The following is taken from Stroud Mayor Kevin Cranston's column from this week's SNJ.

The five months of data from Stroud’s vehicle activated signs makes for dismal reading. Up to 80% of drivers are ignoring the 20mph speed limit on the London Road.

Up to 77% of drivers are exceeding the limit on the Bisley Old Road and on Parliament Street. Speeds of up to 68mph have been recorded by the signs.

It’s appalling on many levels. Breaking the speed limit is anti-social behaviour. Doing so in a built-up area where there are pedestrians creates an unnecessary danger. It creates stress and anxiety and ruins the community feeling.

The town council backed the introduction of 20mph limits because it makes the town a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians.

The vehicle activated signs were introduced to act as a deterrent.

While the signs have had a positive impact with drivers slowing down around the signs and driving at lower speeds, they have not served as the successful deterrent as we had hoped.

In order to improve the safety of our streets the Town Council has been granted funding from Gloucestershire County Council for automatic number plate recognition signs.

These will be used to capture the number plates of repeat offenders.

Gloucestershire Constabulary helped us set up a community speed watch group and has trained around 30 people to be involved with this. A PCSO recently attended Stroud’s road safety group and took actions from this which the local policing team is looking into.

Then we come to the wider issue of climate change. As a Town Council we are committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Transport accounts for something like a quarter of the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions, and its contribution is growing by about 2.5 per cent a year.

Every person has a role to play and one easy way to reduce your carbon emissions is to cut your speed. Making our roads safer will also encourage more people to walk and get on their bikes.

Breaking the speed limit is anti-social. Full stop.