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Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood - improvements for pedestrians and cyclists

teuchter

je suis teuchter
Applying a one-speed-fits-all limit over tens of square miles covering roads as different as Kennington Road and a small narrow one way residential speed is every bit as draconian as using the same sentencing guidelines for a guy caught with with 3 spliffs in his pocket, and another carrying 50 kg of marching powder in the boot of his car.
Applying a 20mph limit to Kennington Road is not draconian; it's entirely consistent with the purpose of 20mph limits in the first place.

What is the good reason to allow people to travel at >20mph on Kennington Road?
 

T & P

|-o-| (-o-) |-o-|
Pretty much any trip inside the north and south circular is quicker by bike than by car - trip time is dictated by signals not by top speed. Pushing past at high speed just gets to you the back of the queue ahead a bit sooner, where the person on the bike catches you up again. It's tortoise and hare stuff.
This is the thing - there are lots of good reasons to reduce speeds but almost no good reasons to increase speeds. Even from the point of view of the car driver's interests - being able to drive 10 or 20mph faster doesn't really get you anywhere more quickly within London.
This does by no mean apply to all areas, and more importantly to all or most times of the day. Perhaps an agreeable compromise is to apply lower speed limits during daytime/ working hours, and a higher one at quiet times/ night time, when car journeys are undoubtedly much much quicker and certainly vastly quicker than the equivalent journey on a bicycle.

Or to put it another way: a 20 mph limit at 2 am on a road like this is so indescriably draconian and absurd, not even the police respects it whenever I've seen a patrol car on it, let alone anyone else.

Google Maps

Virtually 100% non-compliance at night times with little or no other traffic. Not because 100% of drivers are reckeless law breakers. Because in such circumestances the limit completely unfit for purpose. And when you get councils slapping borough-wide 20 mph limits that don't make excptions for the like of this, you're going to end up with most drivers thinking the council road policy is not worth the paper is printed on.
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
What exactly is the logic that leads to suggesting that speed limits should be higher at night? Is it because pedestrians and cyclists should be in bed, instead of causing trouble trying to use public roads without getting killed?
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
I'm not claiming you're supporting but if you oppose schemes like this you're helping them. To return to the Brexit analogy - Green Party peer Jenny Jones voted Leave but for completely different reasons to Nigel Farage. However, a Tory/UKIP led exit for europe will lead to a bonfire of environmental rules. One way or another she's aligned herself with a load of right wing xenophobes without 'supporting' them.

Lambeth have tried 'resident-led' schemes though Our Streets - Our Streets - The Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme | Lambeth Council - Ferndale ward was one of the first to get the funding. It's got humps all over the place but it's included in the Liveable Neighbourhood area because that simply hasn't worked. As Our Streets worked its way through Streatham over the last couple of years anything radical or effective was quickly eliminated because some people loudly objected to it.

Your quote from 5 years ago sums it up perfectly "“What has happened is that the Council has now caved in completely to the motorist. There will be a further statutory consultation on the "improvements" that the new steering group are formulating. My opinion is that its a farce. All suggestions to reduce road traffic have been ruled out of the discussion. So the new improvements will be motorist first, pedestrians and cyclists second.” That's exactly what has happened through 5 years of 'resident led' design (following? in response to?) LJ.
Im starting to find this tiresome.

I'm not opposing this scheme.

I thought these proposals for a liveable neighborhood were up for consultation?

So far I've said I want Railton road rat run stopped. I listened to residents group ideas for traffic calming on Loughborough road and I think these ideas should be funded if technically possible. Ive also said I think closing off section of CHL instead of Atlantic road should be looked at. As most of Brixton residential area is located in that part of Central Brixton and when it was closed for roadworks my anecdotal knowledge leads to me to think this would be supported by residents. I also think that social issues should be dealt with under this scheme as under the definition of liveable neighborhood they are relevant.

