A friend of mine recently moved here from Sussex, and both she, and her friends who visit her from Sussex, have commented on how fast people seem to drive around here, particularly given the narrow and winding nature of some of our roads. Just in the past couple of months we’ve had a vehicle through the hedge at Fiveways Bridge, and also one into a house at Clewer. One of our recent successes was to get a 30 mph limit into the gorge, which gives police an additional tool for apprehending speeders, and I was involved in discussions with the police, Longleat Estates, the National Trust and the AONB about how this would be implemented. There was concern about too much signage and lineage detracting from the beauty of the scenery. The final compromise was for a few “30” repeaters on wooden posts or existing signs, and this new gateway at Black Rock, which tells drivers and riders that they are entering a special place.
I also went along as Cheddar’s representative at meetings of the A371 Parishes Committee chaired by Cllr Ros Wyke, which looked into issues around quarry traffic and other heavy lorries travelling between Wells and the A38, along with speeding, and pedestrian safety matters. This committee included representatives of Draycott and Rodney Stoke, Westbury, and St Cuthbert Out parishes too. Somerset County Council cancelled their SID (Speed Indicator Device) scheme in 2018 so individual parishes are now having to collect this data themselves. Some A371 parishes have clubbed together to share a SID but we are going to install our own vehicle activated signs. These will be like the ones at Rooksbridge or Shipham, to remind people to slow down.