Noise camera trial on A34 to crack down on anti-social drivers

Cheshire East Council has joined forces with the police and crime commissioner and Cheshire police to pilot a new scheme to crack down on noisy anti-social motorists.

The project will see a noise-activated acoustic camera trialled on a roundabout approach on the A34 Pendleton Way, between Wilmslow and Alderley Edge.

Local residents raised concerns at a public meeting last year about the noise made by cars along with A34 in Wilmslow and Alderley Edge, particularly around the Whitehall Bridge roundabout, where the camera is set to be installed later this month.

The camera will be able to record any noise above an acceptable level and identify the responsible vehicles, giving the police and council key information about the worst offenders and enabling enforcement action to be taken against them.

The acoustic camera pilot is being funded by the Commissioner whilst Cheshire East Council will fund and undertake its installation.

Councillor Craig Browne, chair of Cheshire East Council's highways and transport committee, and deputy leader of the council, said: "This is excellent news both for residents and the safety of road users – and something this council fully supports.

"This pilot scheme is another good example of our successful partnership working, with the police and the police and crime commissioner, to resolve this issue of anti-social and often reckless and dangerous driving in the area.

"This proactive, collaborative approach will complement the planned installation of the 20mph zone and traffic calming measures in Alderley Edge, scheduled for the new year, to tackle the recognised nuisance and risks faced by local residents.

"For context, 1,342 residents responded to a community survey carried out by the council's anti-social behaviour team back in the summer of 2020, which I understand was the highest response we had ever had to such a survey. These two projects are a big win for Cheshire East Council, the police and the local communities."

John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: "Making Cheshire's roads safer is a priority in my police and crime plan, so I'm pleased to have been able to fund an acoustic camera along the A34 to try and tackle inconsiderate driving that is having an impact on local residents.

"I know how frustrating these issues are and it's because of the strength of feeling at my public meeting last year that, together with the constabulary and council, we've kept this issue firmly on our agenda.

"The data we get from this trial will inform how we tackle this issue going forward. I am eager to see the difference this camera trial could make both now and in the future."

The data will be assessed once the trial is complete. If successful, discussions will take place about making the acoustic camera a permanent solution.

In addition to the acoustic camera trial, Cheshire Constabulary have sought to reassure residents through increasing police activity along the A34. This includes driver engagement days, enforcement activity with the roads and crime team using mobile cameras to catch speeding cars and putting dispersal orders in place.

Cheshire officers have also received training from the West Midlands police's Operation Hercules team, which specialises in dealing with car meets and anti-social driving.

Cheshire police Inspector Andy Baker said: "It's great that we are getting this funding from the police and crime commissioner to try and tackle anti-social driving in the Wilmslow area.

"We have identified the hotspots of where car meets and anti-social behaviour driving is taking place and we aim to crack down on the offences in the area, for the safety of the drivers and other members of the public in the area.

"There can be serious consequences from car meets and anti-social driving, so if we can prevent it from happening, then my officers are doing their job to keep the people of Cheshire safe in Wilmslow."

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Andy Brown
Monday 17th October 2022 at 11:44 am
It needs one on London Road as well.
Roy West
Tuesday 18th October 2022 at 4:18 pm
Thank you for listening to the complaints about the problems the residents have had to put up with every weekend. At least some action will show that we are not totally ignored.
David Carey
Tuesday 18th October 2022 at 5:39 pm
Any additions to resolving the noise are welcome. If the scheme is a success then hopefully the camera can be in time be re-positioned to alleviate issues on the stretch of road from the A34 roundabout to Alderley Edge village if/as required. Just a point Chief Police Inspector Baker its not just the Wilmslow residents that need to be safe, its all the surrounding areas!
David Carey
Wednesday 19th October 2022 at 5:15 am
A welcome addition to stop noise nuisance.
As the issues are not defined to just the A34 lets hope the camera can be moved if needed to other roads nearby if required.
I would add a small caveat Chief Inspector that unfortunately antisocial driving is prevalent in the surrounding areas and on the roads approaching the A34 bypass, so it is not just Wilmslow that is affected and where residents need to be safe.
Julie Flynn
Wednesday 19th October 2022 at 1:52 pm
Excellent news all round! Thank you Cllr Browne
David Carey
Tuesday 8th November 2022 at 8:04 am
I appreciate this is a trial scheme, seems a shame that the people identified so far as causing driving problems of any nature only get a warning letter from the police. Certainly hope that changes when the trial is completed.
David Hadfield
Wednesday 9th November 2022 at 1:18 pm
Just a warning letter ?
All motorists breaking the law should be fined and given a minimum of 3 points,
otherwise, what's the point if all they get is a "warning letter" ?
What a total nonsense !!

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