A FAIR DEAL FOR THE MOTORIST
RESIDENTS REJECTED BOROUGH-WIDE 20MPH1
IN THE CONSULTATION, 55% DID NOT SUPPORT
THE COUNCIL. OUR VIEWS MUST BE RESPECTED.
LBHF IS NOW CURRENTLY TRYING TO BRING IN
‘NEARLY BOROUGH-WIDE 20MPH‘.
NEARLY BOROUGH-WIDE 20MPH or ‘CREEPING BOROUGH-WIDE 20MPH’?
LB Hammersmith & Fulham ran a totally one-sided consultation in 2015. Its propaganda drive was paid for out of money extracted from council tax payers (‘TfL money’). Even so, only 45% of those responding supported the proposal (details here with some arguments to balance the LBHF propaganda).
(It almost certainly broke legal guidelines by denying residents balanced information on which to decide, so is unsound as a footing for LBHF to go-ahead. An official complaint was made to the Director of Transport and Highways.)
LBH&F has now adopted a slightly watered-down proposal, details below.
IS THE REVISED PROPOSAL BOROUGH-WIDE 20MPH BY STEALTH?
After receiving a barrage of complaints from unhappy residents, LBHF released a revised proposal on 26 Feb 2016. The news release was full of spin; and is again attracting critical comments from residents – you can give your own views.
How LBHF can claim both to be to be keeping 'a manifesto commitment'2 (‘20mph on all residential roads’, including main roads, as these have dwellings) and 'listening' (and thus going for a cut-down version)?
Both could only be true if it is intending to goes ahead with some roads first and the remaining ones later. The contradictions were explored in a letter to the Council leader (Page 3), who has since stated “The cabinet paper provides full details of exactly what the council will now do. That is exactly what we will stick to and we will not do anything other than stick to that.”
If he is correct, then it falls short of the ‘manifesto commitment’. If the climbdown is tactical, then it is only paying lip service. Whichever way you look at it, it does not convey trustworthiness.
THE REVISED PROPOSAL IS SUBSTANTIALLY ‘BOROUGH-WIDE 20MPH’
The ‘Cabinet Paper’ is effectively several documents, including a Report (spin warning on claims like 20mph limits could speed up journey times – a resident has found the opposite!) and Appendices, such as a map.
LBHF’s preferred approach (Option Two) is to
Impose 20mph limits on all side-streets.
Impose 20mph limits, ‘at least on a trial basis’, on roads that might be considered ‘main roads’ or thoroughfares (e.g.)
King Street, Glenthorne Rd, Beadon Rd, Paddenswick Rd, Stamford Brook Rd, Askew Rd, Du Cane Rd, Bloemfontein Rd, Old Oak Rd, Shepherds Bush Green, North End Rd, Stephendale Rd, Carnwath Rd.
Goldhawk Rd, Wood Lane, Uxbridge Rd, Shepherds Bush Rd, Hammersmith Rd, Fulham Rd, Lillee Rd, would all be mostly 30mph but have stretches with 20mph limits.
Practically only Scrubs Lane, Fulham Palace Rd, Fulham High Street, Dawes Rd, New Kings Rd, Kings Rd, Wandsworth Bridge Rd and Putney Bridge Approach, are kept at 30mph (plus short stretches of Wandsworth and Putney Bridges).
(While not covering all residential roads, it does cover the odd ‘industrial’ road like Mitre Way W10 - and presumably roads like Ariel Way W12 and Depot Road W12 as ‘side roads’.)
MAKING MONEY OR COSTING US MONEY?
Traffic calming is not being imposed as yet, but might be later with separate ‘funding from TfL’ (i.e. from the money added to our council tax bills). This is money that could be used to keep our bills or public transport fares down – or used on better approaches to road safety that address the wider causes of casualties.
It is claimed in the Report that there are no other costs, although this is dubious. It notes there are costs for sign maintenance ‘within the existing budget’. Other local authorities have identified significant costs here, and for monitoring – with a view to implementing traffic calming measures (Paras. 1.9, 13.2, 13.3).
Tucked away in the Report (Para 4.4) is the wording “traffic calming measures are costly to implement and maintain, and they do raise concerns about ground vibration and driver discomfort.” Indeed LBHF has previously admitted there was one claim for damage a year. As yet, a request for LBHF to supply annual costs has gone unanswered in spite of assurances of an answer in January!
LBHF admits that ‘20mph zones’ (i.e. with ‘traffic calming’) are to ‘discourage the use of motorised transport’ – i.e. an anti-motorist measure to stop local residents and businesses going about their daily lives.
We have never claimed that LBHF is out to make money from the scheme - it is central government (the Treasury) that profits from speed camera fines. However drivers stand to lose in other ways – fines, points on licence and higher insurance costs from a mean-spirited speed limit.
The new limit could also be enforced by the Community Roadwatch scheme (speed traps). Safe drivers could be prosecuted for doing a speed – yes, 25mph or less - that is legal in most of London and the UK.
THE WRONG ‘SOLUTION‘ TO THE ROAD SAFETY PROBLEM
Our original campaign webpage covers other aspects of speed limits, such as
Local casualty reports
The causes of accidents, including at low speed
The Highway Code and what all road users must do
More effective road safety measures, and our money better spent
No speed limit change is necessary. The Highway Code regards the 30mph limit as a MAXIMUM. It always requires drivers to adapt their speed to the conditions, and allows for the prosecution of anyone who drives irresponsibly.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST AND SUPPORT
Some residents have been receiving ‘interesting’ replies to their complaints against the original proposal. Click here for more information on this and our response putting the record straight.
Our website will be updated in the light of developments.
Feedback and suggestions may be sent to saferhf30 ‘AT’ btinternet.com
1. On borough-run roads; excludes TFL-run A4, A40 and A3220.
2. There seems to have been some confusion, or at least inconsistency, in LBHF circles in referring to the ‘proposal’, as correspondence shows. Abridged for brevity and privacy.