Catherington Traffic and Speed
When CVRA was first formed it was agreed that there should be a “traffic” representative, This was Ernest Rigby who was an advanced driver and had a transport background. The view held then was traffic speed in Catherington Lane could be reduced by having 30mph repeater signs along its length. Ernest wrote long and eloquent letters to HCC, The Police, and Councillors. Every letter tended to receive the same response that under the RTA 1984 and Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 you could not have 30mph signs within that zone if there was street lighting. Ernest’s response was always why is this not so in other Counties, but it fell on deaf ears.
After 8 years trying to get some progress Ernest passed on the reigns and it was decided that if the law on signs was against us we should try for installed 30mph speed indicator devices. Once again HCC Highways advised the CVRA this could not be done as it was not HCC policy. Again we advised that several counties do have them including Surrey and Sussex next door.
In 2009 an article appeared in a local paper saying West Meon had had a £42K investment in speed reduction measures. On contacting HCC Cllr Mel Kendal we were informed that Catherington was on the list for some traffic calming measures. Nothing actually happened!
A number of residents lobbied Parish Councillor Guy Shephard to do something about speeding traffic in the Parish. As a result Horndean Parish Council acquired a “Speed Indicating Device” which displays vehicle speed with a smiley or sad face, and records the speed and time of vehicle passing. The unit was sited in positions agreed with HCC Highways but in general with one or two exceptions they were on the roads which feed the A3 or roads with high volumes of traffic or in the case of White Dirt Lane and Five Heads Road on a route to Schools.
Two Roads of 40mph limits ie: Havant Road and Downhouse Way were also monitored.
Six volunteers from the Parish maintained the SID and provided data to HPC, Speed watch co-ordinator at Waterlooville Police Station and for other interested parties when requested.
Volume of traffic and speeds recorded
The unit was installed at a location for a period of three weeks. The first week covered and subsequent weeks uncovered so as any traffic speed reduction could be measured. The data showed that on what could be considered the A3 feeder roads ie: Downwood Way/ Southdown Road, Catherington Lane, and Lovedean Lane 40%+ of traffic is exceeding the police prosecution level of 35mph
Eg. A typical week on Catherington Lane
1719 in excess of 36mph
766 in excess of 40mph
184 in excess of 46
62 in excess of 50mph.
The SID exercise was conducted for two years during which it was shown that the units did result in small improvements in speed reduction over the three weeks. A plea by HPC and our County Councillor Mrs Harvey to have a few selected sites provided with a power supply to reduce workload for the volunteers and reduce battery charging met with a negative response by HCC Highways.
The volunteers felt that despite the data provided as evidence there was little chance of anything being done to reduce speed on these roads and withdrew their support. The units were returned to HPC.
White Dirt Lane Traffic.
The reason White Dirt lane was included was because of the level of complaints by residents concerned about the volume of traffic on what is an unclassified narrow road and often at excessive , which represents a danger particularly for pedestrians. Data from a location at the junction with Glamorgan Road indicated that even down this narrow lane 6% of vehicles were exceeding the speed limit. Indeed during times of traffic congestion in Horndean this road is used as a short cut to Catherington Lane and the A3.
Residents of White Dirt Lane approached our County Councillor with a view to a separate survey being carried out as to what measures could be carried out to improve road safety. A survey was carried out followed by a public meeting where the majority of residents felt that the road should be closed above White Dirt Farm.
CVRA understand that this has been rejected by Fire and Rescue services, Police and HCC. Proposals for traffic calming measures have now resulted in the completed works seen along White Dirt Lane including humps, pinch points and raised tables.