Thursday, 25 July 2013

Can we make Mitcham Lane safe for everyone?

Locals to Tooting, may have seen the #SavetheWheatsheaf petition which I set up last Saturday. Amazing the amount of support that has been gathered in less than a week. 

This has got me thinking about the possibilities of local campaigns on my more familiar territory of #saferstreets, and how I could promote this batch of petitions and others.

Thanks to Google for streetview image - I've tweaked it a bit as you can see.
I now live near Mitcham Lane, which for those of you who don't know it, it's an A road, and pretty wide as you can see (Original google streetview link). In fact so wide that you can have cars parked on both sides, a central reservation and there is still enough space for lorries, coaches etc to pass each way. 

Using Google's measuring tape, and the satellite view it seems to me that the road is at least 10.5m wide (not including the pavements). 

Crossing this road, on foot, or by bicycle is not straightforward. 

There is clearly the space for 2m wide segregated cycle routes to be placed on the roadway in both directions ensuring that people of whatever age or ability can choose to cycle locally. 

This would help reducing the school run effect on our roads, as providing safe infrastructure such as this would make it much safer for people of all ages to cycle locally (including pupils of our local schools). 

Yes, some of the on-street car parking would need to be removed, but that wouldn't stop access to off-road car parking which several properties have along Mitcham Lane.

The good news for the motoring enthusiasts amongst you is that as the road would keep most of it's motor traffic capacity so even the engineers who think roads are all about motor traffic could be kept happy. (i.e. we don't need to get those engineers to change their views in order for them to do this type of scheme)

Would welcome your views on this before I set up another local online petition. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Our AM writes "20mph limit won’t necessarily work for Putney"

Over on the excellent website, our local London Assembly Member posted a comment earlier today.

His perspective raised a number of queries, which I've put to him and have copied below:

Why would a London-wide 20mph speed limit in your view simply be unworkable? In the past 30mph was the default speed limit with differences for other major roads, how would a 20mph speed limit be different?

I quite agree (with our AM) that the speed limit if amended to 20mph should be done with local resident support. Why can't we follow the lead of other boroughs which are consulting borough wide as to what people's views are? 

With regards to policing and enforcement, stretched local police budgets have resulted in very little enforcement taking place of the current speed limits. Perhaps we could explore community-led enforcement options? 

Given that Wandsworth Council now has direct responsibility for public health, given the positive indicators of our local trials, would it not make sense to look to roll this out across the borough, with local support via a borough wide consultation? 


I've had a prompt response and the key factor according to our Assembly member as to if 20mph can be workable depends on enforcement, be that via the police, or using cameras. This view contradicts the locally gathered evidence in Wandsworth of the two trial 20mph areas, which have seen a drop in the average speed in those areas without (to my knowledge) any further enforcement than that which is done for the roads normally. 

Our council is working on a strategy on 20mph limits for Wandsworth at the moment. If you would like to know more, Wandsworth Living Streets are organising a public meeting happening this Wednesday 17th July, at The Alma Pub. Cllr Russell King (Cabinet member for Transport) will be speaking on a range of issues, so do come along if you are free:

Wednesday 17 July, 7.30pm
The Alma Pub, Upstairs function room, 
499 Old York Road, 
SW18 1TF