Horncastle’s speed sign is ‘unreliable’

PCSO Nigel Wass and a resident at the Stanhope Road sign
PCSO Nigel Wass and a resident at the Stanhope Road sign

Urgent talks are planned after Horncastle’s new speed sign appeared to show almost 2,300 motorists broke the limit in one street - in just TWO weeks.

The reactive sign stores data - including the number of vehicles and their speed - which is then analysed to decide if any action needs to be taken.

Town's speed sign is unreliable

Town's speed sign is unreliable

The News understands the sign on Stanhope Road records all passing calls but was only activated by those travelling at and over 33mph.

The sign was bought by Horncastle Town Council who produced figures last week that suggested 16,701 vehicles had been recorded in a two-week period in July - and 2,236 were breaking the 30mph limit.

The sign is operated by a battery which is supposed to last between four to six weeks. However, it was ‘triggered’ so often in Stanhope Road, it kept running out after a few days.

Police and councillors were so surprised by the figures, they believe the sign may have been faulty - or the data corrupted when it was downloaded.

Now, police, the county council, the Town Council and Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership will meet to discuss the results.

County councillor Bill Aron told the News: “I understand that the data was corrupted in some way as it was not operating correctly and for a number of days was not operating at all due to a battery failure.

“During the time it was operating, there were no reports of speeding or any accidents or any incidents.

“I understand from PCSO Nigel Wass and highways officers that the sign is being looked at and the information compared with some previous data before it can be established why the figures came out as they did.”

There are claims the sign was even ‘triggered’ by people walking past it.

One motorist, who did not want to be named, said: “I was driving past and I know I was doing less than 30.

“The thing (the sign) was still flashing, saying I was doing 37 one time.”

PCSO Wass said he believed the data was ‘unreliable’.

He added police had regularly carried out speed checks on Stanhope Road and there was no evidence to suggest such a high percentage of vehicles were over the limit.

John Siddal, from Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said it was not ‘unknown’ for reactive signs to malfunction.

He added that unlike police radar equipment, the signs were not ratified by the Home Office. He offered to have the Horncastle sign tested.

Many other communities have reactive signs although there is no suggestion any other might be faulty.