"Crash rates rise despite 20mph limit"

This was the headline of an article in the Wiltshire Times dated July 18, 2014. It was seized on by those against the 20mph limit and copies of the article were posted in the shop and thrust into the hands of Community Speedwatch volunteers. It sounded daft and counter-intuitive. It was! Read the truth below:

'Lies, damn lies and statistics'

July saw the publishing of an analysis of the Department for Transport's (DfT) casualty figures by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists). The IAM claim in their press release that 20 mph roads are not delivering casualty reductions, as the number of casualties on 20mph roads has increased. However, what they have failed to take account of is, deliberately we presume, that the number and hence length of 20 mph roads in the UK has significantly increased and that of 30mph roads decreased. So it doesn't take a mathematical genius to conclude that the number of casualties on 20mph roads will increase as there are many more miles of 20 mph roads now! The DfT don't provide any statistics on the total lengths of 20mph vs. 30 mph roads now or previous to 2013 which makes it impossible to make direct conclusions.

One statistic that it is possible to validly conclude though is that on 20mph roads the risk of death from casualties is 2.5 times less compared to 30 mph roads. In 2013 there were 6 deaths from 3,164 casualties (0.2%). On 30 mph roads there were 538 deaths from 111,186 casualties (0.5%). Another clear fact that shows 20mph roads are safer than roads where cars travel at higher speeds. It is just common sense!

Rod King MBE founder and campaign director of 20s Plenty commented: 'We are amazed and disappointed that the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) should make such a woeful mistake in their conclusions from the DfT statistics. In fact, wherever 20mph limits have been piloted, on looking at the casualties in detail, councils have concluded that there was a positive effect on road safety and subsequently widened the implementation across most areas. Now 20% of the UK population live in towns, cities or villages where the Traffic Authority is convinced that 20 is plenty for most streets. The IAM conclusion is bogus and reflects a poor understanding of either the changing numbers and success of 20mph limits or basic statistics'.

The original article was written by Tamsin ( and published in The Gudgeon in August and is reproduced by permission from Jackie (thegudgeon@btinternet.corn).

Other News The 20 mph zone was set up after the democratic decision of residents of the village. The Community Speed Watch (CSW) team helps to enforce the speed limit with the active support of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon and the Wiltshire Constabulary. CSW schemes are popular. 114 such schemes have already been set up across the county since the initiative was launched just one year ago.

The CSW scheme in Westwood started in February. Since then there have been six completed periods of monitoring. A total of 14,842 vehicles have been counted of which 1,452, or 9.8%, were speeding at 25 mph or more (with a small minority travelling at what the police class as excessive speed - the fastest recorded being 49 mph exiting the village at the turning to The Pastures). The clear conclusion is that the overwhelming majority of drivers drive within the limit. The result is safer roads for all.

Parish Councillor Alan Wheals

Article published: 01 Oct 2014

Community Speed Watch [CSW] and other road safety matters

[ April 2014] The CSW team were out and about for the first time in February. This is a volunteer team of 10 residents in our Parish who have all been fully trained, vetted and approved by the Police.

In partnership with Wiltshire Police, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire & Swindon, and Wiltshire Council, we are "Driving Down Speed, Driving Up Safety" for all users of our roads.

Headline statistics : Although impacted by the recent bad weather, the CSW team spent a total of 9 hours spread over a week at various times of day on the Lower Westwood Road. During this period, they counted 2,019 vehicles [that's nearly 4 every minute !], of which 224 vehicles [11% of total vehicles counted] were reported for driving at 25mph or more. Of these, 56 were over 30mph, and one was caught driving at 47mph ! 171 warning letters [76% of total speeding vehicles] have sent out by the Police, who have also visited 25 people at their homes, including the person driving at 47mph ! 3 drivers were caught speeding twice and they have received more strongly worded letters.

You will be very pleased to know that only 39 vehicles [17% of the total number of vehicles caught speeding] were residents of Westwood Parish. This indicates that the vast majority of speeding drivers [83%] are passing through the village.

The CSW team will be active again later this month. However, it is very unfortunate that one of the CSW team was verbally abused last month by local residents and felt it necessary to resign. This is unacceptable conduct towards a member of your own community who is helping to improve your safety on our roads. We do hope this does not occur again as, like any other antisocial behaviour, it may be reported. The Police are advised every day the CSW team is active if support is required and, on some occasions, the Police will themselves be present.

The Wiltshire Council undertook metro counts at several sites along the Upper Westwood Road during January. The results showed that average speeds for the majority of drivers were no greater than 24mph. The Parish Council therefore resolved that the existing 20mph speed limit and traffic calming signage is sufficient and no further action be taken unless there are material changes to driver behaviours in future.

