Wingrave with Rowsham Traffic Action was created in autumn 2018 with the aim of using direct measures to reduce the impact of traffic on the Parish. The group currently has eight active members and meets roughly once per month. The Mobile Vehicle Activated Sign (MVAS) continues to be used regularly, adding to the long-term records already held of vehicle speeds at locations across the parish. The group takes part in local activities, a recent example being the setting up of a traffic-themed decorated Christmas tree at the Christmas Tree Festival at the parish church. Any projects or actions of the group are communicated to parishioners via an infographic, developed as a means of presenting information for use as a regular feature in Communiqué.
In autumn 2018, HP attended a freight workshop, run by the Freight Officer for Buckinghamshire. The workshop was a “listening exercise” for the freight team, whereby the Parish Councillors in attendance were grouped roughly by geographical area and discussed with a freight representative specifically where the local freight issues were. HP gave details of the freight issues in Wingrave, highlighting Dark Lane/Tring Road and the Long Marston Airfield on the map. Following on from that LAF traffic subgroup meeting, the group has requested a review of signage on Dark Lane/Tring Road. A suggested modification of the signs in that area has been passed to the Freight Officer, further news is awaited.
In March 2019, an opinion survey of parishioners was conducted to gauge current perceptions of traffic-related issues, and to assess possible support for specific actions of the group. An online version and a paper copy (in the Communiqué) were available, with 158 responses received. The survey, along with some preliminary charts showing results, are provided at the end of this document.
One specific area that the consultation aimed to assess was the level of support for a “Twenty’s Plenty” campaign (http://www.20splenty.org/), aiming to find out if parishioners would be willing to take part in a voluntary 20 mph exercise. Since the 2014 petition and 2016 feasibility study, 20 mph limits have become much more commonplace across the country and signage regulations have changed. 25% of the UK population now live in areas where the local authority has a policy of setting 20 mph as the default for their streets. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states “A safe speed on roads with possible conflicts between drivers and pedestrians, cyclists or other vulnerable road users is 20mph”. With parishioners’ support, an event is envisaged whereby locals (which constitute a significant fraction of the traffic in the village) would be encouraged to drive at 20 mph – slowing down not only themselves, but those behind them. The MVAS would be used to record speeds before, during and after the event, with results communicated shortly after in the Communiqué. If successful, it could lead to pursuing official 20mph limit. The results of the survey suggest strong support for a 20 mph study in Wingrave: approximately 70 % of respondents said they would drive at 20 mph during an experiment.
Plans for the coming year are as follows:
• The group has booked a table at the “Clubs Day” in May, which it will use to increase awareness of traffic issues and the work of the group, and to distribute “Twenty’s plenty” stickers (window and wheelie bin)
• The group has plans to work with nearby parishes towards an area-wide 7.5 T weight limit
• The purchase of a Speed Indication Device has been approved by the Parish Council – work is ongoing to select a model
• Once discussed at the next Traffic Action meeting, the group will choose a project to focus on (one of those outlined in the survey) – likely to be the 20 mph voluntary study described above.