Northamptonshire village installs 'honesty boxes' in bid to catch speeders

Grand Tiddleton folk say their honesty boxes have cut speeding by 12.
Grand Tiddleton folk say their honesty boxes have cut speeding by 12.

Disgruntled residents in a Northamptonshire village hope to raise enough money to install a two-metre high sleeping policeman - with proceeds from a speeding “honesty box”.

Those living in the parish of Grand Tiddleton in the south of the county say they are fed up of motorists tearing around the village’s twisty streets.

Architects have drawn up detailed plans of the giant sleeping policeman.

Architects have drawn up detailed plans of the giant sleeping policeman.

Last week, one member of a local speed action group clocked a woman in a black Audi travelling at 88 miles-an-hour along a 30-metre cul-de-sac.

This week Clive Mansell, chairman of the Grand Tiddleton Speeding Honesty and Benevolence Box Alliance (GTSHABBA), has taken drastic action.

He has placed two so-called honesty boxes on Main Street asking those who break the limit to donate the statutory £60 on leaving the village.

Mr Mansell, a former soft cheese taster, 71, has even installed card readers to allow motorists to pay using their contactless credit cards.

The two honesty boxes are believed to be the first of their kind in the UK.

“We are already seeing the results,” said Mr Mansell, who only deposited the cardboard containers on Monday. “The other day we collected £360 in honesty payments all from the same man.

“He was racked with guilt from all the previous times he had driven like a buffoon down Main Street.

“We just found that our usual speed gun activity wasn’t working. People were just slowing down as soon as they saw the high-vis jackets before speeding up again.

“Plus with the cold winter, we couldn’t get volunteers to stand out in the freezing weather to catch the speed crims.

“This just seemed like a sensible option.”

Mr Mansell, who did not wish to be named, said there have been some unforeseen consequences.

On at least two occasions this week conscience-heavy sports car drivers have slammed on their brakes on exiting Main Street, before reversing, performing a J-turn and placing £60 in the box.

But Mr Mansell expects to raise enough money for a giant sleeping policeman faster than it takes Lewis Hamilton to lose his temper at a press conference.

On one occasion a wedding ring was even left in the deposit box with a note attached saying “that should about cover it”.

Mr Mansell - who, it has to be noted, smells incredible - said: “We reckon that within two months we will have enough to be able to build the ultimate speed deterrent.

“We want to install a speed bump on Main Street so big only high-performance 4X4 cars will be able to get up it.

“About two metres should do the job. We just think the only way to slow these people down will be an imposing wall of concrete barely passable at low speeds.”

Great Tiddleton resident Clive McDonald has welcomed the sleeping policeman plans.

“I know towsfolk think we have a slower way of life - apothercaries instead of a chemists that kind of thing,” he said.

“People think a startled field of crows takes off every time an X7 bus trundles through, but we do get problems with speeding motorists just like anywhere else."