As advised by the safety auditors (see below) Abingworth Homes commissioned a further Traffic Calming Speed Study, comparing traffic speed and volume data measured in week of 29 April – 05 May 2019 to the same data recorded in November 2016, before installation of calming measures. These are deemed comparable working weeks, during school terms, with no roadworks effects. The full report, now produced, can be read here; its key conclusions are:
The implementation of the traffic calming scheme has resulted in a very significant decrease in vehicle speeds in the Abingworth 30mph zone of the B2139 Storrington Road. Using the standard measure (average 85th percentile speeds)
- Northbound vehicle speeds have decreased by 11.1mph (from 40.1mph in 2016 to 29.0mph now);
- Southbound vehicle speeds have decreased by 6.3mph (from 38.3mph to 32.0mph now).
Therefore the impact of these measures has brought average vehicle speeds close to the 30mph speed limit.
Of course within these averages, some drivers are still driving too fast, but the proportion of drivers speeding excessively has reduced to relatively low levels. In 2016, 13% of drivers were travelling at 41mph+, whereas only 0.3% of drivers are now exceeding 40mph.
The overall traffic volume is effectively unchanged (increase of 0.7%), with weekly vehicle movements in both directions remaining about 3400 per week. Within that total, there has been some decrease (-16%) in the AM rush hour, balanced by an increase (+10%) in the PM rush hour. The introduction of traffic calming features will only be one factor in this picture, alongside other local developments including the 2017 move of Thakeham Primary School from The Street to Rock Road, expansion of the Pre-School in its new building, as well as occupations of new housing at Abingworth (approx 75 units).
Based on official police road accident reports, the study concludes that ‘implementation of the traffic calming scheme has not resulted in an adverse impact upon the local highway network in terms of operational safety’. The Parish Council is very aware that many residents will disagree, particularly in relation to new accident risks created at the northern pinch-point, where the northbound sightline is poor. The PC is taking these steps to address this:
- Regular strimming of vegetation on the west verge of the B2139, starting 30 May;
- Liaising with Hyde New Homes regarding the safety audit recommendation to make an adjustment to the line of the close-boarded fence line behind the Massey Close properties nearest the pinch point.