Sunday, July 09, 2006

How to keep everyone happy

Sorry, don't read any further if you actually think the answer will be contained within. You will be surely disappointed. I had my first Council surgery yesterday with one taker which was a bonus since it hadn't been advertised. The issue raised was the long awaited 20mph zone in West Street, Carshalton. This has been on the agenda for a number of years but has failed to materialise. I noticed that on the list of items that Sutton Council produce each year to bid for funding, the 20mph zone had disappeared. It was confirmed that this was because the funding was there so no more excuses.

The existing plan, however contains speed bumps to help slow the traffic. These are all situated outside houses that are very close to the road so you can imagine those residents are not happy. There has been one fatal accident and one near-fatal accident in the last few years so something needs to be done. There is agreement in this but not in the method.

West Street is very narrow but is nonetheless an arterial road out of Carshalton. The £150k disaster of the speed bumps in Woodmansterne Road should teach us something. There are alternatives. Flashing signs, speed cameras, signals, something but let's not just get the navvies in to dump their excess tarmac without giving it just a little thought and, surprise us, just a little consultation. I shall certainly be asking everyone what they want. (Feel free to leave a comment here, though it would help to state if you were a resident or not.) Anyway, I have started you off with alternatives in my suggested sign above.


Anonymous said...

I live in the Onslow Gardens 20 mph zone in South Wallington, but am in one of the roads that does not have traffic calming. I wanted the limit and still do, but the money spent has been wasted as the Police will not enforce the limit without traffic calming.

We have some rather lovely white lines painted, that disapear when cars park or when there is snow or the leaves fall in winter.

As a non-resident, I would have no problems with a 20mph limit, provided that any calming measures are obvious, whether they be physical or visual. Cushions and 20 painted signs would be best.

Unknown said...

Interesting points, Peter. The Onslow Gardens 20mph zone is a self contained residential area. The one problem with West Street is that it is a main road for those heading out of Carshalton to London but it is far too narrow for this purpose with only a small pavement. I have a natural aversion to speed humps and cushions and would prefer to see other methods considered first, though they must be, as you say, obvious. I would like to see some research as to the efficacy of the signs that flash your speed up as you pass. Long term a series of digital speed cameras connected by a wireless network would probably be best but this option is in the hands of the London Safety Camera Partnership.

Anonymous said...

When Brian Madge was head of Environmental Services he came along to our Residents' Association and gave us a talk on traffic calming. He said that Sutton didn't like the signs that flashed up the actual speed as there is a certain element of drivers that try to get as high a speed as possible to appear on the sign. LBS prefers the ones that simply flash up 30 and Slow Down.

On the 213 bus route into Kingston, there is a 20 MPH limit. They have a sign that either flashes up with a smiley face if you are under 20, or a grumpy face if you are over 20.

Unknown said...

I only thought it had a grumpy face m'lud!