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Nottinghamshire Police target Hawton Lane, Balderton, after Newark and Sherwood residents highlight speeding issues

A total of 89 people have been fined as police step up speeding crackdown following concerns from residents.

The action has seen around 970 vehicles being checked for speeding which has resulted in 83 people being given fines for speeding, six drivers issued fines for other offences such as driving without insurance and 126 drivers being spoken to and given advice.

It comes as Newark and Sherwood residents highlight speeding issues across the area and police put a plan in action involving a catalogue of techniques and resources.

Activity on Hawton Lane, Balderton (44455781)
Activity on Hawton Lane, Balderton (44455781)

The concerns were raised as part of ‘What Matters’ which is a Nottinghamshire Police initiative to give people the chance to have their say on what their local policing teams should focus on.

Dan Gloster, who lives in Hawton Lane, was one of hundreds of residents who added their voice to the speeding concerns raised in the survey. He said the policing response had made a difference. "I know the police are taking action and stopping drivers and I have noticed the issues have died down recently as a result," said Mr Gloster.

"Officers can regularly be seen out and about trying to catch offenders and it's well known that there are more ANPR cameras in the area now which I believe has also had an impact — generally there seem to have been less road traffic collisions and you don't tend to hear the 'boy racers' around as much – popping their exhausts and driving antisocially."

Activity on Hawton Lane, Balderton (44455779)
Activity on Hawton Lane, Balderton (44455779)

The police operation began in November after the What Matters' survey recorded a number of issues that local residents were facing every day. This included car exhausts roaring through villages, heavy goods vehicles speeding down country lanes and off-road motorcyclists not wearing helmets.

Mr Gloster, 33, said: "I've lived here for four years and every day I spot someone speeding or driving dangerously.

"Drivers just seem to hammer through with no regard for the 30mph speeding limit, sometimes reaching speeds of 90mph when the roads are clear."

"It's really concerning because there are no safety barriers, no pedestrian crossings, vehicles park on the pavements obstructing the way and you can sometimes be stood for 15 minutes waiting to cross the road.

"Most people who live here are fed up, never mind the antisocial aspect of it with vehicles roaring through during the night."

Hawton Lane is used as one of the main driving routes into Newark with around 10,000 vehicles travelling through every day. Mr Gloster, who works for the emergency services, even went to the lengths of moving his two-year-old daughter's bedroom to the back of the house because of his concerns that their property would be in the firingline if there was a collision outside.

He has now put the house up for sale.

The local policing teams have responded with a full-throttle approach by pooling a variety of resources including Operation Reacher and the rural specials to carry out enforcement activity.

They also increased training in the use of speed guns, set up and supported community speed watch groups and worked with partners such as Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue and the district council to look at providing education sessions and organise '30' bin stickers to be distributed wherever possible.

Road safety operations have been conducted near enough every day for the past three months and this, coupled with the increase in automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, has seen the substantial results.

Inspector Heather Sutton, District Commander for Newark and Sherwood, said: "Speeding has been an issue across most areas of Newark and Sherwood due to the landscape of the area and we know that most offenders are residents to the district.

"We have been listening to local people along with our partners and it got to the point where it was posing too much of a concern to a large number of our residents and visitors. For people like Dan Gloster, it causes a constant misery and seriously affects their quality of life. We don't want our residents to have to live like that."

As well as carrying out random enforcement checks, police monitor reports of vehicles being driven at excessive speeds and respond to specific areas to carry out speed gun checks. During one recent operation in the East Stoke area, this resulted in officers checking 54 vehicles in the space of a few hours and five vehicles being stopped and given advice. One driver was also issued a ticket for excess speed in a 30mph zone.

This week in the Clipstone and Edwinstowe areas, several motorists were stopped and advised. One driver was issued a ticket for speeding in Cavendish Way as well as another driver being stopped and reported for no insurance in Church Road.

The local beat team also carried out checks in Gorsethorpe and noted all motorists were adhering to the speed limits.

This last weekend, the team took part in Op Jericho which is an ongoing operation to tackle antisocial behaviour caused by off road bikes which resulted in several bikes being seized.

Inspector Sutton said: "My teams continue to actively target speeding vehicles and dangerous driving across the region are as we understand what an impact this can have on our residents.

"As well as it being a nuisance, vehicles driving incredibly fast through villages can pose a massive danger to pedestrians and road users.

"We have enlisted all the resources we can to tackle this issue and my teams, which include the neighbourhood crew and Operation Reacher, have the task in hand as we crackdown on this issue alongside our response officers and specialist intelligence officers.

"We will continue to stage various operations over the coming days with a zero tolerance approach to anyone found to be breaking the law."

John Cottee, chairman of communities and place committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We welcome this concerted effort by the Police to target their enforcement most effectively.

"We work in partnership with the Police whose important work complements our annual Road Safety Education and Casualty Reduction Scheme Programmes to reduce both the incidence of accidents and the severity of injuries.

"Nottinghamshire has an excellent record of reducing road traffic collisions and this is a testament to our ongoing work with both the public and our partner organisations. ”

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