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This inappropriate 30 mph limit approaching Crowle is typical of the way many local authorities are abusing speed limits. A 30mph limit is appropriate in the village itself, but because the limit starts too early, drivers have already decided it is stupid and are ignoring it by the time they get to the village. What is needed here are advance warning signs of the 30mph limit in the village.
Speed Camera Threshold Speeds
John McAvoy, project manager of the West Mercia safety camera partnership, told our Shropshire Local Co-ordinator in a letter:
"The guidelines recommend that action commences at speeds which are 10% + 2mph in excess of the speed limit (ie.35 mph in a 30mph area, 46mph in a 40mph area,etc). In this region, no action is taken by West Mercia Constabulary or the Safety Camera Partnership where speeds are below these thresholds. There are facilities in the guidelines which would cover action being taken at lower speeds where there are particularly aggravating factors, but the Safety Camera Partnership has never made use of this facility and has no plans to do so."
If you are being prosecuted by West Mercia Police for a speed camera offence at a speed of less than 35mph in a 30 zone, or less than 46 mph in a 40 zone, please let our Shropshire Local Co-ordinator know about it, and be sure to keep any offcial documents you have received, or a copy of them..
Britain's Last Honest Parking Wardens?
Two parking attendants have claimed they were sacked by Bromsgrove District Council because they didn't issue their quota of parking tickets. Phillip Mansell and Bruce Edwards said they couldn't issue the required number of tickets because they couldn't find enough drivers parking illegally. This didn't matter to the council who forced them to ticket Post Office and Police vehicles, and a 92 year old lady helping her disabled husband out of their car.
The council have denied being a bunch of money grabbing rogues, but refused to give details of the contracts; as a result nobody in Bromsgrove believes them. A council spokeswoman said on TV that the dismissal leter contained no reference to parking ticket quotas. (She didn't actually deny that was why they'd been sacked, she merely pointed out that the council hadn't been so stupid as to say so in writing.)
Asda, clearly on the lookout for employees with integrity, have offered the pair a job.

Oh Dear, How Sad, Never Mind
A Kidderminster based firm that was hoping to profit from driver's misery by selling speed cameras to support the government's anti-car policies, is in dire straights. Administrators called in to the grandly-named 'Monitron International' have sacked nearly half the workforce.

Rural 30 mph speed limits declared illegal
In a landmark ruling at Redditch Magistrates Court on Tuesday 9th December 2003, a driver was found not guilty of exceeding a 30mph speed limit on the B4551 in Romsley because the speed limit did not legally exist. Worcestershire County Council had used legislation intended for use only on roads with street lamps, but the road through Romsley has no lighting. The ABD brought the test case after discovering that several councils had been misusing the legislation in this way.

No refunds for illegal Broadway limit
In 2002, Police realised that a 30mph limit on Station Road in Broadway was illegal because the lighting was not sufficient to support restricted road status. Despite suspending speed checks, the police made no effort whatsoever to reimburse and remove points from drivers who they knew had been illegally prosecuted.
If you were prosecuted for exceeding 30mph on this road prior to May 2002, contact West Mercia Police and demand a refund of your fine and points.

A491 Council meddling
A classic tale of trying to claim the credit for shutting the stable door after someone else has already bricked it up.
The A491 is a dual carriageway between M5 junction 4 and Stourbridge.
Map showing dual carriageway section.
In recent years a number of accidents have occured at points where traffic was able to cross the dual carriageway because a few drivers failed to judge the speed of — or even see — oncoming traffic and simply pulled out in front of it.
There are said to have been five deaths during 2000–2002, though we have only been able to locate newspaper reports describing three deaths which occured on the dual carriageway section and involved crossover points: Two other fatalities have occured on the single carriageway section near the M5:
The entire road was reduced to 60mph even though the accidents only occured at specific points along it. The council proposed closing most of the crossover points. Local residents campaigned hard for roundabouts, stating proposals to close the crossover points completely were excessive and would cause great inconvinience. The council decided roundabouts were too expensive, and promptly ignored the residents.
Crossovers were closed during roadworks between Nov 2002 and March 2003, one junction had traffic lights installed. These engineering improvements alone, whilst not the best solution, would have resolved the accident problem.
But the council weren't content with these improvements. So now they've pointlessly further reduced the speed limit around the B4188 junction to 50mph, and the road has been dangerously narrowed to a single lane using white paint. This measure is completely stupid as vehicles trying to emerge from side roads and lay-bys now have to try to get into one long line of moving traffic, and traffic on the main road is no longer able to move over into lane two in order to give them room to pull out. This completely brainless narrowing is more likely to cause an accident than prevent one.
You might think that's bad enough — but wait — there's more. Lo and behold from April 2003 (the month after the engineering was completed) a Talivan has been seen frequently lurking at the end of a nice long straight section.
Next thing you know, they'll be proudly proclaiming "since we started using speed camera vans, fatal accidents have reduced by 100%."
This, of course, will be absolute baloney.
The fact is that accidents will reduce because the gaps in the central reservation have been closed.
Accidents would have fallen by the same amount had the speed camera vans never been anywhere near the road.
This is typical of the claims made for the 'success' of speed cameras throughout the country. They wait until they know of a road where accidents are bound to reduce because of road improvements, or after an unusual series of bad accidents, then they pop along with a speed camera and try to claim all the credit.
Bromsgrove News — Men at work on village death route
Kidderminster, Blakedown and Hagley bypass
A scheme to bypass Kidderminster, Blakedown and Hagley, was scrapped by the government in 1996 thanks to the usual vociferous minorities. The ABD is determined to get these and additional improvements re-instated. The A456 is a primary trunk route that varies between good fast dual carriageway and narrow village street. The entire road needs dualling all the way from the end of the Halesowen bypass to Bewdley.
The new road would start from the roundabout at the end of the long hill on the existing Bewdley bypass (map). Traffic for the West Midlands Safari Park (a cause of much congestion in Kidderminster at weekends and Bank Holidays) would be directed via the new road. The road would then head eastwards to meet the A451 south of Kidderminster (map), then continue east to the A449 (map), then NE to rejoin the existing A456 dual carriageway (map). The eastern section would also carry A449 traffic, and a new link road would run north to join the A449 — possibly by upgrading of Hurcote Lane (map).
The Blakedown and Hagley bypasses would run north of the villages to rejoin the existing A456 east of Hagley.
Elsewhere on the ABD website:

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