Traffic Calming.
Introduction.
To many; traffic calming can be an emotive subject.  A bit like Marmite; you either love it or hate it!
Any such scheme has to accommodate many factors in its' design.   

The subsequent effectiveness of any scheme is also very much dependent upon the area in which it is situated. 

In areas with narrow roads and/or inadequate space the installation of chicanes, build outs, traffic cushions/humps and speed cameras can not be justified by the required loss of parking.  

In areas with wide roads and/or adequate space the installation of chicanes, build outs, traffic cushions/humps and speed cameras can be justified despite the required loss of parking. 

Any scheme will therefore be a compromise of various factors such as cost, effectiveness, parking and space.

History.

RAW/RAOW 2012 was instrumental in introducing Traffic Calming into Westborough Ward.  It was one of RAW's founding aims and objectives.

In fact; we were the only participant apart from Southend Borough Council (SBC) that was involved from start to finish.

The whole process was meant to take three years but took over twice as long as funding was moved elsewhere, delayed or cut.

Insert additional history # 1.


Full width cushions were installed in one of the first roads but a resident complained as rainwater was repeatedly diverted up the kerb into his garden resulting in perpetual flooding.
Ambulance companies complained that full width cushions impeded vehicular progress and were dangerous.  They were concerned about patients and staff falling over and threatened to remove the roads from their routes.
Bus companies complained that full width cushions impeded vehicular progress and were dangerous.  They were concerned about passengers falling over and threatened to remove the roads from their routes.
Cyclists complained that full width cushions impeded their progress and were dangerous.  They were concerned that cyclists would fall over.

A taxi driver complained that the full width humps were damaging his vehicle (well; drive slowly then) and caused an uncomfortable ride for his customers.
A midget complained that his view of the street was impeded by the humps as he could not see over the top.  Actually this last one wasn't true but highlights the farcical levels that some of the complaints began to resemble.  ED; small person or a little insect?
We even helped world famous jazz musician Digby Fairweather have several bollards installed outside his house after a number of cars collided with his front wall.

Insert additional history # 2.

The final roads to be included in the scheme were St Georges Park Avenue and a small part of Westborough Road.

Councillor Paul Collins (Lib Dem) wrote about the imposition of a one way system in the northern part of St Georges as though the decision had already been made.  We understand he reiterated much the same every time he visited the Traffic Department however it was not a foregone conclusion.  ED; One should never count your chickens before they hatch!


We knew there was little enthusiasm for a one way system in the Avenue.  As such RAOW 2012 wrote to 250 homes in the area and outlined the proposals (see copy of letter).  We also canvassed the entire area over a four day period (from Wednesday 17/04/13 to Saturday 20/04/13).  ED; Insert; Diby Lemoncrat acolite Bob Howes (and WCA member) said RAOW has closed whilst delivering Collins survey on Saturday 20/04/13.  Wrong!  Again!

We encouraged residents to contact the Council or RAOW 2012 with their views.  There was quite a good response.

We manged to prevent St Georges from becoming a one way road in the northern part from Westborough Road to Fairfax Drive.  The southern part from Westborough Road to London Road was already one way.
 

Unfortunately; St Georges was not actually traffic calmed.  A 20 mph speed limit was introduced which was (virtually) legally and physically  unenforceable.  Essex Police dislike to and therefore will not prosecute speeding offences below 30 mph and speeds are not physically enforced without traffic cushions.

Traffic orders (ie the legal notices) which introduce and legitimise such measures are extremely expensive to implement and traffic calming without enforcement is a very, very, expensive luxury.

St Georges may now have the most expensive 20 mph speed signs in Southend (or Essex?).

The final stage cost several thousand pounds and was little more than an ineffective compromise which quite frankly should have been left well alone.  The money that was spent could have been used to better effect elsewhere.


Further details to follow as this page is under construction.

Addendum Resident's Parking Scheme.

The idea of a residents parking scheme arose several years ago (TBA; in the early 2000's circa 2002/3).

SBC held a public consultation for the resident's of Westborough Ward.

Council Officers would not give a definitive price for the cost of the scheme but estimates of over 200 per household were proposed.

Each permit was for one car with an an allowance of two permits per household.  Extra permits for guests/visitors could be purchased.  Business parking permits were unlimited in number.

We were informed that SBC had been advised (by Central Government) that the take up for the scheme would be poor if prices were expensive.

Accordingly the high cost did little to encourage enthusiasm for the scheme.

Although the permits entitled residents to park in the Ward they did not guarantee or reserve a place outside your house.

Thus residents would have paid in excess of 200 per annum to park in the Ward in much the same way as before!  In reality more cost for the same or less!  

Addendum Additional Notes.

Westborough Ward was meant to be traffic calmed in three parts (ie one part per year for three years) but funding was moved to other Wards by SBC resulting in delays.

The scheme ran from East to West.

The first part of the scheme in the Eastern part of the Ward was designed by Atkinsons when available funds were plentiful whilst the remaining installments were designed in house by SBC when budgets had shrunk.

Hence the discrepancies of design between the various segments.

Expand Upon.

Some of the humps crossed the entire road.
Amended to partial width.


 










































Insert full details incl 1234&0

bs thought st g wouldb be one way   officers had other ideas realised no emand for one way 





 
 
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