A PUB landlady has told how she used old veg boxes and yellow paint to make a pair of speed cameras after seeing a spate of road smashes outside her boozer.
Emily Cook, 37, took the law into her own hands after failing to persuade her local council and cops to improve road safety on the busy main road through her village, Shurdington, Gloucs, where locals have reported cars zooming through at speeds of up to 80mph.
Emily says in one accident earlier this year, a car veered off the road and ploughed into concrete planters outside her pub, the Bell Inn.
“Another few inches to the left and that car would have smashed through my pub,” said Emily.
And two months ago she watched in horror as a mini was crushed between a bus and another car in a multi-vehicle pile-up outside the pub.
So, she rolled up her sleeves and got crafting, she said. “I had a load of old cardboard veg boxes from the kitchen deliveries in the cellar and found some yellow paint and made my own speed cameras,” the pub boss said.
“I strapped them onto lamp posts outside the pub – one in each direction – with zip ties in the middle of the night.
“They looked pretty realistic, even if I say so myself.”
And, she said, they slowed the traffic down.
“Immediately, the traffic started going slower and there were no accidents.”
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But her DIY traffic calming measures were short-lived. After just one week, killjoys took her “cameras” down and they haven’t been since.
Emily said: “I was really annoyed when they were removed. Next day, the traffic was back to whooshing through the village.
“But if those pretend cameras saved just one person or a dog from getting injured in a crash, then I’m happy.”
She says she has now gone back to campaigning for speed safety through dialogue with councillors and police.
In the village, most locals support Emily’s push for speed safety.
One, retired bank worker Pam Allen, 64, said the traffic was “horrendous”.
She said: “Cars and motorbikes tear through the village.
“And it’s not just the speeds they do, it’s the sheer volume of traffic on the main road running through. Night and day, traffic is constant.
“Then motorists get frustrated and overtake and that’s when you get the accidents. It’s so dangerous. Some of these idiots have been doing 80mph, according to the community council, who organise speed gun sessions at the side of the road to collect data.”
Another resident, Julie Adams, a 54-year-old voluntary worker, said: “There’s far too much traffic and most of it is going too fast.
“I see them tearing up and down this road all the time. There’s a 30mph speed limit but most of them do double that.”
Retired domestic assistant Janet Miles, 71, who walks her dogs, Rupert and Zoe, along the main road every day to a local playing field for exercise said the traffic was “terrifying”.
She said: “It is very, very busy and in places the pavements are so narrow it’s hard to avoid stepping onto the road itself.
“The road is so busy because it links Cheltenham to the M5.
“Cars come off the motorway and think they can still drive at 70mph.
“There’s so much traffic it can take five minutes to wait for a gap just to cross the road most days.”
But retired engineer Alan Rogers, 81, who lives opposite the Bell Inn, said he’d like to see the speed limit raised from 30mph to 40mph “so traffic can get moving through the village quicker”.
He said: “If cars could go quicker, the traffic would flow better and there’d be few hold-ups so motorists wouldn’t get frustrated and do stupid things.
“I didn’t see the fake cameras but I did notice traffic crawling along a bit slower for a few days. That was making the congestion worse, in my opinion.
“Speed cameras here would be a stupid idea.”