Vehicle Activated Sign

RoadDirection VAS pointingDateNo of daysMean speed mph85th percentile
mph
Annual average daily traffic
A56Earby (by stocks)21 April to 5 May1425.929.74105
Church RdBarnoldswick5 to 19 May1430.836.54360
A56Skipton (by stocks)2 to 9 June725.931.46623
Church RdVillage9 to 27 June1828.733.42965
A56Earby (by stocks)27 June to 13 July1625.829.64169
Church RdBarnoldswick13 July to 6 Aug2430.335.62957
A56Earby (by Bells Farm)6 Aug to 20 Aug1426.732.07302
Church RdBarnoldswick20 Aug to 21 Sept3230.035.12900
A56Earby (by Bells Farm)21 Sept to 25 Oct3426.632.26635

The Parish Council purchased a new speed sign (Vehicle Activated Sign or VAS) in 2021 and is either located on a street light column on Church Rd or the A56 main road. The sign is set to flash when vehicles are detected approaching at or above 31mph.

The key benefit of this new VAS is that it also records all vehicle speeds which can be downloaded and analysed. It is always on and will not run out of power, as it is connected to the street light mains supply.

The advice from Department of Transport is to use the mean 85th percentile speeds, when considering speed implications.

Mean (average) speed provides a good overall indication of the speed environment, but it does not give a good indication of how many drivers may be exceeding the legal speed limit by a significant amount.

85th percentile speed helps to show this by indicating the speed not exceeded by 85% of the traffic surveyed, and hence is the level exceeded by the other 15%.

Thresholds above which vehicle speeds are regarded as “high” in a 30mph speed limit are mean >30mph and 85th percentile >35mph.

The table above shows that A56 main road speed data are below these thresholds whereas the Church Rd speed data are above. This information has been sent to the traffic bureau, however enforcement is not automatic as they also consider road traffic collisions.

We consider that the VAS has improved speed awareness and has hopefully changed the habits of some drivers.