Motoring/Road Safety

This page is designed to give information on all aspects of road safety for all the villagers.

There will be various articles published here , with the new items always on this first page. So watch this space.

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TRAFFIC CENSUS – WHERE WE’RE AT.

Uncertain weather, school holidays, our own holidays, and other domestic necessities have stalled progress on completing our planned week’s coverage. We have already reported on the three complete days surveyed – a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday – and the separate days’ figures were so similar that averaging them out should give a fair picture of average weekday traffic. We did manage four hours on a fourth day before the rains came, and those figures are also analysed.

The following, then, are the average weekday traffic figures through The Street/New Road junction. Over a 10 hour period from 08.00 to 18.00 there are 2,528 vehicle movements through the junction. Of these, 1,340 are along The Street itself in both directions, and 1,358 are in and out of New Road, which means The Street, a former B Road with adequate width, reasonably good surface, white lines, and cat’ eyes, is carrying marginally less traffic than New Road which has none of these advantages, perhaps indicating that some improvements are due to New Road, particularly with the extra traffic generated by housing developments in Tacolneston.

Of the total of 2,528 movements, 2,358 involve vehicles travelling to or from Wymondham. Of this Wymondham traffic, 1,170 vehicles come or go along The Street and 1,188 use New Road, again demonstrating that New Road is slightly busier than The Street.

The great majority of vehicles are cars or domestic 4x4s, 2,016 out of the total of 2,528. The next biggest group stands at only 413 and comprises commercial vans and light trucks up to 7.5 tonnes. Large commercial vehicles above that size account for only 30 vehicle movements on the average day, though this does include some articulated trucks and long low loaders. These are not the only large vehicles seen, however, since some of the 5 tractors and trailers were almost as long and certainly as wide. Bus movements amount to 23, of which 15 use New Road. The occasions when a bus meets an articulated truck or a large tractor on New Road, given its narrowness and the poor state of the haunches, must be uncomfortable and possibly dangerous for the drivers and passengers involved. Two-wheeled traffic movements amount to 41, of which 15 are pedal cycles and 26 are motor bikes or scooters.

On the Tuesday when rain stopped play, a total of 1,225 vehicle movements were observed from 08.00 to 12.00. This gives an hourly average of 306, compared with an hourly figure of 253 from the main body of data. The Street traffic totalled 678, compared with only 621 using New Road, against the trend of the larger sample, giving hourly averages of 170 and 155 compared with the main survey’s 134 and 136. Traffic to and from Wymondham amounted to 1,151, an hourly average of 288 compared with the main survey’s 236. Private cars and 4x4s again represented the bulk of the traffic with 927 movements against 220 for light commercial vehicles, giving hourly averages of 232 and 55 compared with 202 and 41 from the main survey. The differences are perhaps accounted for by the Tuesday figures including the morning rush hour with its high traffic volumes within the 4-hour coverage.

The most interesting way to extend the survey, if and when the opportunity presents itself, would be to cover a weekend, to see what differences there are in traffic volume and type of vehicle. Maybe some fine autumn Saturday when the sun shines and we have nothing else to do . . . . .

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Traffic Census – 3rd Progress Report

The sun continues to shine on our efforts and we completed another day’s survey last Thursday, 26 April. Thanks to all who stopped for a chat, gave us a friendly wave, or even supplied a cup of tea! Again the results were fairly consistent, with no great departures from previous patterns. Although we did not pursue the question rigorously, it certainly looks like the busiest hour is between 08.00 and 09.00, with a lot of traffic also moving before our survey starts at 08.00. Again, heavy vehicle movements were a very low percentage of the total. The Thursday figures are shown below, with the Monday and Wednesday figures in brackets:-

Total Traffic movements, 08.00-18.00 = 2514 (2536; 2535); Average traffic movements per hour = 251 (254; 254); Average Traffic movements per minute = 4 (4; 4).

