Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Safe Streets are Naked

a 20mph traffic signLast week Area Committee 3 approved two 20mph schemes for Coppice and Gilbert Colvin Schools that included the provision of Road Humps.

Last October I posted about a report in the Evening Standard that said the London Mayor wants to make all London’s residential streets a 20mph limit. The interesting part is that he wants to do this without using road humps. I asked “Have Barnet finally made their point with their reduction in road accidents?” Ken wants to use cameras that measure average speed over an area.

Yesterday evening the TV London news screened an item on the London Mayor’s proposals for cycling, following the lead of Paris by providing bikes for hire. This was reported in the Guardian last Saturday. One telling paragraph reads:

“As part of the plans the mayor's office hopes to persuade local authorities in these areas to introduce 20mph speed limits and remove all road humps so motorists and cyclists are travelling at roughly the same speed.”

This is not new, it’s been happening on the continent, and a few enlightened places in the UK, for some time: see here.

Recalling his first project, Monderman said, "When we do traditional traffic calming with speed bumps we typically expect about a 10% drop in speed. But with no disincentives, the speed was down by almost 50% - down from 57 km/h to under 30 km/h. I could not believe my eyes. All we had done was make a village look more like a village."

We have seen too many of our communities destroyed by some of our traditional approaches to traffic. This new approach is a breath of fresh air and it shows us how we can rebuild communities, reduce personal injuries and collisions, encourage more pedestrians and cyclists, improve our built environments and bring benefits to our local economies. And with the added bonus of cuts to congestion, no-one can dismiss it as a Green anti-car campaign. Indeed, it is gaining cross-party support in many councils.

The London Mayor is, I believe, Chairman of TfL. It is about time he got to grips with this department. And it is about time that Redbridge Council moved into the 21st Century.



  1. As a devoted cyclist I am wholly against road humps, they are a positive pain in the posterior, they are dangerous when wet and they slow down the cycling rythm thereby adding to the journey time.
    They are a down-right nuisance and should be banned. The only way to 'enforce' a 20 mph speed limit is to use flashing signs which instruct drivers to slow down if they are exceeding the limit, that should be enough in a law abiding and civilised society; just where did ours go I wonder!!

  2. 20 mph? Such a high speed must remain no more than an aspiration in Barkingside High Street.

  3. I tried to post on the Redbridge-i, but apparently they are having a political purdah from 18th March to 1st May.

    After the Capital Program Corporate Panel meeting held on the 17th March 2008, it became abundantly apparent why the borough has so much street clutter.

    Two thirds of external funding comes from TfL, you know with the chairman who said, I hate cars, if I get any powers again i'd ban the lot, well he got some power, and promptly set about offering councils 'grants' to carry out schemes that included putting into place, Kerb build outs, direction priority islands, (strangle streets / jam traffic) excessive traffic islands, (Emergency services cannot get down the middle of the street when the traffic is blocked both ways), cheap and miserable speed humps (enviromentally unfriendly, deflection physics ruin roads and cars), more bollards and signs (unsightly excessive road furniture).

    According to LBR's director of highways "he who pay's the piper gets to call the tune" LBR residents have had to put up with all of the negative affects of the above, because to qualify for TfL money, the money must be spent on TfL's schemes (all listed above).

    From what I can see of the LBR highways capital budget programme paper listed Here the majority of the 'grants' come with the sole intention of making life as hard as possible for owner drivers, parking restrictions, bollards, bus priority schemes etc.. all with the sole intention of getting us all on to London Transport buses, (get your oyster card, we want to know EVERTHING about you)

    Councillors expressed concern at the relationship with TfL and the borough, they requested that hopefully the PFI contract bid that is currently with the Government would be approved, the roads could be maintained to a much better standard, and we would not be at the mercy of TfL for some meagre funds.

    Apparently there is a national crisis with the condition of the countries roads and no-one in central Government has any strategic plan to deal with the crumbling infrastructure (tens of billions of pounds are needed) so a red surface treatment here, and a new green surface treatment there, are just papering over the cracks of a tired road structure.

    Cheers Ken..


    Since when was explaining the facts political?

  4. Well, looks like 30's dirty, 20's plenty an ,15's the speed of dreams.

    It's official, war has been declared on the motorist!

    Now where's my red flag, so I can walk in front of your vehicle to warn other motorists of your precence!