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97mph – highest speed recorded in Cambridgeshire village where thousands break speed limit 

27 per cent of drivers passing through Coates near Whittlesey over 30mph limit

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Thousands of drivers break the speed limit entering the village of Coates – with speeds of 90mph and even higher recorded. One recording shows a car travelling through at 97mph.

Cllr Roy Gerstner provided the statistics to a meeting of the planning committee of Fenland District Council that approved a new Co-operative store for the village.

But Cllr Gerstner believes the A605 through Coates has obvious dangers that he feels have been ignored by both the highways authority and Cambridgeshire police.

30mph speed checks in the village of Coates near Whittlesey which councillors say are often ignored. Speeds of up to 90mph have been recorded. Equipment clocked one driver doing 97mph. PHOTO: Terry Harris

30mph speed checks in the village of Coates near Whittlesey which councillors say are often ignored. Speeds of up to 90mph have been recorded. Equipment clocked one driver doing 97mph. PHOTO: Terry Harris

He said motor vehicle activated signs had been bought and paid for by Whittlesey town council “because police never believed us; but these instruments provide hard data”.

He explained to the committee three instances which supported his contention that speeding motorists were the norm through Coates.

Looking at data from the past three or four years, he said that in one period, a month, 64,000 vehicles came through, with the lowest speed recorded 33mph. The highest he said was 94mph, and that recorded only 100 metres from the location of the new store.

Allowing for a 10-pc uplift in the 30mph before a prosecution would normally occur, he said, these would still mean 28 per cent of the 64,000 drivers would be fined.

He said a second set of data, again over a month, showed 86,000 vehicles passing through, and again 33mph was the lowest speed recorded.

30mph speed checks in the village of Coates near Whittlesey which councillors say are often ignored. Speeds of up to 90mph have been recorded. Equipment clocked one driver doing 97mph. PHOTO: Terry Harris

30mph speed checks in the village of Coates near Whittlesey which councillors say are often ignored. Speeds of up to 90mph have been recorded. Equipment clocked one driver doing 97mph. PHOTO: Terry Harris
Thursday 14 December 2023.

The highest was 97mph and 27 per cent of drivers were over the limit where a prosecution would normally follow.

His third example covered a period when 94,000 vehicles came thr9ugh the village, again all hitting at least 33mph before passing the activated sign. 97mph was the highest speed recorded, but again more than 4,000 were travelling at speeds that would make them liable for prosecution.

“My concern is road safety,” he said. “Highways and police got it wrong – these figures speak for themselves.”

Cllr Gerstner said that although he supported the store, he hoped the Co-op might support more safety measures including the possibility of rumble strips along that part of the A605 to slow traffic.

Local councillor Bob Wicks, a long-term resident of Coates, said although anti-social behaviour was an issue, he was primarily concerned about road safety and speeding.

30mph speed checks in the village of Coates near Whittlesey which councillors say are often ignored. Speeds of up to 90mph have been recorded. Equipment clocked one driver doing 97mph. PHOTO: Terry Harris

30mph speed checks in the village of Coates near Whittlesey which councillors say are often ignored. Speeds of up to 90mph have been recorded. Equipment clocked one driver doing 97mph. PHOTO: Terry Harris
Thursday 14 December 2023.

He said the town council had bought 12 motor vehicle recording systems to monitor speeds in Eastrea and Coates and said that on one occasion a motorist was found to be travelling at 107mph on the entrance to Coates.

“Given where that recorded speed taken in relation to this application and my concern for children whose school entrance is virtually opposite, number of instances on that level crossing come close to situation we don’t wish to see,” he said.

30mph speed checks in the village of Coates near Whittlesey which councillors say are often ignored. Speeds of up to 90mph have been recorded. Equipment clocked one driver doing 97mph. PHOTO: Terry Harris

30mph speed checks in the village of Coates near Whittlesey which councillors say are often ignored. Speeds of up to 90mph have been recorded. Equipment clocked one driver doing 97mph. PHOTO: Terry Harris

He also feared that a community asset, the post office, which is part of the existing village store, might be affected by a Co-op. Loss of a post office would have “a fairly severe impact” on many elderly residents who need it to access banking and other facilities.

However, the committee approved the application, some councillors suggesting that opening a store in a village in the current climate was a bold move and should be welcomed.

 

 

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