Complaints about parking and speed issues in Upper Street.

Hollingbourne Parish Council has been made aware of parking and speeding issues in Upper Street and these have been referred to local KCC Councillor Shellina Prendergast. She has recommended that complaints are referred to Kent Police via their website.

Councillor Prendergast writes:

From experience in other areas within Maidstone Rural East, I am not convinced that engineering measures or reducing the speed limit on their own will provide the outcome we all seek – effective enforcement is key to this and I believe it is important to keep the pressure up on Kent Police. A good evidence base for all to work on will also be really helpful including reporting incidents on 101 or online on https://www.kent.police.uk/services/report-online/kent-police-online-reporting/ . Other suggestions below, including speedwatch and speed surveys will also help form this evidence base and you might wish to include Upper Street on the Highways Improvement Plan which Jennie Watson has discussed in a previous meeting with Parish Councillor David Ardley and the Parish Clerk. 
I am also very happy to meet with representatives from the Parish Council to discuss further – please let me know if this would be helpful.
And please assure Upper Street residents that they have not been forgotten and we are all working collaboratively to seek a solution that will work.

Councillor Prendergast can be contacted at Shellina.Prendergast@kent.gov.uk

 

Last year a petition to reduce speed through the village was organised by local residents and the Parish Council received the following response from Kent County Council:

Thank you for your petition regarding your concerns in relation to vehicles speeding in the village of Hollingbourne.

As you can no doubt appreciate we receive many requests for the implementation of improvement and safety measures on the highway and, as such, all requests are reviewed and prioritised. We use an evidence-based approach to prioritise investment in Casualty Reduction Schemes as we seek to ascertain if there is any pattern of personal injury crash records for the past three years that could be addressed by engineering methods.

In this location there is no such pattern; it is therefore very difficult to prioritise this site against a number of areas across the County, where a pattern of incidents is occurring and our engineering intervention could help reduce crashes. Therefore, at this stage we have no programmed works at this location, although we will of course continue to monitor the site and should viable engineering solutions be identified that would reduce the number and the severity of crashes then we will seek to implement them.

This is an issue that has recently been raised by Hollingbourne Parish Council and they have been advised to carry out speed surveys to ascertain actual speeds. May I suggest that you contact Hollingbourne Parish Council to establish whether this is an issue that they support and are willing to fund.

In the meantime, you are probably aware that enforcement is the responsibility of Kent Police therefore concerns over speeding should be directed to them, they can be contacted on their non-emergency telephone number 101.

However, there is a scheme which may assist you in reducing speeding. Speedwatch is a police initiative which is education centred to support concerned citizens to improve road safety and the quality of life within their local communities.

Operating at carefully selected sites on roads in 20-, 30- and 40-miles per hour (mph) speed limits, a group typically of three CSW practitioners monitors the speed of passing vehicles using a portable speed indication device.

Details of vehicles travelling at or above nationally-specified thresholds (25-, 35- and 46-mph) are recorded and reported. The registered keepers of vehicles observed repeatedly or ‘high-end’ speeding anywhere in Kent in the previous 12 months are then sent advisory letters by Kent Police.

In order to access this scheme, communities will need to identify a number of volunteers to carry out Speedwatch. They will need to gain access to Speedwatch equipment which includes a speed gun and interactive signs. Speedwatch equipment typically costs in the region of £2,500 however it is common for groups adjacent to other active Speedwatch groups to share equipment on an agreed rota.

You need to contact Kent Police to discuss where you would like to operate Speedwatch in your community; they will be able to run through the site risk assessment process and training for operators.

There is more information available on:
https://www.kent.police.uk/advice/community-support/speedwatch/

Since last year Hollingbourne Parish Council has been investigating the cost of Speedwatch equipment and may require local volunteers to help with the project. However despite cars speeding through Eyhorne Street there have been very few accidents which means that it is low on the list of streets for formal action by Kent Police and KCC.

Pictured below is pavement parking in Upper Street in February 2019 (Picture by Tania Shillingford).

Parking in Upper Street in February 2019. There is no pavement on the other side with the result that pedestrians and their dogs have to walk in the road.