The London Borough of Bromley have published a document summarising the Councils Traffic and Road Safety Policies written by Angus Culverwell, Director of Traffic and Parking. It will be discussed at a Committee Meeting on the 22nd November. I have picked this out for review because it is a good example for other councils to follow. In essence a rational and logical policy within the financial resources available.
You can read the complete policy in Agenda Item 13e of the meeting (see link below), but I highlight a few points here:
The cost of various road engineering measures is given as follows (which those proposing such measures should bear in mind):
Example costs to install traffic engineering measures are set out here:
a) Zebra crossing – £25k to £50k, depending on location, necessity for anti-skid road surface, kerb realignments, presence of statutory services etc.
b) Signal controlled crossing – approximately £75k to £100k, depending on location.
c) Mini roundabout – £10k to £100k, depending upon location, need for deflection, existing road surface etc.
d) Full size roundabout – £120k+ according to size and location.
e) Speed table – £20k to £100k, depending on junction, need to raise or change footways etc.
f) Speed hump – £4k.
g) Traffic island or pedestrian refuge – £7k to £15k, depending on size.
h) Bike lane – these can vary hugely in cost depending on if they are set out simply with signs and road markings or are segregated from traffic, requiring changes to the infrastructure and possible relocation of utilities.
i) Flashing warning sign – £3k to £10k depending upon size, vehicle-activated or timed etc.
j) Road marking – £50 for a small one.
The presence of utility providers equipment, usually under the footway or carriageway, can greatly affect the cost of a scheme and may render it unviable. For example, relocating one telecommunications chamber can easily cost over £100k.
It’s worth pointing out that even if TfL are financing a review of the war memorial traffic lights in Chislehurst to see if pedestrian safety improvements can be made, you can see that any change to such a complex junction could be very expensive.
Other parts of the report worth quoting are:
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN) and School Streets
Due to operational restraints, no school street will be installed in the borough unless the school is prepared to organise and operate them through the use of temporary, manned barriers. The Council will not approve LTNs with local roads blocked off and traffic diverted onto other roads. None of these schemes will be enforced using cameras.
As a general rule, the Council will not instal any new 20mph limit or zones. This is because the reduction in speed limit through signs and road markings alone does not seem to have much effect on drivers’ speeds. Since the Council is unable to enforce these speed limits, it is an ineffective use of limited resources. The Council will install part-time 20mph limits at the beginning and end of the school day with flashing lights outside schools, decided on merit. In exceptional cases, full-time 20mph limits may be appropriate in certain locations such as High Streets.
In the past, we have introduced road humps and tables to reduce traffic speeds and improve safety. However, the police, fire brigade, ambulance service and London Transport have objected to the proliferation of road humps and raised tables because of the increase in attendance times for emergency calls and discomfort and possible injury to their passengers.
Road humps and raised tables can also lead to complaints from residents about increased noise and vibration from traffic. For these reasons the council has decided not to introduce any further road humps in the borough and to only use tables as a last resort at a junction with an ongoing collision problem.
There is a range of alternative measures to encourage lower vehicle speeds, such as our vehicle activated warning signs, roadside posters, safer speed campaigns/events and driver/rider training programmes, such as the young driver traffic education scheme and Driven by Consequences.
There is a London-wide ban on parking vehicles on the footway and verges. This is covered by Section 15 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974 which came into effect in 1985. However, the Council will consider exempting a road and allowing partial or full footway parking if an absolute minimum of 1m can be maintained on the footway for wheelchair and push chair users (in line with Disability Discrimination Act 1995 guidelines), if the footway is suitable for vehicle over-run and if there is a specific reason to allow footway parking. Parking on grass verges is prohibited.
In summary this is a well thought out policy not dictated by dogma or prejudice against vehicle users as in some other London Councils. But knowing the political climate at present, no doubt some councillors will not be happy.
Environment and Community Services Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee: https://cds.bromley.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=7373&x=1
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