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Finchampstead man builds 'Twitter speed bot' over safety concerns

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image copyrightGareth Rees
image captionGareth Rees and neighbours want improved safety measures along the A327 Reading Road

A man has created a "Twitter bot" to prove his case for lowering the speed limit where he lives after becoming fed up with drivers ignoring restrictions.

People living on Reading Road in Finchampstead have been campaigning for safety improvements along the 40mph stretch for more than two years.

Gareth Rees has now built a computer program that tweets every time a vehicle exceeds 55mph.

"There's at least one every 10 minutes," he told the BBC.

The data for the bot is sourced from iOS and Android GPS tracking systems - the same information used by phone apps to show traffic flow.

Mr Rees said his program has picked up vehicles being driven as fast as 76mph.

He added: "It only tweets when it detects speeds of more than 55mph, and samples data every eight to 10 minutes, so I'm sure it misses loads of speeders."

The 49-year-old said he set up the bot to highlight the safety of pedestrians, school children, cyclists and horse riders.

He explained: "If you walk down the street to the pub there is a high probability of a least a few vehicles passing you in excess of 55mph, with some in excess of 74mph, and this is what the data shows."

Mr Rees and his neighbours have asked the council and Thames Valley Police to consider "appropriate" safety measures, including a safe crossing for school children, and lowering the speed limit to 30mph.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said the force "delivers targeted enforcement and education, providing a deterrent designed to make roads safer".

Wokingham Borough Council has agreed to put in two speed indicator advisory signs.

Related Topics

  • Wokingham Borough Council
  • Finchampstead
  • Wokingham
  • Road safety

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