Ray Crowther

About Ray Crowther

Ray Crowther is here Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am with the mid-morning show – Stafford‘s community hub, a daily mix of consumer advice, topical local discussion, current affairs and good music.

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New Deer Deterrent planned for busy Cannock Chase Road

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Staffordshire County Council Ranger Service will be installing new electronic deer deterrents to help reduce a high number of collisions that happen every year.

The devices will be placed along a small stretch of the A513 between Milford and the Punchbowl in a bid to protect the animals and make the road safer for users.

The A513 thorough Cannock Chase is one of the worst for deer vehicle collisions in the whole of the Midlands. Around 35 deer were hit and killed by cars along the small 1km stretch of road in 2016.

The deterrents are activated by approaching headlights that emit sound and light as stimuli to stop deer from approaching the highway. The headlight sensors can be set off from over 300 metres down the road, causing the devices to set off an alarm with blue and yellow strobe-type lights to startle any nearby deer, hopefully causing them to run away from the road.

The 1km stretch of the A513 has been surveyed and  28 crossing points were identified. This means, on average, the deer cross this road at a point every 35 metres. With blind bends and fast speeds, deer collisions are a frequent event.

168 deer were killed on the roads on Cannock Chase and surrounding areas in 2016. Some of the cars that hit deer were written off due to the amount of damage caused by the impacts.

Ian Skelton, Chairman of the British Deer Society Midlands branch said ‘It’s hoped the new devices will help reduce deer collisions and make the notorious stretch of the A513 safer to all road used users’.

The deer deterrent will be active just before the deer rut (mating season) which occurs between late September through to mid November.

New deer warning signs will also be installed with the deer posts which is partly funded by Staffordshire County Council, Cannock Chase AONB and the Staffordshire Local Community Fund.

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Ready, Steady, Go for Stafford 10k


Around 3,000 runners are expected to line up for the Stafford 10k this weekend.

The race on Sunday (24 September) is now in its second year and organisers have increased the number of people taking part following the success of the inaugural event in 2016.

Most of the places were snapped up quickly with all participants getting a specially commissioned medal and a technical running t-shirt.

The event starts and finishes in the heart of the town centre and is organised by Stafford Borough Council.

Supporters are being urged to turn up and cheer on the runners, with organisers planning a carnival atmosphere in town, including face painting, balloon modelling and street theatre.

Councillor Mike Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure at the Borough Council, said: “The Stafford 10k is a great addition to the town’s sporting calendar and follows the huge success of our Stafford Half Marathon.

“The event has already proved popular, with competitors from Staffordshire and beyond signing up early to guarantee their place on the starting line”

He added: “They deserve lots of support and I expect to see friends and loved ones turning up to cheer them on as well as those who just want to come and soak up the atmosphere.”

The route goes past Stafford Leisure Centre, before making its way towards Beaconside, then taking in sections of the Isabel Trail, and entering Victoria Park before returning to the finish in the ‘Square.’

The race starts at 10.30am. For more information about the route and timings for the day go to www.stafford10k.com


Cyclists urged to join ‘Cycle to Work Day’

Workers in Staffordshire are being encouraged to leave the car at home and get on their bikes for their morning commute as part of national ‘Cycle to Work Day.’

The annual push on Wednesday 13 September is the national campaign that aims to promote the benefits of cycling to and from work.

Cycle shops across the county are also joining in the campaign with free bike checks and advice. Cyclists can find a participating shop by entering their postcode at  https://www.cycletoworkday.org/retailer-finder.

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Helen Fisher, Cabinet Support Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council said: “There’s huge passion for cycling here in Staffordshire and we are keen to see more people on their bikes, both for leisure and getting to and from work.

“Cycling is a great activity and ‘Cycle to Work Day’ gives us the perfect opportunity to have a go.  There’s so many benefits to cycling too.  Keeping fit and healthy, getting fresh air, reducing congestion and saving money by not using the car are all great reasons to get on your bike.”

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Jeff Stevens, 51, is a regular cyclist to work and said: “I’ve been cycling in to work for the past five years and I can’t recommend it enough. It helps me stay fit, I get outside more, it saves me money on travel costs and it’s a hugely enjoyable part of my day. When you find a good route in that’s less busy it makes you that much more confident commuting by bike. I’d definitely encourage people to have a go.”

Staffordshire County Council’s Bikeability Cycle Training also continues to deliver training to school children each year, getting them into cycling at a much younger age.

More than 80km of the National Cycle Network runs through Staffordshire as well as 240km of local rural cycle lanes.

Cyclists can also plan quicker, safer bike routes across the county with the cycle route planner athttp://cyclemap.staffordshire.gov.uk/ for more information.