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Most motorists driving from Newbury to Hungerford are speeding menace

SEVENTY per cent of traffic coming into Hungerford from Newbury exceeds the speed limit.

One motorist was even clocked at an astonishing 101mph in the 30mph zone.

Speeding car is green power with copy space. Low angle side view of car driving fast on motion blur
Speeding car is green power with copy space. Low angle side view of car driving fast on motion blur

The grim figures were recorded by the speed indicator device (SID) located near Dobbies Garden Centre on the A4 westbound.

At a recent meeting of the town council’s highways and transport committee, acting chairman Richard Hudson said the stretch of road was the worst for speeding traffic.

The data was recorded between last November and January this year.

Meanwhile the SID on the westbound A4 Charnham Street recorded a motorist notching up 98mph in the 30mph limit.

Town councillor Keith Knight suggested chicanes might help slow incoming traffic.

The committee also considered proposing a ‘buffer zone’ of 40mph on the approach to Hungerford near the garden centre.

Currently the speed limit drops from 60mph straight down to 30mph.

Alternative options considered by the committee included a gateway feature or countdown markers.

Despite the recorded speeds, Mr Hudson said the SIDS had been effective in slowing traffic overall.

The town council owns three SIDS and has the use of the Town and Manor of Hungerford’s SID during winter when the cows are not on the common.

The committee decided one should be kept at the garden centre and one on the A338 south of Priory Road northbound permanently as they were considered to be particularly effective at those locations.

The other two SIDs could be moved around, the committee decided.

The committee heard the Dick Lovett BMW dealership had reported a significant reduction in speed of outgoing traffic since a SID had been placed there.

Meanwhile district councillor Denise Gaines (Lib Dem, Hungerford and Kintbury) said West Berkshire Council’s speed awareness group was aiming to trial a 20mph area in Theale in summer.

If this proved successful, she added, it could be rolled out to other areas.

Town mayor Helen Simpson said: “I would be extremely interested to see how that goes in Theale.

“We might want to put pressure on West Berkshire Council to introduce it here.”

nevertheless, she acknowledged that the committee had previously not been in favour of introducing a 20mph limit in the High Street.

There has historically been a conflict between the interests of motorists and pedestrians but no fatalities had been recorded.

Nevertheless town councillor Helen Armstrong, who has campaigned for traffic calming in the High Street, said there had been several major accidents which involved huge costs to repair damage to buildings and street furniture.

She pointed out that the Department for Transport requires the consideration of financial costs relating to accidents and not just those involving injury to people.

The committee resolved to contact West Berkshire Council to request extra measures be put in place to slow the traffic coming westbound into Hungerford along the A4.

A 40mph limit between the current 60mph and 30mph limit was also to be sought.

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