Speed awareness drive in High Melton wins Banks Renewables grant support

February 23, 2017 | Community News

The accompanying image shows (centre) Lewis Stokes of the Banks Group with High Melton Parish Councillors (from left) Mary Srivastavia, Adrian Ashfield, David Lawson and Kath Johnson 

A long-running campaign to stop traffic speeding through a South Yorkshire village has won a four-figure boost from a renewable energy firm.

The Parish Council in High Melton near Doncaster has been working for several years to minimise the dangers caused by vehicles using the main road through the village as a short cut to the A1 and other nearby towns.

Part of the project included the conversion in 2014 of two of the three existing matrix signs in the village into flashing speed awareness signs, with the work being undertaken with the help of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and a grant of £2,388 from Banks Renewables, which operates the nearby Marr wind farm.

And Banks has now returned with a further £1,000 grant from the community benefits fund linked to the wind farm, which has enabled the third sign to now monitor and flash up the speed at which traffic is approaching the village, so that drivers know when they’re over the limit.

To support the project, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council provided the equipment at cost price and installed it free of charge.

Feedback from local residents on the signs’ impact on traffic flow has been positive, and the Parish Council is now looking at other ways of ensuring that vehicles passing through the area do so on a safe and considerate way.

Sue Trenerry, clerk to High Melton Parish Council, says: “The volume of traffic has built up considerably over the years as the surrounding towns have expanded, and with the village also being very close to the A1, we’ve had real problems with inconsiderate and dangerous drivers travelling along our main road without paying enough attention to what’s around them.

“We felt ensuring all drivers were made fully aware of the speed they were doing would be the most effective way of getting them to stick to the limit, and being able to communicate this to them as they’re coming into the area seems to be driving the message home.

“The feedback that we’ve had on the signs so far has been encouraging, and those that come through the village regularly will hopefully quickly get used to where they need to start slowing down, so that they’re travelling at a safe speed when they reach us.

“There’s still work for us to do to keep reducing the number of speeding vehicles that come our way, as well as to stop people parking their cars on the road inconsiderately, which can create problems in itself, but the support we’ve had from Banks Renewables and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council for this latest part of the project has allowed us to get this vital work carried out far sooner than would otherwise have been possible.”

The Marr wind farm community fund provides around £8,200 of funding every year – or just over £200,000 across the scheme’s 25-year lifespan – for projects undertaken by local groups and voluntary organisations, to ensure that a range of long-term improvements to the facilities available in surrounding communities result from its presence in the area.

Around £40,000 has been given to local community projects from the Marr fund in the last five years, including donations to Hickleton Parish Council, St Peter’s Church in Barnburgh, St Wilfrid’s Church in Hickleton and Barnburgh & Harlington Junior Football Club.

Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, adds: “The Marr wind farm community fund was specifically designed to support local community projects such as this, and we hope the admirable work done so far by High Melton Parish Council to tackle speeding traffic in the village continues to be successful.”

Any community groups in Barnburgh, Brodsworth, Hickleton, High Melton, Marr, and Sprotbrough & Cusworth that are interested in applying for funding from the Marr community benefits fund can find out more information about doing so by contacting James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342

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