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Whittington SpID

Colin Hall, Vice Chairman of Whittington Parish Council, has very kindly responded to the observations about SpID’s in Whittington that have been raised in this Blog.  Colins response is as follows:

“Last year Whittington , Arkholme and Gressingham Parish councils met with Alan Cox LCC Road and Transport Safety Dept Technical Support Officer to discuss the possibility of a joint venture to purchase a SPID device.

All agreed that these were effective in reducing traffic speed through rural villages and evidence produced by the Police and Lancaster Highways confirmed this.

Unfortunately Arkholme already has a 20mph limit enforceable during term time and because of this it is not legally possible to install a SPID on the same stretch of road. Understandably Arkholme withdrew from the joint venture discussions as they would not benefit.

Gressingham decide to explore the possibility of  ‘borrowing’ a SPID from Lancs County Council although as far as I know no headway has been made with this idea.

I’m sure as you drive through Gressingham you will have noticed little evidence of a SPID so far. However I think they are now considering buying one.

I am pleased to say following a site meeting in Main Street Whittington Alan Cox identified two suitable locations to mount a SPID if we were to go ahead with the project.

Cost to purchase a device is about £2500 inc. VAT and Parish Council are in the process of applying for a grant towards that cost. Locating the SPID, maintenance and deployment to two Whittington locations would be carried out by volunteers (after suitable Health and Safety training).

That is the situation as it stands today however as you say much criticism seems to have been aired regarding this project, probably fuelled by the thought of a cost of £7,800 +Vat and a 10% rise in the precept to solely fund this project.

I don’t know where the £7,800+ VAT figure comes from ( certainly not Parish Council) and it is incorrect to assume a precept increase is for the sole use of a SPID.

Parish Council is always short on funds and realises that reserves have to be built if any meaningful project is to be carried out in the village, that is why the precept was increased.

It is quite clear that this SPID issue has become very contentious so with that in mind I have asked the Parish Clerk to include it on March Parish Council Agenda for further discussion.

I hope this clarifies some of the points raised.

Colin Hall – Vice Chairman”

Know Your SpID

In view of the current interest in Speed indicating devices (SpID) I decided to look a little further into them, because of my underlying lack of knowledge.

The Minutes of the PC meeting of the 16 January 2017 specifically mentions Speed Indicating Device(s).  It may be that they are referring to something other than an actual SpID (which have featured in their meetings a number of times over the years) but because of the lack of information about the discussion in the minutes it is not possible to be certain exactly what they were talking about.  The sum of money they have determined for 2017/8 is totally inadequate for a proper SpID.  Donations to this purpose from the County Champion have never exceeded £300, to Caton and £250 to Yealand Redmayne, so at best they would have less that £700 to spend.

A company named Auto-Mate Systems supply and install Radar Activated Speed Display Signs, which are typical of the equipment used by other villages.

The indicator is made up of two matrices, one displaying the speed and the other a variable message. The image below shows the key elements:

  1. Vandal resistant waterproof casing.
  2. Current speed display
  3. Message section

The primary consideration which has to be made is the power source.  The device can be either solar or mains powered.  I am advised that connecting to a mains power supply can be quite expensive.  Solar is apparently the preferred option.

Getting immediately to the most important aspect, cost. For the supply only of an Auto-Mate System comprising:
2 – Evolis radar activate speed display signs;
2 – Solar charge systems including solar panel, controller and battery pack;
2 – Mounting Posts
Programming of speed sign
Supply and installation of supplied equipment.
Excluding: Suitable foundation and fixing of mounting post.

Costs: The cost of the above equipment is £7,800 + VAT making a total, including VAT, of £9,360, if we are unable to reclaim the VAT.  In fact the Parish Council obtained a quotation, which was discussed at their July 2006 meeting.  At that time the figure was £7,100 (I think VAT as 17.5% at the time), and they contacted Cllr Airey to see if funding could be made available.

The speed sign comes with a 10 step rotary dial which can be adjusted to change the threshold speed, flashing speed and speed parameters. Each of these steps can be programmed with the programming lead and software.

Ultra-precise speed detection:
Precise to +/- 1 mph Speed detection via “Doppler radar 24.125 Ghz”
Detection range from 10 to 250 meters
Compliant with European and world regulations (EN300440…)
Mounting height from 0 to 5 meters
Filter to cancel distortion caused by reverse traffic.

The width of the detection cone (10° vertical and 17° horizontal) allows the sign to be mounted up to 5 meters high.

Data processing. Using this device data can be collected in order to produce a picture of the speed activity recorded, which could form part of a regular reporting process (similar to the current bi-monthly police report.

You can generate charts about :
– amount of vehicles
– average and maximum speeds
– Distribution of vehicles by speed range

Available functions:
– Export the raw file and the chart under Excel
– Export as a PDF file
– Compilation of files concerning several measurement session

Technical Datasheet

Auto-Mate Systems have very kindly provided me with a detailed quotation and a Brochure (in PDF format) which I would be delighted to send to anyone who sends me an email request.  Email me at whittingtonvillage@btinternet.com.

John Keegan

The Village Blog