Community Speed Watch (CSW)


Community Speed Watch in Westwood was set up following a long period of discussion and debate. It is possible to see full details of the debate by looking:

The CSW team, supported by Wiltshire Police and the Parish Council, continues to monitor car speeds along the Lower Westwood Road. Monitoring started in February 2014 and the results obtained over the first 12 months (to January 2015) were presented to the Annual Parish Meeting on Wednesday 6th May 2015. The presentation included a comprehensive analysis of traffic through the village and it can be downloaded from here (

Two significant results from the analysis are (i) that over 90% of vehicles were within acceptable speeds (24mph or less) and (ii) only 1 in 50 vehicles was measured speeding at 30mph or more. In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that the overall fraction of speeding vehicles has reduced over that year.

The volunteer team is always keen to recruit and welcome new members. Full training is provided by Wiltshire Police and you have a chance to see what goes on behind the scenes at Police HQ in Devizes. The police fully support this initiative and often visit us while we are on CSW duty in Westwood. CSW takes place over a two week period every 8 weeks. It will only take up a few hours of your time and you can choose to do as many or as few hours as you wish. So, if you want to help your own community and/or want to know more please contact us at <>.

Alan Wheals (CSW Team Leader)

Friday, 08 May 2015


Article published: 13 May 2015

Community Speed Watch (CSW)

CSW has been operating along the Lower Westwood Road since February 2014. A presentation about it was given to the Annual Parish Meeting on Wednesday 6th May. It covers all aspects of CSW in Westwood including the results of the first 12 months of activity.

The Powerpoint presentation is available for Download: CSW Presentation at the Annual Parish Meeting 2015

Please note that if you do not have Microsoft Powerpoint you can download a free Powerpoint Reader from Microsoft

Cllr Alan Wheals (CSW Team Leader)

Article published: 07 May 2015

Westwood Road Safety, 20mph zones and Community Speed Watch (CSW) 

A history in the Parish Council minutes

These matters have been widely discussed within the village since 2010 and have often been contentious. [Westwood is in Wiltshire] Formal records of these developments have been recorded in the Parish Council (PC) minutes. However, it can be time-consuming to find and follow discussions of particular issues that carried over many months. For the convenience of parishioners, all the minutes concerning Westwood road safety, 20mph speed limits and CSW have been brought together in this single, searchable file.


The minutes are in chronological order and form a continuous narrative of how we got to where we are today - and who said what, when and why. They start with the minutes of the meeting on December 2009 and end with the minutes of the meeting on 3 March 2014 by which time 20mph zones had been created and a CSW team was operational. Formal reporting of CSW in the minutes continues on a (mostly) monthly basis. Note that there is no meeting (and thus no minutes) of the PC in August.


Significant milestones include:

1.   Presentation of a village safety plan by a ‘lobby group’ - February 2010. The slides from the presentation are in a separate pdf entitled “Westwood Road Safety Campaign” [WCRSC].

2.   Monitoring the speed of traffic through the village using the ‘metrocount system - May 2010; December 2012

3.   Discussion about WCRSC - July 2010

4.   20 mph Speed Limit trial - October 2012

5.   Formal Traffic Road Order [TRO] - Sept 2013

6.   Formal adoption of CSW - January 2014


NOTE: The pdf file linked to below has been created by copying the individual minutes of 45 meetings. They have been reproduced in good faith but the author of this document takes no responsibility for any inaccuracies. If the information is going to be used in an important or legal context then the user is advised to consult the original and definitive approved minutes that can be found on the PC website here: 


A History of Westwood 20mph zones in PC minutes


Cllr Alan Wheals

Monday 1st December 2014


Article published: 04 Dec 2014


"Crash rates rise despite 20mph limit"

This was the headline of an article in the Wiltshire Times dated July 18, 2014. It was seized on by those against the 20mph limit and copies of the article were posted in the shop and thrust into the hands of Community Speedwatch volunteers. It sounded daft and counter-intuitive. It was! Read the truth below:

'Lies, damn lies and statistics'

July saw the publishing of an analysis of the Department for Transport's (DfT) casualty figures by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists). The IAM claim in their press release that 20 mph roads are not delivering casualty reductions, as the number of casualties on 20mph roads has increased. However, what they have failed to take account of is, deliberately we presume, that the number and hence length of 20 mph roads in the UK has significantly increased and that of 30mph roads decreased. So it doesn't take a mathematical genius to conclude that the number of casualties on 20mph roads will increase as there are many more miles of 20 mph roads now! The DfT don't provide any statistics on the total lengths of 20mph vs. 30 mph roads now or previous to 2013 which makes it impossible to make direct conclusions.