All Traffic movement along The Street as a %age of the total = 53.8% (53.5; 51.8); All traffic movements along New Road as a %age of the total = 53.4% (53.1; 54.6); All traffic movements along Wymondham Road as a %age of the total = 92.8% (93.7; 93.7).

Car movements as a %age of the total = 81.1% (79.8; 78.3); Light Commercial movements = 15.2% (16.1; 17.7); Heavy Commercial movements = 1.2% (1.1;1.2).

Wymondham Road traffic using New Road in both directions = 46.2% (46.5; 48.2); Wymondham Road traffic using The Street in both directions = 46.6% (46.8; 45.4); Traffic using The Street and New Road in Both directions = 7.2% (6.7; 6.3).

That leaves a Tuesday, a Friday, and a weekend to survey whenever we can find the time in our crowded schedule.

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Traffic Census – 2nd Progress Report

Continuing good weather and the end of the Easter school holidays saw us at the roadside again at New Road Corner to carry out the second day – on Wednesday 18 April – of our planned 7-day survey. Summarised results are shown below, with the first day’s figures (a Monday) in brackets:-

Total traffic movements in all directions = 2,536(2,535); Average traffic movements per hour = 254(254); Average traffic movements per minute = 4(4)

Traffic movements along The Street = 53.5(51.8)% of Total; Traffic movements along New Road = 53.1(54.6)% of Total; Traffic movements along Wymondham Road = 93.7(93.7)% of Total.

Car movements = 79.8(78.3)% of Total; Light Commercial Vehicle movements = 16.1(17.7)% of Total; Heavy Commercial Vehicle movements = 1.1(1.2)% of Total.

Wymondham Road traffic using New Road (both directions) = 46.5(48.2)% of Total; Wymondham Road traffic using The Street (both directions) = 46.8(45.4)% of Total; Traffic using The Street and New Road (both directions) = 6.7(6.3)% of Total.

These figures are surprisingly consistent over the 2 days so far surveyed. One point worth noting is that heavy trucks (7.5 tons and larger) account for only about 1 in every 100 vehicles passing along The Street, which really isn’t very many. Mind you, if we include buses as heavy vehicles, that figure doubles, but presumably buses are not unwelcome. Two days covered, five more to go! Any comments on results so far would be welcome to our Website email address -ashfun-pc@hotmail.co.uk

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MOBILISE – this is the charity (No. 1111826) which has been formed by the merger of the Disabled Drivers’ Association and the Disabled Drivers’ Motor Club, and has its national headquarters in the grounds of Ashwellthorpe Hall.  Until recently, the Hall itself was the holiday hotel of the Disabled Drivers’ Association but is now a private residence.

However, the HQ for MOBILISE is in the previous DDA HQ at the top of the entrance drive to the Hall.  As you will see from its own website www.mobilise.info  the aim of MOBILISE is to promote and protect the welfare of disabled people and to promote their personal mobility.

Its postal address is MOBILISE, National Headquarters, Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk, NR16 1EX, and telephone number 01508 489449.

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Traffic Census – 1st Progress Report

We took advantage of the good weather to carry out the first day’s Traffic Census on Monday 26 March. The Census point was at New Road Corner, to cover all traffic on The Street, New Road and Wymondham Road, and was manned (or womanned!) from 08.00 to 18.00. Basic figures are as follows;-

Total traffic movements in all directions = 2,535; Average traffic movements per hour = 254; Average traffic movements per minute = 4.

Traffic movements along The Street = 51.8% of Total; Traffic movements along New Road = 54.6% of Total; Traffic movements along Wymondham Road = 93.7% of Total.

Car movements = 78.3% of Total; Light Commercial Vehicle movements = 17.7% of Total; Heavy Commercial Vehicle movements = 1.2% of Total.

Wymondham Road traffic using New Road (both directions)  = 48.2% of Total; Wymondham Road traffic using The Street (both directions)   = 45.4% of Total; Traffic using The Street and New Road (both directions)  = 6.3% of Total.

