Keswick’s first roadside electronic sign aimed at reducing traffic speed is now in position after a six-year wait.
The flashing speed indicator device (SID) has been installed at Chestnut Hill to encourage motorists to slow down and observe the 30mph speed limit as they pass on the busy A591 during the descent into Keswick.
It signals the culmination of a successful, long-running campaign led by councillor David Burn to persuade Cumbria County Council to approve a SID to aid road safety following a series of crashes and near-misses on the steep, bending section of Keswick’s main link with the South Lakes.
“It is hard to believe that I first raised with county highways the possibility of having a SID on Chestnut Hill at a meeting with them on 21st July, 2014,” said Mr Burn, Keswick’s deputy mayor.
“It has been a long, hard slog but hopefully road safety will be improved at this location.”
The new SID was installed on Tuesday and is solar-powered in line with Keswick Town Council declaring a climate change emergency in July last year and adopting a policy of being as “green” as possible.
The SID cost £7,000 and was paid for by Keswick Community Asset Company (KCAC) from takings at the pay-to-use public toilets it owns in the Bell Close and Lakeside car parks.
Mr Burn has also campaigned for a SID to be installed on High Hill, another busy route which is used by motorists going in and out of the town and to and from Keswick School.
This has not yet proved successful but he has at least got agreement for rumble strips to be installed there in an attempt to slow down traffic.
He thanked councillor Tony Lywood, Keswick’s representative on the county council, which is responsible for highways, for his support.
Mr Lywood, who is also chairman of KCAC, said: “I am very happy that Keswick’s first speed indication device is finally installed on Chestnut Hill.
“I want to thank Cumbria County Council for finally getting this up and running and we have worked well, if slowly, together.
“I want to particularly thank councillor Burn whose stubborn determination to get a SID on Chestnut Hill has finally paid off. From now on, he will be referred to among councillors as El Sid!”
Mr Lywood said he would like to see further SIDs installed at other speeding hot-spots in Keswick, including High Hill.
The roadside signs have lights which flash up a passing vehicle’s speed, asking it to slow down if it is going too fast.