Speed team support plea
The Community Speedwatch team in Bingham has claimed it lacks support in its bid to stop speeding motorists in the town.
At Bingham Town Council’s environment committee meeting on Tuesday, members agreed to invite the Speedwatch team to meet them to discuss their issues.
The police and a county councillor for Bingham, Mr Martin Suthers, are also invited to the meeting.
A recent report from the group said the town’s problem with speeding traffic was getting much worse and at least one car was recorded speeding every two minutes in a typical hour on Saturday, August 2.
The report also accused the town and county councils of having no interest in addressing this problem.
It said: “Speeding traffic has long been seen to be a problem within Bingham.
“However, it seems to be one that the council and police are happy to sweep under the carpet.
“This is a constant source of frustration for many residents.
“In the absence of any real action to reduce speeding in Bingham, a group of local residents joined together to start the Bingham Community Speedwatch (BCSW) scheme.
“After much discussion with the town council and police, BCSW finally started work in late 2006.
“In June 2007 BCSW reported back to Bingham Town Council and requested support and help to tackle the problem.
“However, aside from a few kind words, it seems little has happened since.
“For example, the request to lead by example and take part in BCSW resulted in two councillors each spending just one hour in the last year working with BCSW.”
As part of the report the Speedwatch group called for action to be taken by Bingham Town Council.
This included asking all town councillors to join the group and actively take part in sessions, one councillor to be assigned as the single point of contact between the council and group, and for the town council to take over the co-ordination of the group.
Other action called for by the group included the town council buying its own laser speed gun and equipment to allow for more regular sessions, and for increased advertisement of the scheme.
Mr Suthers pointed out that he had, for some time, earmarked £750 for a speed gun for the Bingham group through the Electoral Division Initiative budget, but has not yet been asked for the money.
Mr Suthers also pointed out that Speedwatch groups could become disheartened if they found the police were too busy to send out letters, for whatever reason, when people were caught speeding.
He said it was important that members of Speedwatch groups felt their work was worthwhile.
The environment committee members felt it was harsh criticism in the report.
The Mayor of Bingham, Mr George Davidson, who is a committee member, said the town council put details about the Speedwatch scheme in the Bingham Town News leaflet.
He also pointed out that some councillors, including himself, simply could not make the dates previously suggested for them to join the group out on duty.
The beat manager for Bingham, Pc John Kneale, said speeding was set as a top policing priority by the Local Area Group after it was highlighted as one of main issues by residents in questionnaires.
He said he planned to be trained to use a hand-held speed gun to advise drivers and deal with more serious offenders.
A date for the meeting has not yet been set.