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Mattishall speed team wants more help

PUBLISHED: 13:51 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:59 07 July 2010

THE leader of Mattishall's Speedwatch team this week issued an appeal for more volunteers as he expressed confidence that the scheme was making the village a safer place.

THE leader of Mattishall's Speedwatch team this week issued an appeal for more volunteers as he expressed confidence that the scheme was making the village a safer place.

And Steve Blake issued an invitation to people in neighbouring villages to become involved, in the hope that it could be extended during the year.

Mattishall became the latest Norfolk place to set up a community Speedwatch project last autumn.

Trained volunteers monitor traffic through their village with a radar gun, drawing the police's attention to drivers who take no notice of the speed limits in place.

If anyone is clocked speeding, the team jots down a description of the offending vehicle and its registration and passes it on to the authorities. The owner will then receive a letter reminding them why they should heed the speed limit.

Mr Blake, the Mattishall scheme's

co-ordinator, said it had six volunteers at present but needed new recruits. “The more the better,” he added. “If we had 12 volunteers they could get out on the streets more, and if we had 24 we might even be able to help out by going to places like East Tuddenham and Welborne once in a while.”

Mattishall villagers have noticed an increase in morning rush-hour through traffic lately as commuters heading for Norwich from the Toftwood area have taken a detour to avoid tailbacks on the A47 at the new roundabout at Honingham.

But Mr Blake said that, by and large, motorists were heeding the village's 20mph and 30mph limits and there were only one or two persistent culprits among the 100 or so drivers monitored at each session.

“We get about one car a time that is really exceeding the speed limit,” he said. “I think it is an indication that people are taking notice. The object is not to catch people but to make them aware of their speed, and it is working. And I hope that in the long term it will continue to have an effect and make people think because, after all, this is a community scheme.”

He said villagers had reacted positively to the patrols and there had been only isolated cases of motorists abusing the volunteers.

The Mattishall team plans to help make sure that the new 40mph limit on the western fringes of the village is heeded when it is introduced soon, and it hopes to widen patrols to more times of day as the daylight hours extend.

New volunteers will be trained and are asked to commit themselves to at least an hour a week. To find out more call Mr Blake on 01362 850130 or email him at steve@steveonwheels.co.uk

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