A 20mph traffic-calming scheme installed in a village two years ago is too gentle to slow the new generation of “urban” 4x4s, wagons or vans, say residents and the results of a secret speed survey.
Retired civil engineer David Jarvis lives on Gilstead Lane, Gilstead, where in autumn 2010 a series of speed platforms and cushions were set down to tame fast traffic opposite playing fields and approach to Eldwick Primary School.
But the £80,000 scheme has only reduced the average speed to 32.2mph – according to a figure obtained from secret camera surveillance carried out by Bradford Council in March last year.
“The scheme has cut speeds, but it’s not got close to 20mph,” said Mr Jarvis, who has lived in Eldwick with wife and former village postmistress Anne nearly all their lives.
“The Council installed a secret speed survey data logger on a lamp-post in March and the average speed recorded was 32.2mph,” said Mr Jarvis, who gave a copy of the findings to the Telegraph & Argus.
“The problem is we have three types of vehicles which they don’t affect at all – HGVs which thunder over regardless, delivery vehicles not owned by the drivers, and the new thing of 4x4s which don’t feel the bumps.
“The recent popularity of that type of vehicle has overtaken the old-style traffic calming features designed to cope with cars from 20 years ago.”
As he spoke, a new-style Mini sped over a platform behind him.
“See! You couldn’t have done that in an old little Mini!,” Mr Jarvis said.
Mrs Jarvis, secretary of Gilstead Village Society, has written to police to see what measures could be used to deter habitual offenders.
Inspector Andrew Croasdale, of Bingley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said his officers were not in a position to do any more regarding 20mph zones.
He said: “If the current measures are ineffective, they should be re-engineered.”
Mr and Mrs Jarvis contacted Bradford councillor David Heseltine (Con, Bingley) for help and new 20mph roundels are soon to be painted on Gilstead Lane itself.
“It is going to be done as soon as there’s a window of opportunity with the weather and when the street painters are in the area,” said Coun Heseltine, (Con, Bingley).