11 September 2009

20mph Zone in Forest Hill

Below is the Forest Hill Society response to Lewisham council's plans for a 20mph zone between Wood Vale and Devonshire Road.

The Forest Hill Society Executive, after reviewing the council’s own statistics and proposed plan, could not support this proposed 20mph zone as it is, nor could we support the road humps being introduced in this wholesale manner. There is widespread support for this view from the Tewkesbury Lodge Estate Residents Association (TLERA), although they will respond separately.

This view was confirmed by the council’s own statistics showing the maximum speed that 85% of traffic are travelling at along these roads are in most cases below the 24mph guidelines.

There were some strong views from the Executive committee that most people “would prefer that drivers kept their eyes on the road, and not their speed odometers”. There was general agreement that most people did not perceive a speeding problem in this area, and council statistics showed that there was not a significant accident problem either. One other view/comment was “the money spent on this consultation could be better spent on improving the bus stop at Sydenham Rise, which would only cost £8k-£10k and benefit the wider community greatly”.

Therefore, the Forest Hill Society asks that Lewisham Council abandon this proposed 20mph Zone and humps as is, and instead look at a more targeted, and better value for money approach summarised below:

  • Manor Mount - statistics shows that of 85% drivers are going below 23mph, which is well within government guidelines. The drivers going down the “wrong way” go at 30.9mph because they are trying to avoid being caught.
  • We believe it would be better to have temporary or permanent cameras in place on the one-way Manor Mount System, or a sign saying “mobile traffic enforcement cameras operate in this area” to discourage people entering the wrong way down this road, and thus bring speeds below 23mph and thus no need to introduce a 20mph zone on this street.
  • We support some limited speed restrictions or traffic calming outside schools, nurseries or places where known accident hot spots are, say at junctions. Although, as per council’s own statistics there is no widespread accident problem within the proposed 20mph zone.
  • Waldenshaw Road - This road does appear to have a minor speeding problem of average 27.3 for one-way and 31.5mph for the other, after looking at the Lewisham Council statistics. However, the Forest Hill Society ask that Lewisham Council look to other means of speed control, which does not involve reduction in parking spaces or road humps/cushions.
  • General - If against our recommendation the council does pursue their proposed 20mph zone, then we would be happy to work with Lewisham Council to come up with a sensible plan that is targeted and meets local needs.
In summary we welcome the opportunity to consult on this proposal, and ask that Lewisham Council abandon the proposal and implement the above suggestions as an alternative which will be just as effective, but not be anywhere near as costly to implement and run. The money could be better spent on other road improvement work and real safety measures.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Interesting. I take it you support the principle of a 20mph speed limit in residential areas, but just don't support the speed humps etc as the method of enforcing it?

The piecemeal approach of rolling out small 20mph zones, which Lewisham has followed over the last few years is, I think, rather dictated by TfL policy and funding.

A borough-wide 20mph speed limit on residential roads, enforced using average speed cameras, would be my preference. The previous Mayor of London said he would support such schemes, but unfortunately the current one doesn't.