Message from Northleach Community Speed Watch Team

To date, Northleach has maintained a pretty good safety record, and it is the intention of the Town Council, the Community Speed Watch volunteers and the majority of residents to keep it that way.

In September last year, Gloucestershire Highways placed speed strips across the roads to three of the entrances to the town for a period of seven days. These strips recorded the speeds of all vehicles passing over them. Thankfully the majority of motorists were recorded as being at or below the 30mph limit.

Unfortunately, during that one week alone, of the 33,250 vehicle movements in and out of town almost 1,300 of these movements showed that a few drivers feel that our 30mph limit did not apply to them. Had those drivers been caught by the police, most if not all would have been fined £100 and received points on their driving licence. One motorist would have recieved a driving ban! It is apparent that motorists entering Northleach appear to slow down after they have passed the 30mph signs when they should have slowed down to 30mph or less before they pass them.

Northleach now has a number of local volunteers who have been trained in the use of speed detection devices. Their intention is to educate drivers that the speed limit is in place throughout town, and change driving behaviour to encourage people to stick to the 30mph limit consistently. Note however, that persistent offenders exceeding the town’s 30mph speed limit, or individual excessive speeds recorded will be reported to Gloucestershire Police, who will deal with the matter accordingly.

Remember, our local Speed Watch volunteers are not there to persecute the motorist but to remind both visiting and local drivers that they are entering a 30mph zone and try to maintain good safety record of Northleach. After all, it’s our children, elderly and pets that cross the town’s roads.

If you would like to become a Community Speed Watch volunteer, please contact the Clerk.

Freezing Temperatures Cause Icy Roads

Motorists are being urged to take extreme care as freezing temperatures cause widespread ice on roads across the county.

Gloucestershire County Council has been out over the weekend and overnight gritting roads to try to prevent ice from forming. Gritting teams were out throughout the day yesterday, treating the roads and ploughing to remove snow, with up to 12 inches falling in parts of the county.

To ensure roads were treated again before temperatures dropped overnight, a second team was brought in during early evening and a complete grit run of all A and B roads in the central area took place at 7pm last night. But when temperatures plummet below -7, grit become less effective. Below -10, grit has no effect at all. Last night, the county saw averages temperatures of around -10 with some areas dropping to as low as -17. This has led to widespread ice forming on the roads with particular problems in urban areas of Cheltenham and Gloucester.

The council already has fleets out around the county, but with temperatures likely to fall to below -7 again, ice is likely to remain on the roads. Cllr Stan Waddington, cabinet member for environment, said: “I completely understand people’s frustrations, but when we’re seeing temperatures as low as -17 no amount of gritting will make any difference. “Unfortunately, grit does not work when it’s this cold and there is simply nothing we can do about that. We will continue to do all we can to keep the roads moving, but I am afraid that there are no easy solutions here. I would advise people to make essential journeys only and to take extreme care if they have to go out in the car and check the forecast before leaving.”

Motorists are advised to stay off the roads if possible, but if you do have to drive, do so with extreme caution.

Tips on winter driving can be found online at

Inspector Keith Fagan, Gloucestershire Police, said: “Due to the current adverse weather conditions we are continuing to advise drivers not to make their journey unless it is absolutely necessary. If you must travel then the first thing I would always recommend is that you allow plenty of time to complete your journey.”

  • Trying to reach a destination within a tight time-scale, especially in poor weather conditions, increases stress and the potential for an incident.
  • Drivers are also urged to prepare their vehicle and make sure it is in good condition before setting out.
  • Make sure that you clear all the snow, ice and misting from your windscreen and other windows before starting to drive. 
  • Keep your speed steady and slow and remember that braking distances can more than double on wet or icy road surfaces.

While the council will do all it can to keep roads free of ice, residents are being urged to do their bit too by helping to clear pavements.

Last year people were worried about liability issues after clearing ice and snow themselves. But new guidance from the government on gritting your own driveways and pavements is now available on and people are being advised to ensure they’re prepared before bad weather hits.

Gloucestershire – Cold snap continues

Further light snow is expected to fall across Gloucestershire once again this evening.
Weather experts say further isolated snow showers are likely to travel from the east and could give a light covering on higher ground this afternoon into this evening. Gloucestershire County Council’s gritters will be out this evening at 7pm treating the roads following any further snow. They will be treating the main roads, which now includes town and city centres to ensure people can still access shops and businesses.

The team will be monitoring the weather overnight to decide if any further action is required.
Temperatures will continue to plummet below freezing for the rest of the week, so drivers will face icy conditions, particularly in the early mornings. Residents are urged to take responsibility for their own driveways and pavements near their homes. Guidance for people on clearing snow and ice is available on and residents are encouraged to check it out.
Safer driving advice is also available on the website.

Jenny Wilks, Gloucestershire Highways Manager, said: “This is the first snow of the year and understandably people are concerned. “So far, the snow hasn’t been particularly heavy and on the whole, roads have remained open and passable with care. “We will be out gritting again tonight to help prevent ice from forming on the main roads. “However, it is inevitable that these freezing temperatures will affect driving conditions so I would encourage people to take extra care on the roads.”