So how you can say I'm opposing this scheme is beyond me.
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
I'm not claiming you're supporting but if you oppose schemes like this you're helping them. To return to the Brexit analogy - Green Party peer Jenny Jones voted Leave but for completely different reasons to Nigel Farage. However, a Tory/UKIP led exit for europe will lead to a bonfire of environmental rules. One way or another she's aligned herself with a load of right wing xenophobes without 'supporting' them.
.
I find this line of argument common. If you are not for us your against us. I've had it recently here on another matter.

I find it ends up mirroring the behaviour of the those who being criticized. In this case the motor lobby.

If I don't 100% support these plans for a liveable neighborhood then I'm just as bad as a petrol head.

Doesn't matter that I've put forward alternative suggestions or supported aspects of it. Or read up what its about and have my own interpretation of it.

On Brexit. I know one person who is Lexit. I respect his views. As I said EU is pretty crap institution. Not democratic, enforcing racist borders, enforcing neo liberal austerity on countries.

I only just support Remain.

To say all leavers are giving support to Farage is wrong.

EU is seriously flawed. Its not simple stay good leave bad.

Same with altering transport/ road use.
 
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Gramsci

Well-Known Member
But if there is a collision the vulnerable road user is much more likely to live or not to suffer life changing injuries, and the collision is much less likely to happen because everyone has more time to react and stopping distances are shorter.


. .
You say this to T & P yet when I say I support 20mph you criticise me:

Post 209 on this thread not from five years ago:


How do you propose making sure 20mph is kept to? Really harsh, regular speed bumps - what about the impact on bus passengers? Speed cameras only seem to work for the 10m or so they cover and can only be installed where there have been road deaths. They’re not allowed to be hidden/covert. The Police haven’t got resource. What about the residents who object to being fined for speeding?
I don't agree with T & P but this way of arguing by you is a wind up.
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
That's correct; I went to at least one of those meetings. I live in Loughborough Junction too.

I do not agree with Gramsci's view that a majority of residents were against the scheme. Whether we're talking about the whole of the area involved, or just the residents of Loughborough Estate. It can't be proven either way, but there is no evidence that a majority were against.

Gramsci has become focussed on this as a class issue but while I don't think this part of the picture should be ignored, I think it has become over-emphasised.

At the time of the LJ closures, I remember saying that if they had been implemented on the "middle class" side of LJ - that is, say Milkwood Rd and/or Herne Hill Road had been blocked, instead of Loughborough Rd (with the same aim of reducing the north/south through-traffic in the area) then the complaint would have been that the residents on those roads were benefitting, with residents on the Loughborough estate being ignored. To some extent that is what we are now seeing with the LN proposal - complaints that there is too much emphasis on central brixton. You can find a class-based argument to oppose a scheme that includes the Loughborough estate area and you can find one that opposes a scheme that excludes it. You can't win - unless you're the car lobby.

Gramsci I don't disagree with everything you say on this but I do think you are being a bit "awkward squad". There's never going to be a perfect solution or scheme. You know that any attempts to improve things for pedestrians and cyclists always come up against a whole load of opposition. It's frustrating when even those who have previously demonstrated that they strongly support the principles, are adding to the obstacles to things ever changing.
I'd say on the Loughborough estate and residents further down Loughborough road, the area the road closure scheme most affected, majority were against.

The campaign against the road closures was led by Council tenants.
 

thebackrow

Active Member
this way of arguing by you is a wind up.
It's really not intended to be. We're going round in circles on here but from what you wrote 5 years ago we should be 95% in agreement on both why this is needed and what needs to be done. How about I buy you a beer and we have a good face to face discussion on this?

