Category Archives: 20s Plenty

20s Plenty for Faversham_Notes from Joint Transportation Board, 19th December 2016

MOTION
To accept the recommendations of the Working Group’s report:

1. A 20mph limit across the whole of Faversham to include required signage, social engagement and self-enforcing traffic calming.

2. Fund-raising to meet the expected cost of 60K

3. A town-wide consultation.

4. Ongoing monitoring to identify where compliance is achieved and where further work may be required.

5. The working group’s ongoing involvement in the implementation process.

6. Support of an independent consultant with experience of devising 20mph schemes that deliver.

See full report on pp69-85 of the Joint Transportation Board papers.

PROPOSER
Whiting
Congratulate group on thorough report.
First such working party.

Fully support broad scope of all the recommendations

Particularly the ongoing involvement of the group.
Leave to officers to consider further.
Like to see this come back to the JTB as quickly as possible.
A very good job, very well done.

CHAIR
Bowles
Draw attention to Helen Whately MP letter.

COMMENTS FROM SWALE BC AND KENT CC MEMBERS
Simmons
Member of working party.

Congratulate Amanda Russell on presentation.

Shows how passionately people in Faversham feel about this.

Wanted the report to come sooner to the JTB but also wanted to a thorough job.

Encourage JTB to be brave.

Understand it’s controversial, especially A2.

But needs to be done, esp because of future development.

At present there’s very little development south of the A2.
In the future, the A2 will become an internal road. No longer a bypass.
Something needs to be done and now is the time to progress this.
Air quality – lots of evidence that slowing vehicles so that there is less starting and stopping leads to better air quality.
In summary, there are implications for budgets but ask JTB to be brave and give this its full backing.

Henderson
Also a member of group.

Learned a lot through the process.

As you learn more, you learn how important it is.

A2 is important. Will no longer be a peripheral road.

Abbey School bridge – an alarming number of people are not using the bridge.
Not a simple safety issue.

Safety is important.

But its also about pollution.
It’s also about walking.

20mph for cars helps people make a 20minute walk across Faversham.

Will improve potential for cycling.

Just back from Bristol – heading towards 20mph and safe to walk.
Will bring a major benefit to everyone living in Faversham.
There is more than one stage in the process.

Creating a 20mph limit is the first step. Identifying other areas is the next step.
Hope committee will give it its full support and urge KCC to give it support and funding.

Baldock
Whereas supportive of all the recommendations, concerned some parts of borough going ahead without others.

Need to start looking at process for implementing across the borough.

It’s taken one year for Faversham so it will take many years for Sheppey and elsewhere.

Chances of getting KCC to fund this are virtually nil. Maybe community grant.

This council should make a decision to fund borough-wide.

£150-180k borough wide is worth serious consideration.
Propose amendment to make borough-wide.

Whiting
Accept amendment.

Macdonald
Also support this.

Catching up the USA – with restrictions.

Cost – don’t want to hear they haven’t got money.

£35-60k is a good investment

Get from enhanced value of land?

Well done to Faversham.

Palmer
I fully agree with everything that’s been said.

Down to JTB to grasp it and make it happen.

Only thing is enforcement.

It won’t stop persistent speeders.

Need to put pressure on enforcement authorities to make sure there’s proper enforcement.

Harrison
1. AQMA at Ospringe

What is SBC doing about it?

2. Enforcement – shouldn’t stop us pursuing things. Once it’s down to a few, police may let us have stingers.

Mulhern
Red dots worry me.

Four hot spots. Clusters are at pedestrian crossings.

We need pelicanised crossings as a quick fix.

Forbes Road is dangerous if a bus is turning.

All can be fixed with pelicanised crossings.

Other hotspot is St Mary’s Road.

But I support the scheme and would like the quick fix if we can get it.

Hunt
Congratulations.

Iwade looked at 20mph. Has money for signs. But Parish Council voted against as speeds were 26mph. Needs physical measures.

Pugh
Congratulate group – v professional.

Pity I wasn’t able to do it around schools.

There is a groundswell around UK.

Need enforcement – works extremely well in Minster. It works.

COUNTY OFFICER
Blackburn
Tend to work more in operations.

If someone else from transport came here then they would want to take it on. V good work.

Not much difference in accident rates between signals and zebras.

Need clarification on build up from 30 to 60.

Need further discussion about A2. Not saying impossible but needs further work.

