Trees: the latest speed reducing initiative

Norfolk County Council trials new green anti-speed campaign

TREES are at the centre of a new low cost, speed-reducing initiative Norfolk County Council are hoping will curtail speeding motorists and reduce anccidents.

The organisation's road safety wing has found that stategic positioning of trees at certain of the county's routes plays "with the driver's peripheral vision". For instance, by placing a series of trees at decreasing distances apart on the approach to a village drivers are tricked into thinking they're travelling too fast; the same idea's found on the approach to many of the UK's major roundabouts, using lines across the road instead of trees.

The Council has planted 200 trees in four villages in an effort to reduce average speeds by two to three miles per hour and cut accidents by 20 per cent.

Norfolk Council is to submit its findings to the Department of Transport in the autumn - so let's hope the idea still works when the trees are naked.

If successful, the low-cost initiative could be copied by other local authorities across the country.

"What we tried to do in some locations was get over this idea of the village dominating the road environment, not the road dominating the village, so the driver's perspective is 'I am travelling through a community, I need to respect that and slow down'," Stuart Hallett, Norfolk's casualty reduction manager told The Independent newspaper.

Mr Hallett said while the initiative was good for small communities it was no replacement for speed cameras on bigger roads.

Many councils in the UK are set to drastically reduce or scrap their speed camera initiatives due to a cut in Government funding.