One statistic that it is possible to validly conclude though is that on 20mph roads the risk of death from casualties is 2.5 times less compared to 30 mph roads. In 2013 there were 6 deaths from 3,164 casualties (0.2%). On 30 mph roads there were 538 deaths from 111,186 casualties (0.5%). Another clear fact that shows 20mph roads are safer than roads where cars travel at higher speeds. It is just common sense!

Rod King MBE founder and campaign director of 20s Plenty commented: 'We are amazed and disappointed that the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) should make such a woeful mistake in their conclusions from the DfT statistics. In fact, wherever 20mph limits have been piloted, on looking at the casualties in detail, councils have concluded that there was a positive effect on road safety and subsequently widened the implementation across most areas. Now 20% of the UK population live in towns, cities or villages where the Traffic Authority is convinced that 20 is plenty for most streets. The IAM conclusion is bogus and reflects a poor understanding of either the changing numbers and success of 20mph limits or basic statistics'.

The original article was written by Tamsin ( and published in The Gudgeon in August and is reproduced by permission from Jackie (thegudgeon@btinternet.corn).

Other News The 20 mph zone was set up after the democratic decision of residents of the village. The Community Speed Watch (CSW) team helps to enforce the speed limit with the active support of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon and the Wiltshire Constabulary. CSW schemes are popular. 114 such schemes have already been set up across the county since the initiative was launched just one year ago.

The CSW scheme in Westwood started in February. Since then there have been six completed periods of monitoring. A total of 14,842 vehicles have been counted of which 1,452, or 9.8%, were speeding at 25 mph or more (with a small minority travelling at what the police class as excessive speed - the fastest recorded being 49 mph exiting the village at the turning to The Pastures). The clear conclusion is that the overwhelming majority of drivers drive within the limit. The result is safer roads for all.

Parish Councillor Alan Wheals

Article published: 01 Oct 2014

Community Speed Watch [CSW] and other road safety matters

[ April 2014] The CSW team were out and about for the first time in February. This is a volunteer team of 10 residents in our Parish who have all been fully trained, vetted and approved by the Police.

In partnership with Wiltshire Police, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire & Swindon, and Wiltshire Council, we are "Driving Down Speed, Driving Up Safety" for all users of our roads.

Headline statistics : Although impacted by the recent bad weather, the CSW team spent a total of 9 hours spread over a week at various times of day on the Lower Westwood Road. During this period, they counted 2,019 vehicles [that's nearly 4 every minute !], of which 224 vehicles [11% of total vehicles counted] were reported for driving at 25mph or more. Of these, 56 were over 30mph, and one was caught driving at 47mph ! 171 warning letters [76% of total speeding vehicles] have sent out by the Police, who have also visited 25 people at their homes, including the person driving at 47mph ! 3 drivers were caught speeding twice and they have received more strongly worded letters.

You will be very pleased to know that only 39 vehicles [17% of the total number of vehicles caught speeding] were residents of Westwood Parish. This indicates that the vast majority of speeding drivers [83%] are passing through the village.

The CSW team will be active again later this month. However, it is very unfortunate that one of the CSW team was verbally abused last month by local residents and felt it necessary to resign. This is unacceptable conduct towards a member of your own community who is helping to improve your safety on our roads. We do hope this does not occur again as, like any other antisocial behaviour, it may be reported. The Police are advised every day the CSW team is active if support is required and, on some occasions, the Police will themselves be present.

The Wiltshire Council undertook metro counts at several sites along the Upper Westwood Road during January. The results showed that average speeds for the majority of drivers were no greater than 24mph. The Parish Council therefore resolved that the existing 20mph speed limit and traffic calming signage is sufficient and no further action be taken unless there are material changes to driver behaviours in future.

Small yellow camera signs are on order and will be installed on existing poles along the Lower Westwood Road in due course. In the meantime, their absence does not negate the validity of CSW activities and approval from the Police.

Later in the Spring, the delimiter sign on the exit from Upper Westwood towards Freshford will be moved to the other side of Downside Nurseries and additional 20mph roundels placed on the road. Additional roundels will also be installed along the stretch of road approaching Lower Westwood towards the blind bend at The New Inn. At the same time, the On-Carriage Footpath will be extended on the South side from the junction to Westwood Manor to just past the first dwelling on entering the village. Cllr. Richardson

There is strong community support for CSW. However, the team of volunteers who do the monitoring is still small. We would welcome additional volunteers so that the workload for everyone is reduced. If you simply want to know what is involved or know what you already want to volunteer, please contact Cllr Wheals who has now taken over responsibility from Cllr Richardson for coordinating the CSW activity in Westwood. Vetting and appropriate training will be provided by the very helpful CSW Police team based in Trowbridge. Cllr. Wheals 


Article published: 07 Apr 2014

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