Central Bedfordshire Council was auditing two of the village’s vehicle activated signs
Between 14 November and 20 November 2018, Central Bedfordshire Council audited two of the vehicle activated signs in Cranfield. Until these surveys CBC hadn’t measured the traffic speed along these roads since 2011.
The automatic recordings found that ten vehicles passed the sign (in either direction) on Bedford Road at speeds of 60mph or over.
At the High Street sign, six vehicles were recorded in the 60-100mph band.
The surveys were on Bedford Road and the High Street
The recorded mean (average) speeds from the surveys were:
High Street Eastbound 28.7mph
High Street Westbound 31.4mph
Bedford Road Northbound (uphill) 33.0mph
Bedford Road Southbound (downhill) 31.0mph
The mean speed provides an overall indication of the speed environment. However, it does not give an indication of how many drivers may be exceeding the legal speed limit by a significant amount.
The 85th percentile figure
The 85th percentile speed figure is used to find the speed not exceeded by 85% of surveyed traffic.
The recorded 85th percentile figures were:
High Street Eastbound 32.0mph
High Street Westbound 35.3mph
Bedford Road Northbound (uphill) 37.6mph
Bedford Road Southbound (downhill) 35.1mph
So in the case of Bedford Road, 15% of the traffic moving towards the flashing sign was travelling faster than 37.6mph.
When speaking to the Chronicle in December, Bedfordshire Police explained that the minimum enforceable speed is 10% + 2mph (35mph in a 30 limit).
Asked if the new survey results would see an increase in police traffic management sessions, a Bedfordshire Police spokesperson said:
“Our officers take into account a number of different factors when it comes to traffic monitoring, such as collision data, average speeds and any concerns from residents.
“This then has to be balanced against other operational demands for resources.
“If residents have concerns about speeding, and can give us information about the time of day and area it is taking place in through the correct channels, then we are more than happy to analyse this information and consider taking action.”
Asked if CBC will be taking any action based on these surveys, its spokesperson said that it is currently only reviewing if the units are still needed.