Chalfont St Giles is an historic village and as such has many old buildings and streets that do not conform to modern standards for pavement and carriageway width. The High Street and Deanway are areas which are often reported as having issues such as speeding, inappropriate parking and careless driving.
At the beginning of 2022 the Parish Council positioned their Mobile Vehicle Activated Signs (MVAS) on Pheasant Hill leading to the High Street and on Deanway outside of Miltons Cottage. The signs are designed to flash at motorists who are exceeding the 30mph speed limit. They also record the times and speeds of the vehicles passing the signs. Below is the data taken over a 4 week period on Deanway.
As can be seen from the data, the majority of drivers adhere to the speed limits on the road, this data is in conflict with the perception by pedestrians.
HS2 Road Traffic Fund
Despite this data, the Parish Council applied to the HS2 Road Traffic Fund for 5 measures of traffic calming to be applied to the village centre. The fund is controlled by HS2 in conjunction with Buckinghamshire Council as they are the Highways Authority. The five measures are as follows:
- Raised zebra crossings on the High Street and Deanway.
- New zebra crossing on Up Corner/ Silver Hill.
- Village Gateway to be added to Pheasant Hill to highlight the speed limit in the village.
- Advisory 20mph speed limit between Pheasant Hill and The Lagger junction with Deanway.
- Double yellow lining to be added between the white parking bays on Deanway.
In July 2022 the Parish Council were informed that stage one assessments for all schemes had been completed by technical officers who have a wide range of technical expertise and experience in relation to road safety schemes. Their recommendations had been reviewed by the project board. The proposals for raising the two existing zebra crossings on High Street and Deanway were being taken forward to stage 2, the rest of the measures were unsuccessful.
In May 2023 we were informed that our Road Safety Fund application was approved in principal and a formal application was being made by Buckinghamshire Council to HS2 for the funding.
Once funding is approved, the project team will undertake the necessary detailed design work and consultation. This is where the public have their say.
Why did we ask for money from HS2?
Traffic calming measures are very expensive, for example:
- Double yellow lines at The Lagger could cost £23,000
- Single traffic sign can cost £1,400
- Speed Roundel painted on the road £2,500
- Village Gateway £5,500
- Raised tables/speed humps £40,000
- 20mph speed limits £10,000 for a single road up to £50,000 for an area.
These prices were valid in July 2020.
To implement any traffic calming measures, the Parish Council would need to raise funds or seek funding, this is why we submitted several traffic management plans to the HS2 fund.
The Community Board
The Parish Council have also applied, to the Buckinghamshire Council Community Board for Denham, Gerrards Cross and The Chalfonts, for double yellow lines to be painted at and opposite the junction of The Lagger and Deanway. This has been identified as an area that has had accidents in the past and one that adds to the congestion on Deanway. This application was submitted by the September dealine in 2021. The applications go through a process and a Project Initiation Document (PID) is produced. However, Buckinghamshire Council will be changing their Highways Contractor in April 2023 and we have been told that no further works will be carried out until the new contractor is in place.
What Buckinghamshire Council say…
Buckinghamshire Council are the Highways Authority and are responsible for our roads. Works cannot be carried out on the highway without their approval and consent.
In November 2021 the Cabinet of Buckinghamshire Council discussed speed limits. See: Notices of Motion Bucks Council 24 nov 21
- Two important pieces of information are in this document: Thames Valley Police are clear that they will not currently be pro-actively enforcing revised speed limits,
- Buckinghamshire Council therefore resolves that any proposed reductions in speed limits to 20mph should be funded by the applicant(s), and be assessed by and supported by the Council’s Road Safety team and all local members. It also requires that all schemes should meet the DfT’s criteria for 20mph limits and be self-enforcing. No expectation should be generated that the Thames Valley Police or the Buckinghamshire Council will enforce these schemes.
- The Parish Council will continue to locate their MVAS machines on Pheasant Hill and Deanway to notify drivers of the speed limits on the roads.
- We will await the response from the HS2 Traffic fund re our success at stage 2 before making any further traffic calming measures.
- We have asked for more traffic wardens to patrol the village, especially at school drop off times when inconsiderate parking can cause probems.
What Can you do to help?
- Park considerately when in the village centre and Deanway.
- Drive within the speed limits or slower.
- Be a considerate driver and give way to oncoming vehicles.
- Join the Community Speedwatch team and help to carry out traffic surveys to penalise speeding drivers. https://communityspeedwatch.org/FRONT-v2-Home.php