Your suggestions in Post 245 above are reasonable. Demanding that 'every technically feasible resident suggestion must be implemented' is not and I explained why upthread. On 20mph I agree it should be the London wide speed limit. Actually I think it should be lower in places (the City of London are seeking to implement a 15mph limit). However, I've been through the wringer on speeds - i've lobbied councillers, been to Police meetings, done Community Roadwatch and looked at every possible form of traffic calming. Demanding "20mph must be enforced" without a practical suggestion as to how isn't helpful. No form of calming actually reduces volumes and nor do they really slow speeds if it's a rat run or the whole appearance of the road is wrong (eg the 'motorway' like Barrington with wide lanes and a hatched central area). On enforcement there simply isn't enough Police resource to give people have a real fear of being caught (and the Police will only enforce standing in the road wearing hi-viz anyway so all but the worryingly unobservant slow down when they are enforcing). The same drivers we caught (and fined) on Roadwatch were speeding down the road the next day. It achieved nothing.

So - a beer?
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
Although enforcement of the 20 limit might be outside the scope of the liveable neighbourhood scheme, I do hope that the number of comments about it on the consultation map might end up with someone somewhere seeing that it's something that a lot of people want.

Who ultimately has the power to change things - if resources allocated to it were given to the police, for example, is that a central government thing or a mayor's office thing?
 

thebackrow

Active Member
Who ultimately has the power to change things - if resources allocated to it were given to the police, for example, is that a central government thing or a mayor's office thing?
As I understand it, Police funding is set by central government but the mayor sets (influences?) priorities. Traffic Policing was cut last year to focus more on knife crime (which the community were demanding) 122 traffic officers to join Met's Violent Crime Task Force in London

I spent years trying to get local "neighbourhood" Police to focus more effort on traffic (speeding, mobile phone use, dangerous driving). Supposedly the 'Safer Neighbourhoods Panels' were how the community set priorities for the Police but this then became ward 'promises' and then this got softened again to something else because they didn't actually have the resource to deliver against a promise. Trying to get Traffic onto the priority list was worthy of Joseph Heller. Although the community was meant to be setting priorities we couldn't have traffic on there as a ward priority because it wasn't a borough priority. Borough priorities were supposedly set to reflect ward priorities - you get the picture.

There is often talk of local authorities becoming involved in enforcing 20mph instead of the police, but unfortunately local authorities don't have the budget to do this either.
Although I think the request is that they retain the fines to cover costs of enforcement with any surplus added to local transport budget (same as parking). Police don't keep any traffic fines (goes to central government) so it's just a cost for them. This is a whole other rabbithole to disappear down - also need to simplify the paperwork and keep these out of court. When I did enforcement Police set "limit" way higher than it should have been for a 20mph road - basically to the small 10 or so tickets they thought they could actually process in an hour. Resource requirements were ridiculous - at least 2 vehicles and 3 or 4 officers from memory. This needs to be one man (covert) with a handheld camera/speed monitor, tickets automatically issued, no need for roadside stop, no appeals but rule don't allow that.

Yes, enforcement would be great but at present it's completely beyond the power of Lambeth to do anything about it and way outside the scope of any Liveable Neighbourhood project.
 

T & P

|-o-| (-o-) |-o-|
What exactly is the logic that leads to suggesting that speed limits should be higher at night? Is it because pedestrians and cyclists should be in bed, instead of causing trouble trying to use public roads without getting killed?
The logic oft repeated that cars will get caught at the next traffic lights anyway and cyclists will undboutedly catch up with them, so there's no harm done in forcing cars to do 20 mph on main roads that for about 98% of the total lifespan of the existence of traffic laws had been allowed to travel at 30mph, until some local authorities decided one-speed fits it it all was the thing to do.

Bike journeys being as fast or faster than car journeys certainly do happen, at busier times, on some routes. But it certainly does not happen on many other routes, and it is a complete fallacy to say a cycle journey will always be as fast or faster than a car journey in London. In a myriad of scenarios the latter will be significantly faster.
 
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teuchter

je suis teuchter
The logic oft repeated that cars will get caught at the next traffic lights anyway and cyclists will undboutedly catch up with them, so there's no harm done in forcing cars to do 20 mph on main roads that for about 98% of the total lifespan of the existence of traffic laws had been allowed to travel at 30mph, until some local authorities decided one-speed fits it it all was the thing to do.

