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Traffic Calming in London, England Roger Lawson File: Traffic Calming in London (Revised 7-Mar-14 ) 1 Bromley Borough Roads Action Group The Location 2 Bromley Borough Roads Action Group My Local Road – Manor Park Road 3 Bromley Borough Roads Action Group More Local Scenes- 1 4

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Traffic Calming in London, England

Roger Lawson

File: Traffic Calming in London (Revised 7-Mar-14)

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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The Location

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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My Local Road – Manor Park Road

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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More Local Scenes- 1

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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More Local Scenes - 2

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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Why Do People Want Traffic Calming?

  • Road safety arguments.
  • Desire to remove traffic.
  • Fear of speeding traffic.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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Some of the Methods Used

  • Pinch Points/Chicanes.
  • Mini-roundabouts (circles).
  • Speed humps.
  • Speed cameras
  • Speed display devices
  • 20 mph zones and “Home Zones”
  • Self describing roads

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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The First Attempt

The first attempt in our local road (2 deaths resulted) – a pinch point with “gateway” treatment.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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The Second Attempt

The second attempt, speed humps and “cushions”– and why B.B.R.A.G. was formed.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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Why?

  • Claims that school children would be safer (large school nearby)
  • Claims that the road had excessive accidents.
  • Residents wanting to remove traffic
  • Alleged problems with crossing the road.
  • “Environmental” claims – noise & pollution

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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Why Not?

  • No evidence of any accidents to school children (it is a myth that accidents to children are more likely to take place outside schools – the opposite is in fact the case).
  • Accidents in the road took place mainly at junctions at the ends of the road and were not speed related – and were almost all “slight” ones anyway.
  • Traffic is only reduced because it diverts, so there is a selfish choice to shift your traffic problems onto someone else.
  • No problems for pedestrians – if there were then a “zebra crossing” was the answer anyway.
  • Pollution and noise are generally worse with speed humps.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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More Information on Speed Humps

  • The more you study speed humps, the less likely you are to support them. Problems are:
  • Negative impact on people with medical problems
  • More noise/vibration/pollution
  • More road costs and maintenance.
  • Don’t reduce accidents
  • Delay emergency service vehicles (ambulances, fire engines, police).
  • Go to www.bromleytransport.org.uk/humps.htm for the evidence

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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How Speed Humps Caused an Accident

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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Why Were Speed Hump Schemes Popular

Speed hump schemes were seen by central Government in the UK as a simple and low cost measure to reduce road accidents. There was also seen as the only solution to the problem of excessive traffic speed which had been “demonised” by pressure groups. They were also supported by “experts” based on little real evidence and hence were often recommend by road traffic engineers.

Regretably “public consultation” in the UK is often more of a gesture than a real research of views (votes against can be ignored), and the public was often apathetic or their views ignored.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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The Mood is Changing

  • Former UK Government Minister Kenneth Clarke recently admitted that he was the man responsible for introducing road humps to Britain’s roads, when he was a junior transport minister in Mrs Thatcher’s government. He said “I’m afraid I was responsible in the first job I had as minister for introducing road humps in this country. It was an awful mistake.”.
  • “No more humps” policy in Bromley, and some London boroughs removing them (Barnet et al).
  • Councillors standing on platforms against humps, and winning.
  • Greater London Assembly held a “Hump Inquiry”

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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Speed Cameras

12 in Bromley, plus mobile ones,and several thousand nationwide. $120 fine plus risk of losing licence after collecting 3.

The claimed benefits are a myth. No accident reduction at sites in Bromley, and the national figures are statistically defective.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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The Impact in London

The impact in London of speed humps and cameras on road deaths – enormous expenditure for negligible benefit.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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Mini- Roundabouts

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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Speed “Advisors”

More effective than speed cameras – highly recommended for “spot” treatment.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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Our Main Problem

  • “Populist” politics by Mayor Ken Livingstone
  • Believes “Speed Kills”
  • Hates cars – like many UK politicians, a non-driver (couldn’t drive until recently).
  • Equates cars with Environmental sin – thought the Congestion Charge would reduce pollution when it has increased it.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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A Social Experiment – Congestion Charging

  • To drive into central London now costs £8 ($15) and may soon be £25 ($47) for some vehicles.
  • Running the scheme costs 90% of the regular income – in fact it only shows a substantial surplus in accounting terms because of the 4,000 penalty charges per day (£100, ie. $190) which they have great difficulty in collecting.
  • Creates major problems for retailers, small businesses, and is simply a large inconvenience to pay.
  • Has improved congestion slightly (road speeds up by about 1 mph), but Edinburgh voted against a similar scheme.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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Alternatives to Cars - Tram/Train Schemes

New tram schemes in Croydon (below), Nottingham, Sheffield, etc, but generally uneconomic.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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Uneconomic Tram/Train Schemes

  • $5bn spent on 7 new tram schemes since 1980. Only the London DLR makes an operating profit and none have repaid their capital costs.
  • Problems: capital cost overruns, optimistic usage estimates, passengers are mainly former bus users.
  • Why do politicians like them?

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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Uneconomic Tram/Train Schemes-2

  • UK National Audit Office said in 2004: “Light rail cannot, by itself, reduce congestion significantly over the long term.”
  • Why did trams and trolley buses disappear 40 years ago?
  • Train usage is growing rapidly following increased subsidies and “privatisation” but it is enormously expensive to use (so only the very poor or the very wealthy use it) and it has not relieved congestion.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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To Summarise

Don’t believe what anyone tells you about the wonders of Traffic Calming and Public Transport in Europe – most of it is a myth.

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

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More Information & Questions

For more information go to our web site at:

www.bromleytransport.org.uk

For answers to questions, email to:

roger.lawson@btclick.com ;or telephone to:

+44-208-467-2686

(01144-208-467-2686 from the USA)

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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group