Aiming to stop speeding drivers in Yarmouth

FORMER hotelier Ken Bloodworth was fed up of seeing cars speed past his house, screech their tyres when they realised they had to stop and cause accidents.

So when police motorcyclists with speed-guns stopped visiting Caister Road, he asked police if he and his neighbours could patrol North Yarmouth's streets instead.

After years of campaigning, police gave him an accurate speed-gun, a box of hi-vis jackets and Community Speed Watch signs to put up on lampposts.

A band of residents - including a part-time accountant and a scoutmaster - can now been seen with their speed-gun making sure motorists are driving safely in North Yarmouth.

Grandfather Mr Bloodworth, 74, is the chairman of North Yarmouth Road Safety Group.

He said: 'We've been campaigning for a decade trying to get something done with speeding around here - some of them police have caught doing 70mph in a 30mph limit and we've had some very serious accidents.

'They come out of the Caister Road garage and somebody in the outside lane just hits them.

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'Now when people see us they think and slow down.'

The group keep records of people clocked at more than 37mph in a 30mph zone and send details of the car's number plate, colour and make to police.

They do not have the power to issue fines, but police will send a letter to offenders and repeat offenders will become targets for police enforcement action.

Part-time accountant Brenda Hammond, who is vice chairman of the group, said: 'People get a letter with Norfolk Constabulary on it and it frightens them and makes them think before doing it again.'

And guest house owner Bob Junker, who is also a scoutmaster, added: 'It's a deterrent - that's all we can do. They see us here one week and it makes people think 'are they going to be round the corner?''

The group currently patrols at five locations in North Yarmouth and Caister - in partnership with Caister Road Safety Group.

Police must assess each location - due to health and safety legislation - and tell the group where it is safe to stand, and signs must be put up telling motorists a speed check is in place.

They patrol at least twice per week, and are working with police to add more locations to the list.

The group have been told they cannot operate in Caister Road due to the risks of people suddenly braking in a dual carriageway, but they patrol Barnard Avenue, Lawn Avenue and North Denes Road among others.

A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: 'Community Speedwatch schemes are set up in locations where residents have expressed a concern about speeding vehicles in their locality along a particular stretch of road.

'They help empower local people to help reduce speeding in their village and surrounding areas and be part of the solution to a common concern.

'Motorists, who are caught breaking the law, will have their details recorded and will receive a letter warning them to keep their speed down.

'Those who persistently offend will become targets for police enforcement action.'

The next meeting of North Yarmouth Road Safety Group is at the Cleasewood Guest House, 55 Wellesley Road at 7.30pm on Monday, July 16.

A table top sale to raise funds will be held at Yarmouth High School at 1pm tomorrow.

For details, email Ken Bloodworth at kenblood@talktalk.net or call 07837 960187.

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