West End to get a new voice

Warning signs that tell noisy revellers to keep quiet are soon to take their place in the West End of Lincoln, in a scheme from Lincolnshire County Council.

It’s a fresh bid to kerb difficulties with late-night noise in the West End, as people return home from nights out.  Last week, students were praised by the area’s Carholme Community Forum after a peaceful start to the term.

Robert Parker, County Councillor for the West End, said: “A voice-activated warning sign is a box, and when you walk past the box…a pre-recorded message speaks out. Essentially, it’s to advise people, that they’re in a neighbourhood where there are a lot of people living and to respectfully ask them to be quiet, in the nicest possible way.”

Cllr Parker compared the signs to speed-warning signs on roads: “It’s not, in a sense, an unusual way of operating. When we’re in cars and we’re driving along we can sometimes go above the speed limit without realising, but when we see those signs reminding us that we actually are travelling over [the speed limit] we generally respond to them.”

West Mercia Police Force in the mid-west of England have used similar signs to give vehicle owners security advice on leaving valuables in cars, and have seen a drop in crime. The South End of Lincoln also has these signs in place: “I think they produced one or two difficulties. One was the location, which caused a bit more difficulty than it should have done because it was hosted where people live, so it was moved to a car park where there are lots of people coming across…so it reminded us that we need to be pretty good at making sure the location is right so that we don’t disturb local people,” said Cllr Parker.

Where exactly in the West End the two signs will go is yet to be decided, although they have already been purchased. Funding came from Lincolnshire Police’s budget for tackling anti-social behaviour. Cllr Parker said: “We certainly want to be directly away from residential property, because we don’t want people to be woken up, not by revellers coming home, but by the signs themselves.

“So we’ll try to put them in areas…approaching the West End, so that people get the message before they actually come into the residential areas.  We’re going to talk to local people about the signs, but we think that there’s a chance that this could improve the quality of life for those who are sometimes disturbed late at night by people coming home and making a bit more noise than is good for the neighbourhood.”

Although Cllr Parker didn’t have the exact cost of each sign, he said they cost around “a couple of hundred pounds” each. He was also keen to point out that this was not targeted at students, but at anyone who was being loud late at night.

Speaking to The Linc, some Lincoln students were sceptical as to whether the signs would help keep noisy revellers quiet. One said: “I don’t think it will work at all to be honest. People will probably just shout back and start fights with it.”

Another added: “I think it’s probably optimistic. If you’re making noise and a person told you to shut up you wouldn’t do it and therefore you wouldn’t obey a machine either.”

One Response to West End to get a new voice

  1. John Shipton says:

    The Long Leys Residents Association working together with local councillors managed to obtain grants from the Community Travel Zone scheme.

    A few years ago the traffic lights were placed at the junction of Long Leys Road and Yarborough Road. This was due to the amount of traffic using Long Leys Road since the urban village was built there, and motorists from other areas using the road to get into the centre of Lincoln plus a short cut for lorries. In looking back at the history of Long Leys Road, it was one of the quietest roads built in Lincoln. Traffic calming measures together with traffic islands were also introduced on the same road.

    Recently, speed reduction signs were put up due to the amount of motorists speeding even though the road has a 30 mph speed restriction. The CTZ scheme run by Lincolnshire County Council has been successful for residents living in and off the Long Leys Road area. This proves that residents, councillors, and councils working together, can resolve local issues.

    With students playing their part in the West End of Lincoln, the same principles can be applied achieving the same aims – it is working together for the sake of the community!