POLICE chiefs have been accused of letting drivers ‘speed with impunity’ on a busy Berkshire road that has become an “F1 track without marshalls.”

Residents living near the A4 Bath Road in Hare Hatch and Kiln Green were said to be shocked after it emerged the only speed camera site on the highway - in Sonning - failed to report a single speeding incident in 2020.

This was because the camera was not operational in this year due to 'signage issues.'

Furthermore, data showed no offences were recorded at speeding enforcement sites on London Road in Twyford and Butts Hill Road in Woodley in 2019.


London Road, Twyford.Image via Google

London Road, Twyford.Image via Google


Simon Chapman, from the A4 Action campaign group, said: “This would be laughable if lives were not in danger.

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“The traffic police haven’t been seen around here for years and drivers have learned that they can speed with impunity, hence the risk to pedestrians, cyclists and especially schoolchildren and the elderly –as well as other drivers –has become extreme.

“How can Thames Valley Police not be enforcing the law on a short stretch of residential road which sees maybe 500 vehicles, including HGVs, exceeding the speed limit in just one hour?

“It’s a disgrace that they deserted their monitoring sites and left pedestrians to fend for themselves in what has become a lawless free-for-all on the highway.

“It’s an F1 race track without marshalls and that’s not the level of protection we pay for.”

Although government data shows the average speed recorded on the A4 Hare Hatch is 36mph, residents believe this data is skewed by traffic jams and the true speed of free-flowing traffic is much greater.

Karen Robinson, a local resident who lives on the A4 near the Dobbies garden centre, said she regularly observers drivers breaching the 40mph speed limit on the main road.

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She said: “How can we allow children to walk or cycle to school when hundreds of motorists are breaking the speed limit every hour?”

Roger Prew, who lives on Bath Road at Kiln Green, said speeding on Sunday mornings is particularly bad.

“I’m certain that every single vehicle is exceeding the speed limit, and that won’t change until there’s a speed camera here –which would pay for itself in no time”, he said.


Butts Hill Road. Image via Google

Butts Hill Road. Image via Google


A Thames Valley Police spokesperson explained that speed enforcement was temporarily suspended at Bath Road, Sonning, and London Road, Twyford. due to signage issues.

Signage issues caused the suspension of enforcement in Sonning, but activity has resumed this year.

They added: “Thames Valley Police operates an evidence and risk-based assessment of all potential enforcement sites, a full assessment is made and if there is evidence of speed and a risk to road users then camera enforcement will be considered as a potential solution.

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“There are a number of considerations and checks made before deploying cameras, these include: Evidence of excessive speed from speed survey data; collision and casualty data; potential risk to road users; analysis of traffic data; site assessment for suitability of mobile enforcement, including van placement and operational requirements.

“Effective engineering measures must also be considered such as the road layout including road humps, chicanes and tyre rumble devices, these can be implemented by Highways England and local authorities in situations where general speed compliance is evidenced as an issue.”