ALMOST a fifth of drivers monitored in a residents’ Speedwatch programme were speeding, a meeting was told.
More than 30 people attended a public meeting at Merchistoun Hall last night and heard there was a serious problem of speeding in Horndean, Rowlands Castle and Clanfield.
William Hart helps to run the Speedwatch scheme, which is made up of 14 volunteers who monitor speeds at 15 sites – all 30mph – across the villages. The volunteers take down car registration details and speeders are sent a warning letter.
His figures show that over the last nine months 14,358 vehicles were monitored – with 2,684 speeders. A total of 869 drivers were caught driving at more than 40mph.
The worst roads for speeding in the area are Durrants Road, Chalton Lane and Drift Road.
Mr Hart said: ‘The worst speed offenders are white van men. However, in addition to the general run of traffic we have recorded buses, taxis, skip carriers and on one occasion even a hearse doing 40mph – empty of course.’
Since the beginning of the year, 1,700 letters have been sent to drivers. A second letter was sent to 164 homes.
Police visited 36 homes where drivers were caught out a third time. Officers told the meeting that the majority of offenders lived in the area.
The South of Butser police team now has a speed gun, with a police officer recently issuing three tickets in two hours along Chalton Lane.
The meeting also heard from volunteers who run the Speed Indicator Device – which monitors speeds and shows a smiley face to drivers if they are within the speed limits.
Fred Deeks, the SID co-ordinator for Horndean, reported speeds of more than 80mph on roads such as Catherington Lane.
Cllr Guy Shepherd from Horndean said one solution was having more SID devices on a longer-term basis on the village’s roads.
Mr Deeks said: ‘There is fairly conclusive evidence that there is significant speeding round the parish. We feel strongly that something needs to be done about it.’
County councillor Marge Harvey, who represents the three villages, said she wants to set up a meeting between residents and the county’s highways department to see if road layouts and signs can be improved.