Slow! £20,000 grant supports safer roads

National Grid backs community bid to improve road user safety around Watchfield

National Grid is supporting Watchfield Village Hall Trust’s efforts to improve road safety, with a grant of £20,000 to help with the purchase of six solar-powered Speed Indicator Devices. The devices have been installed in Watchfield and surrounding villages.

Since 1948, the Watchfield Village Hall Trust has overseen the management and maintenance of the village hall for the benefit of local people. Drivers speeding on the local road network around the community hub pose a risk to the safety of residents and road users.

In recent years there have been several road traffic accidents, including two fatalities, as a result of drivers speeding. Growing increasingly concerned about the welfare of road users, the volunteers of the Watchfield Village Hall Trust began a speed watch project, which has proven to be a powerful deterrent against speeding.

The volunteers of the Watchfield Village Hall Trust are hopeful that the installation of the Speed Indicator Devices will further deter speeding on local roads, helping to reduce accidents and save lives. Local police are supporting the project and will be using speed data provided by the sensors in their investigations, helping to hold those who break the law to account.

Geoff Francis, Mark Community Speed Watch, said: “These speed indicating devices (SIDs) will make the roads in and around the villages of Mark, Watchfield and East Huntspill much safer, improving the lives of everyone in our community. There have been several serious accidents and some fatal incidents within the three villages over the past few years, so we were very pleased to receive this very generous grant from National Grid to help address the problem.

“Mark Community Speedwatch has already noticed a drop in the number of speeders recorded in the sessions over the past month. Thank you for your help and support, the project has been very well received and is already bearing fruit.”

The volunteers are doing an admirable job to help their community.

James Goode, Project Director at the Hinkley Connection Project, said: “Safety is National Grid’s top priority and we’re pleased to support these local villages in their bid to feel safer and more secure on the roads.

“The volunteers are doing an admirable job to help their community. We hope that the £20,000 grant helps them to continue with their lifesaving work.”