk Denise Emery said she would write to Somerset County Council asking for the speed indicator device to continue to be located along the road.

Last year, we reported how £20,000 of safety improvements were introduced along Burnham's Stoddens Road with new road markings and a 20mph limit on the bend near the Rectory Road junction.


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