Small yellow camera signs are on order and will be installed on existing poles along the Lower Westwood Road in due course. In the meantime, their absence does not negate the validity of CSW activities and approval from the Police.

Later in the Spring, the delimiter sign on the exit from Upper Westwood towards Freshford will be moved to the other side of Downside Nurseries and additional 20mph roundels placed on the road. Additional roundels will also be installed along the stretch of road approaching Lower Westwood towards the blind bend at The New Inn. At the same time, the On-Carriage Footpath will be extended on the South side from the junction to Westwood Manor to just past the first dwelling on entering the village. Cllr. Richardson

There is strong community support for CSW. However, the team of volunteers who do the monitoring is still small. We would welcome additional volunteers so that the workload for everyone is reduced. If you simply want to know what is involved or know what you already want to volunteer, please contact Cllr Wheals who has now taken over responsibility from Cllr Richardson for coordinating the CSW activity in Westwood. Vetting and appropriate training will be provided by the very helpful CSW Police team based in Trowbridge. Cllr. Wheals 


Article published: 07 Apr 2014

Community Speed Watch newsletter

The Community Speed Watch newsletter (CSW) can be read here: CSW Newsletter issue 2

The 3rd edition of the the CSW newsletter can be read here: CSW Edition 3 January 2014

The 4th edition of the the CSW newsletter can be read here: CSW Edition 4 January 2014

The 5th edition of the the CSW newsletter can be read here: CSW Edition 5 January 2014

The 6th edition of the the CSW newsletter can be read here: CSW Edition 6 January 2014

Article published: 10 Jan 2014

The following agenda for the first meeting  of the Westwood Road Safety Group is published below with a link to the audio recordings that were made for the first and also second meetings. These recordings are large, the first being over 86MB the second 100MB in size.

The first recording which had WCC Highway engineers present is over one and half hours long but netherless is an important record of the proceedings, especially as we are now coming to the end of the 20mph Speed Trial and concern over the signs will be one of the issues that residents will be thinking about. A report on the meetings was published in the September 2010 Minutes. The files are best saved to your hard disk before listening and need a broadband connection. (April 2012)

meeting one  meeting two 

Westwood 20mph Speed Limit Trial

Meeting of Working Group August 20th 2010

Draft Agenda


·         Welcome and introductions

·         Agree the agenda

·         Background to this initiative

o        Westwood

o        Wiltshire County Council

·         Discussion and agreement on Terms of Reference for the working group

·         Scope of the options:

o        What is absolutely included

o        What is absolutely excluded

·         Review of the current situation for road safety in the village

o        Overall view of safety

o        View of average current speeds

o        Critical points for safety in the village what are the safety problems at these points?

·         Draft goals for the trial

o        What are the key goals for the trial

o        How will we know they have been achieved?

·         What are the options for improving safety

o        Overall across the village

o        At the critical points for safety identified above

·         Proposals for monitoring the trial - Measures of Performance for the trial

o        What specifically do we want to achieve?

o        How will we measure success?

o        Measurements and monitoring required before and during the trial

o        Proposals for making these measurements

·         Develop proposals for improving safety

o        What are we going to do?

o        SWOT Analysis for each element

·         Draft implementation plan

·         Any other business

·         Date of next meeting

Councillor Allan Parker Chairman Westwood Parish Council

Article published: 11 Apr 2012

Westwood Roads :   Schedule of Works & 20mph Trial Updates


Over the coming weeks and months, there are a number of important events and extensive road works in and around Westwood.  The schedule of events is tabled below :




10th January

20mph trial : metro count.  This will last for one week.


20mph trial : agreement of the content of the Community Questionnaire with Wiltshire Council for all 6 villages participating in the County trial.

The timetable for the distribution of the questionnaire, collection of feedback, and the publication of the results and recommendations from the 20mph trials will be published in due course.

16th - 29th February

All roads in and around Upper and Lower Westwood, including the whole length of Lower Westwood Road, will be “patched” in advance of work the surface dressing programme this Summer.

Full details of the affected roads, their closures and suggested alternative routes during the works have been posted below on this page and on village notice boards.

early March

An On-Carriageway Footpath, sometimes referred to as a “”Virtual Pavement” will be installed immediately after the patching works on the Lower Westwood Road between the junction to Upper Westwood and the junction to Farleigh Hungerford.

All markings will be reinstated after the surface dressing works later in the Summer.

late March

20mph trial : an additional metro count is being requested after the installation of the  On-Carriageway Footway to collect further data.

June / July

All roads in and around Upper and Lower Westwood, including the whole length of Lower Westwood Road, will be surface dressed.  Clearly, all road markings will be repainted at this time.


Article published: 18 Feb 2012

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