A TRIO of new vehicle-activated electronic speed limit reminder signs are to pop up in various locations across Alton from this month.

The units will be deployed every two weeks in various locations – primarily in residential areas – to help to keep our roads safe.

The initiative is led by Alton Town Council, working alongside Alton Community Speed Watch and volunteers from various residents associations under the umbrella of Alton and District Residents’ Association.

With approval by Hampshire Police, Alton Community Speed Watch were monitoring roads suggested by residents as potentially having speeding problems.

However, with social distancing protocols, it has been unable to operate and, while the number of people driving daily has dramatically reduced at the moment, there has been a perceived increase in speeding because of the lack of other traffic on roads.

The new Speed Limit Reminder (SLR) signs do not need to be operated by ACSW volunteers. Instead, the sign automatically displays the speed limit along with an appropriate message when it detects an approaching vehicle is exceeding the speed limit.

The SLR units also log a wide range of data, including vehicle speed, time and date, which is useful when considering future traffic management and mitigation.

Hampshire County Council have stated that, on average, vehicle-activated signs have proven to have a beneficial effect on traffic speeds and can reduce traffic speeds on 30mph roads by around four to seven per cent.

In September 2019, Alton Town Council secured Section 106 developers’ contribution funding of £10,000, drawn down from East Hampshire District Council, to buy the three devices.

The units will be moved regularly, with locations proposed by Speed Watch volunteers, and then approved by Hampshire County Council.

A spokesman from Alton Community Speed Watch said: “According to the Hampshire Police, speeding is one of the factors that most affects the quality of life in our communities.

"It can be a factor in road traffic collisions and impacts residents in the town and environs every day. There is a growing awareness of the degrading effects of excess speed in an urban environment.

"Educating motorists about speeding by employing Speed Limit Reminder and Speed Indicator Devices is a holistic and pro-active solution to improve the safety and quality of life for everyone in the community.

"As development proceeds apace in the town, traffic levels will only increase, and these measures will encourage motorists to behave responsibly and maintain Alton as a pleasant and safe place to live. Observing speed limits is key to that aspiration.”