Bike journeys being as fast or faster than car journeys certainly do happen, at busier times, on some routes. But it certainly does not happen on many other routes, and it is a complete fallacy to say a cycle journey will always be as fast or faster than a car journey in London. In a myriad of scenarios the latter will be significantly faster.
I don't think you get the point. The relative speed of cars vs bikes is not really the important bit.

The fact is that reducing motor traffic speed has very great benefits for pedestrians and cyclists, and fairly minor disbenefits for motorists.

You've not answered the question though - what's the logic for raising the speed limit at night? What is different then, compared to daytime?
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
main roads that for about 98% of the total lifespan of the existence of traffic laws had been allowed to travel at 30mph, until some local authorities decided one-speed fits it it all was the thing to do.
Actually:
In 1861 the speed limit in built up areas was established at 10mph.
In 1865 it was reduced to 2mph
In 1896 it was raised to 12mph
In 1903 it was raised to 20mph.
In 1930 speed limits for cars were abolished altogether
In 1934 a speed limit was re-introduced at 30mph.

So, it spent around 70 years at speeds below 20mph, and about 85 years at 30mph. I make that 54%, not 98%.

But just because it's been at 30mph for a long time doesn't make anything magical about that number. It's no coincidence that it corresponds to the period in history where suddenly lots of people became car owners, and there was a switch in priority as far as roads were concerned - car becomes king. This was reflected in the way our cities became increasingly anti-pedestrian in their road design. Time now to reverse that, and get back to the kind of speed limits that were originally considered sensible.
 

thebackrow

Active Member
Bike journeys being as fast or faster than car journeys certainly do happen, at busier times, on some routes. But it certainly does not happen on many other routes, and it is a complete fallacy to say a cycle journey will always be as fast or faster than a car journey in London. In a myriad of scenarios the latter will be significantly faster.
I think you would really be surprised at how rarely a bike isn't as quick or quicker, or how little difference there is between them at a very quiet time of day for trips inside zone 3. I avoid driving in London except to leave so my examples are places that link to trunk roads out in different directions that I also cycle to. Google's cycling times are also pretty conservative - i easily beat them if i know the way.

Brixton to Tower Bridge (your Kennington Road route). Right now it's 27 minutes by bike, 32 by car. At night its a bit quicker by both but at most the car would be single digit minutes quicker and at night on a bike it's highly unpleasant as drivers undertake at high speed in the bus lanes.

Brixton to White City - 42 minutes by bike, 46 by car. On a really good run late at night you might get back from there in 40 minutes...

Anyway, this is rather moot. TfL's new quality criteria for cycle routes won't allow cyclists to be mixed with motor traffic where 85%ile speed is over 30mph (ie on any 30 limit road). New Government guidance will say mixing cyclists with traffic on 30mph roads is "suitable for few people and will exclude most potential users". Basically, if people are going to be enabled to cycle in volumes it will not be sharing with 30mph traffic, whatever the time of day. I'm comfortable with a road having a 30mph limit if it has protected space for cycling but you still need to consider pedestrians.
 
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newbie

undisambiguated
Brixton to White City - 42 minutes by bike, 46 by car. On a really good run late at night you might get back from there in 40 minutes...
you might :)

(From a slightly different starting point) cars currently, mid morning, have a 6 minute advantage (46/40) with scope for impatient drivers to increase that with acceleration and top speed. 'It's quicker by bike' is not going to persuade people out of cars except perhaps during the rush hour, and the ones who do that twice a day obviously don't care.
Anyway, this is rather moot. TfL's new quality criteria for cycle routes won't allow cyclists to be mixed with motor traffic where 85%ile speed is over 30mph (ie on any 30 limit road). New Government guidance will say mixing cyclists with traffic on 30mph roads is "suitable for few people and will exclude most potential users". Basically, if people are going to be enabled to cycle in volumes it will not be sharing with 30mph traffic, whatever the time of day. I'm comfortable with a road having a 30mph limit if it has protected space for cycling but you still need to consider pedestrians.
Good.
 

thebackrow

Active Member
with scope for impatient drivers to increase that with acceleration and top speed. 'It's quicker by bike' is not going to persuade people out of cars


Still comparable - it’s not significantly *quicker* by car and you’ve also got to consider parking (both time to find a parking space and to walk to destination once parked). Cycling *tends* to be more point to point (though parking can still be an issue).

This was responding to T&P trying to claim that in a myriad of scenarios driving would be quicker and that speed limits should be higher - which is not supported by the fact that journey times by a bike (for most people cruising 12mph, top speed 20ish) are often quicker, and at worst not materially slower than a car for most trips in London. This is strong evidence, as pointed out upthread, that acceleration and top speed usually make no difference to journey time - you just get to the next queue or red light quicker.
 
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cuppa tee

Well-Known Member
I've set my stopwatch running to see how long it takes someone to say something about cyclists and red lights.
Stop that clock !!!
Myself and 3 others just had to take evasive action when a cyclist ignored the red light at a pedestrian crossing.....this not five minutes ago, I got in made a brew and sat down yours is literally the first post I read. There may have been mitigating factors he was hurtling down Brixton road at around 20 mph and was riding a fixed wheel so may have struggled to stop
 
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teuchter

je suis teuchter
To be clear - I don't defend cyclists running red lights at pedestrian crossings. Cyclists should show the same consideration to pedestrians as they would like drivers to show to them.
 
Stop that clock !!!
Myself and 3 others just had to take evasive action when a cyclist ignored the red light at a pedestrian crossing.....this not five minutes ago, I got in made a brew and sat down yours is literally the first post I read. There may have been mitigating factors he was hurtling down Brixton road at around 20 mph and was riding a fixed wheel so may have struggled to stop
I suspect that some people are idiots irrespective of their form of transport.
 

sparkybird

ask the bird...
Drivers consistently ignore the 20 mile speed limit. I am overtaken at least 3 times a week... And I'm doing 25! Until these drivers understand WHY the limit is in place they will continue to ignore it. If it's pushed lower or rolled out to more roads it will make no difference.
Surely it's better to educate rather than enforce?
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
How does one do that? I think drivers are more interested in what they can get away with, than what they are 'educated' is ok. They will say, yes, this makes sense in principle but then decide that they are safe to exceed it in all sorts of circumstances. Many people are still driving well over 30 so it's not like they even accept the old limit.
 

thebackrow

Active Member
And I'm doing 25
Presumably, you're on a bike? Because being educated you understand why the limit is in place? You understand that 25mph in a car is significantly more dangerous than 20mph? You'd not drive at 25% in excess of what's supposed to be the maximum speed in a car, a level even the lax Police "guidance" (+10% +2mph) says you should be fined.

Ideally we'd have not just more enforcement but massively higher penalties if caught. interesting to compare Swiss to the UK. SpeedingEurope.com: Switzerland

My 20mph road sees a fair few drivers daily travelling at over 43mph. Get caught at that speed in Switzerland and it's a minimum 1 year in jail....
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
I think thebackrow may have taken part in community roadwatch sessions, which I have done too. In that case you use proper speed guns. We measured someone doing 45mph on my road just recently. Loads of people doing upper 30s. The police guys that run the sessions have measured people doing 60-something in other parts of Lambeth.
 
Hold up.....are you saying speed limits don't apply to bikes ?
No, legally they don't: "The law of the road The Highway Code rule 124 is clear on keeping within speed limits, but does not mention cyclists. Archive notes on the Department of Transport code of conduct for cyclists gives general advice on using cycle paths, particularly those shared with pedestrians, suggesting "if you want to cycle quickly, say in excess of 18mph/30 kph, then you should be riding on the road". So – going fast? Then the road is the place to be." "The legislation regarding speeding covers motor (or mechanically propelled) vehicles only."Metropolitan police, spokesman Mark Ottowell

Can cyclists be fined for speeding?
 
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