These are “Monday” figures. Other days of the week, including Saturday and Sunday will be covered, whenever other commitments and weather permit, to give a fair representation of a week’s traffic movements. We can then see what conclusions can be drawn and identify problems areas and possible solutions. Any early views and comments would be welcome to our Website email address –

ashfun-pc@hotmail.co.uk

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ASHWELLTHORPE TRAFFIC CENSUS

There will be no need to take an anxious glance at your speedometer if, in the next few weeks, you happen to see someone by the roadside at New Road Corner taking a particular interest in the passing traffic. Despite recent reports in the local Press, this will NOT be a vigilante speed trap, but only an amateur effort to count the amount and type of vehicles travelling through the village. A Radar speed gun will NOT be involved.

There hasn’t been an official traffic count in the village for some time, and this is the sort of factual data necessary to identify what traffic problems we actually have in the village, and how we might best deal with them. The count will record the type of vehicle – car, light commercial, heavy commercial, bus, agricultural vehicle, motor bike, cycle – and the direction of travel – east or west along The Street and Wymondham Road, and turning traffic in or out of New Road.

The Survey will cover all seven days of the week, but not necessarily on consecutive days. There is a limit to the amount of discomfort I am prepared to inflict on myself, so you will only see me on post when it is dry and mild. I hope to be there from 08.00 to 18.00  each day to cover both morning and evening rush-hours (rush hours in Ashwellthorpe? We shall see!). Progress reports and a summary of results will appear here and in The Mardle in due course. Any views and comments you may have will be very welcome – see above or the Contact Us page for the email address.

A friendly wave as you pass would be nice, but remember to concentrate on your driving.

SAFETY FIRST!

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Overview of the Advanced Driving/Riding Test

Accredited by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).

Recognising that the majority of collisions are caused by driver error, the IAM’s Advanced Driving Test was introduced in 1956 with the specific objective of significantly improving driving standards using the principles of Advanced Driving, pioneered – and applied with great success – by the Metropolitan Police.

In 1976, the IAM realised that motorcyclists, too, would benefit from advanced training and the Advanced Motorcycling Test was established. To date, over 350,000 people have taken the Advanced Test, and of these over 300,000 have passed and gone on to become IAM Members.

The Advanced Driving Test lasts for about 90 minutes and will usually cover between 30 and 40 miles along all types of road; town driving, motorways (if available) or dual carriageways, and even country lanes. Your Examiner will hold a Police Advanced Driving certificate and will have extensive experience from working within sections of the Police Services throughout the UK. The test gives a thorough workout of driving ability, allowing the candidate to alter their drive according to the conditions and environment of the road. The types of road vary from quiet country roads to motorways to busy town centres. In each case there are hazards and situations that need to be avoided and taken care of using the methods and techniques that advanced driving gives. There may be situations where the candidate can show flair and panache on an open country road where progress can be gained at maximum safety, using optimum road positioning and excellent observation. All this combines to give a brisk smooth drive, at the legal limit, on the open road. In other situations, the candidate will need to show restraint and composure to deal with tricky hazards that may become apparent throughout the drive, such as in a town centre situation, where observation is used to pick out hazards in situations that are constantly changing. The main objective is that the candidate has to perform well in all situations rather than excel in one.

Many people often comment on the test after taking it and more often than not the comments revolve around how much they enjoyed the drive. On test the candidate gets to show the new skills that they have been tuning for the weeks during their course. The Advanced Driving Test IS NOT EASY but is within the reach of all vehicle users given the right guidance.

See also the link to “What the Examiner Expects”. For more information, please contact Enquiries.

Reproduced with the kind permission of the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

Anyone interested in taking steps to become an advanced driver or motorcyclist can either follow the links above or contact us via

ashfun-pc@hotmail.co.uk

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