Questionnaires were delivered to 250 addresses in Rushton and Survey Monkey was included as an option on the Rushton Spencer website where there was also the facility to download and print the full questionnaire.
The survey was additionally promoted on the website, with a “call to action” notification in the local Link magazine (coinciding with the delivery of the questionnaire) plus a ¼ page PR article in Leek Post and Times ( March 21st).

Over the period March 1st to April 12th 2018 a total of 45 completed questionnaires was received, 35 being in paper format, 10 via the shortened format on Survey Monkey.

Quantitative Bench Marking

Each answer has been scored, with 5 being very safe and 1 being very unsafe. 3 equates with neither safe nor unsafe.

Average scores are used throughout.

Overall Ranking of Road Safety in General around Rushton

Safety when driving        3.2          44 responses
Safety when walking       2.4          41 responses

Residents clearly feel safer and more in control when driving surrounded by metal than when walking in the area, but only slightly above an average “neither safe nor unsafe “score. Walking is seen as just above “quite unsafe”

Road Safety on Leek Old Road

Safety when driving         2.1         43 responses
Safety when walking        1.2         34 responses

Leek Old Road is seen as marginally above “quite unsafe” when driving and close to “very unsafe” when walking.

Road Safety on the A523

Safety when driving          3.4        44 responses
Safety when walking         2.9        36 responses

Both driving and walking are seen as safer on the A523 than Rushton in general, however both scores are only close to “neither safe nor unsafe”.

Road Safety on Beat Lane

Safety when driving          2.3        42 responses
Safety when walking         1.4        36 responses

Beat Lane clearly vies with Leek Old Road for its poor safety scores: close to “quite unsafe” when driving and close to “very unsafe” when walking.

Road Safety when Cycling

The respondent numbers regarding cycling are much lower than above i.e
14 overall, 10 on Leek Old Road, 11 on the A523 and 12 on Beat Lane and as such should only be regarded as indicative. However, it can be surmised that cycling per se is seen as an unsafe activity on the local roads.

Cycling overall       1.9
Leek Old Road       1.3
A523                        2.4
Beat Lane               1.3

Frequency of Road Usage

This was included in the paper questionnaire in order to gain some perspective on relative road usage.
Rushton Speed Watch has collected some usage data on A523 and Leek Old Road from the sorties undertaken, but usage of Beat Lane has not been measured as it has only National Speed Limit (60mph) along its whole length from Wolfe Lowe Farm to the A523 and thus falls outside Staffordshire Police guidelines for Speed Watch.
With scoring 1 to 3 (1= frequently: 4-5+times weekly, 2=less frequently: 3-4 times monthly, 3=infrequently: less than 3-4 times annually) results from the 34 respondents suggest:

A523 is used most frequently (score 1.1)
Beat Lane is used more frequently (1.4) than
Leek Old Road (1.6)

Whilst this data cannot be seen as empirical, it does strongly suggest that Beat Lane is used frequently.

Qualitative Results

The 34 respondents to the paper survey were invited to give their unprompted opinions on their perceived issues on the three key roads plus having the opportunity to voice general comments/suggestions.

Notes on Analysis:
Similar comments have been amalgamated to produce an overall rating of “mentions” and numbers are shown in brackets after each subject.
Where a comment has been made in the general comments referring to a specific road, it has been added to the comments relating to that road.
Where a specific problem area is mentioned regarding two roads e.g. the junction of Leek Old Road with A523 at The Royal Oak, they have been shown in one road’s comments only but with “mentions” totalled to reflect weight of comment.

Scoring of each comment should be viewed as an indication of the weight of feeling expressed.

Comments relating to road conditions outside of Rushton have been disregarded.

Issues regarding Leek Old Road

Inappropriate speeding and speed in general (27) were seen as the main problem on Leek Old Road.

No footpath, dangerous for walking (14)

Narrow road width, and “pinch points” (11)

Junction with A523 at The Royal Oak (11)

Vehicles travelling on wrong side of the road and cutting corners (9)

Visibility at bends, corners and junctions due to overgrown bushes (8)

General upkeep of road surface (7)

Traffic volumes (5)

Other Comments:
*Dangerous for cycling
*Reckless overtaking
*Should be access only, not a “rat run”
*Local drink driving culture needs policing
*Weight limits need policing
*Inconsiderate parking/driving around Sugar Street School

Issues regarding the A523

Unlike comments regarding Leek Old Road and Beat Lane, there were favourable comments on this road, which reflects the relatively higher ratings in the quantitative results.

Speeding (11) was the main negative, but
No Speeding (6) due to 40 limit and cameras was the main positive.

Footpaths were seen positively (5) but criticized for being too narrow in places and allowing heavy vehicles to cause a strong side draught (6)

Being a wide mainly straight main road (5) through Rushton Spencer with good visibility (3) was also viewed positively.

Aggressive inappropriate overtaking (5)

Heavy traffic volumes (5)

Traffic crossing white lines in centre of road (5)

No safe pedestrian crossings (4)

Other Comments:

*Poor road surface/upkeep
*Should be street lighting at junction with Leek Old Road
*40mph limit needs policing on stretches between Beat Lane and Leek Old Road junction and past Nixon’s and Rushton Inn

Issues regarding Beat Lane

The main comments centre around general/inappropriate speeds (21) and the fact that there is no speed limit (10)

Road width/width variations (16)

No footpaths/unsafe walking (15)

Road surface, lining, signing and general upkeep (9)

High volume of traffic (8)

Dangerous/blind bends (7)

Restricted visibility (5) Junction of Beat Lane/A523 due to overgrown bushes cited.

Vehicles in centre of road (4)

Too many accidents (4)

Other Comments:

*Weight limits need policing
*No safe pedestrian crossing points
*Aggressive/dangerous overtaking
*Horse riding not possible
*People drive like idiots
*”It’s not just’s bad driving”

Speed Watch Team launches local Road Safety Survey……..

 Rushton Speed Watch was formed early in 2017, monitoring vehicle speeds and other road safety issues on the main roads in, through and around Rushton.

Initial funding from Rushton Parish Council, Country Fair Community Fund, and The Community Initiative Fund helped the group of 13 volunteers-soon to be 16 – obtain the necessary equipment and undertake training with Staffordshire Police. Two further grants have been successfully won in recent months which will provide additional support to reinforce the Speed Watch message around the village of Rushton.

The grant from Staffordshire County Council’s local Community Fund, received with the support of Councillor Gill Heath will be used to install permanent speed watch signage as a constant reminder that Rushton takes speeding seriously.

The second, from the Staffordshire Road Safety Grant Fund of the county’s Safer Roads Partnership, will provide a mobile speed indicator unit with a range of sites across the village.

These will encourage drivers to adhere to the speed limits 24/7 when speed watch teams are not in action.

Launching the Road Safety Survey, Martin Chester, Chairman of Rushton Speed Watch explains: “Grant Funders expect to see that the agreed action is effective. This local survey  gives Rushton residents a fantastic opportunity to comment on road safety issues and will be followed up later in the year to measure progress. It will also help formalise the many suggestions received over the past months.”

Survey questionnaires are being delivered to all addresses in Rushton but for those that would prefer to make their opinion known via the web the links to the right provide options for the full or a short version of the survey: