The winter months combined with lockdown have given us little to smile about but one welcome benefit has been some respite from the worst excesses of anti-social driving, and motor bike noise in particular. No doubt the end of lockdown and the first good spring weather will see the return of this problem
Last summer’s frustrations caught the attention of MP’s and Police and a local councils Partnership Group on Anti-social Driving was established by Alan Sutton and with the involvement of MPs, CDC, WSCC and most Town and Parish Councils represented. At a regional and national level the main actions will be:
- Regionally in West Sussex there will be increased Police Enforcement. This was apparent throughout last summer and we are informed will continue next summer. It should help but the Police cannot be everywhere at once and they will prioritise the main trouble spots. Most enforcement is about catching speeders on open roads (eg Bury Hill) and not in towns like Petworth.
- There is environmental legislation for noise over 86 decibel on the open road. The Police and several parishes will investigate the use of new acoustic cameras and simple decibel counters.
- At a national level the size of fines and penalties will be investigated to assess the need for any increases.
In addition, individual parish and town councils will consider local options for reducing the problem. In reality there are few measures open to local councils that will deter the more determined troublesome minority. The available options include:
- Encouraging residents to continue reporting incidents to the Police and MP with as much detailed information as possible and with copy to PTC Town Clerk. This will keep the pressure on the police to prioritise resources.
- Speed Watch is an option if local residents are prepared to take this on. Training is available. An investigation some years ago concluded that there were few sites in Petworth town that would meet the required safety guidelines for speed watch monitoring sites. Sites would probably need to be on the approach roads.
- Other site-specific local actions include data gathering, speed limit change applications etc. However, the aggressive minority of trouble makers do not follow diversions or signs or care about speed limits.