CHAIR
Bowles
If approved, technically goes to KCC cabinet but should also go to Swale cabinet.

PROPOSER
Whiting
The support of people in the room is testament to the quality of the report.

VOTE TAKEN
To accept the recommendations of the Working Group’s report with an amendment to pursue a 20mph limit on residential streets across the borough.

Agreed unanimously.

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Now is the time for a 20mph speed limit in Faversham

http://www.courier.co.uk/faversham-campaign-for-20mph-speed-limit-seeks-60k-council-funding/story-29573216-detail/story.html#GIISZ2M52UgmGS1A.01

Kent County Council typically over-designs and over-costs transport projects. In contrast, a 20mph speed limit can be implemented at a fraction of the price of conventional, car-centric solutions such as the hugely costly and unnecessary A2/Ashford Road roundabout.

Faversham has a clear “urban footprint” with a small number of ways in and out – and therefore a small number of places that need gateway signage. The Town Council has already identified the need to upgrade the gateway signage to update and improve the existing signs. It has already identified funding to do so. Adding a 20mph roundel to the gateway signage should now be part of the sign designer’s brief. By combining budgets in this way, more can be done with available resources.

Faversham needs more joined up thinking as well as a more joined up network of routes that are safe and convenient for walking and cycling. Now is the time for action.

Future generations will judge us on what we do next.

Notes from Swale Joint Transportation Board, 7th March 2016

20s Plenty comments
1. (missed name) Supports 20mph. Was an air ambulance paramedic. If there’s a crash at <20mph then a child gets up. A crash at 30mph there are fatalities.

2. Cllr Baldock – supports 20mph. Wants it borough-wide. Set limit first. Create zone second. (I didn’t fully understand this – by zone did he mean there would be associated works eg paving?)

3. Cllr Simmons – supports 20mph. Complimented presentation. Compact nature of Faversham suits it. Limited number of ways in to the town makes signage simple. People drive slower with 20mph limit even if all don’t drive below 20mph. Risk of delay if remit is borough-wide. Do Faversham first.

4. Cllr Henderson – v strongly supports 20mph. Don’t risk delay by making borough-wide. Do Faversham first. Faversham is not a through place like Sittingbourne so it will be easier. Congratulations on effective campaign, which has convinced Town and Borough councillors. People drive around 10mph slower with 20mph limit.

5. Cllr Harrison – impassioned people have had their say. Don’t make seat of pants decisions tonight.

6. Cllr Willcox – supports 20mph. Trial it in Faversham. It could be self-financing if it saves deaths.

7. Cllr Mulhern – v fully supportive. Motion tonight is to set up a working group, not to make a snap decision. Supports borough-wide but start in Faversham. His father was killed on a road crossing by a slow-moving vehicle so there will always be accidents.

8. Cllr Gates – supportive of what the Town Council says and does. 20 is plenty. Do one place at a time to learn from mistakes.

9. Cllr Truelove – supports 20mph. There’s a risk of snagging if it goes borough-wide.

Vote
8 in favour of Faversham working group.

6 in favour of borough-wide working group.

Worth noting that no one spoke against either motion.

Roundabout comments
1. County Engineer – a contingency allowance of c£50k had been made for diversion of services. Estimates have come back at c£400k. They are looking at mitigation steps to reduce the sum. In the past, 6-figure sums have been found to be 5-figure sums. Nevertheless the narrow window has been missed for removal of vegetation so the project can’t proceed this year. A decision has been made to put the project on hold.

2. Cllr Gates – wanted traffic lights because they provided crossings. One option had a crossing over the Mall and a crossing over the A2. Don’t alter the look of the entrance to historic town. Provide cycle paths. Provide controlled, lighted crossings. Local people in favor of lights, albeit narrowly. Look at it again. Benefits need to be not only for cars but also people and cyclists.

3. Cllr Prescott – supported lights. Others wanted roundabout. Engineer will now know where the utilities are. This will help in designing a new solution.

4. (missed name) – Go back to the drawing board. Roundabout not conducive. Not appropriate in a place where there’s pedestrians. Problem with the vote last time was there were 2 traffic light options and 1 roundabout option. Traffic light vote was split.

5. Cllr Mulhern – supports roundabout because has seen how effective they have been in Essex in helping flow. Best is to do nothing because we weren’t looking at Perry Court before. Ashford Road isn’t on mains drainage and works may need to take place. So shouldn’t do a roundabout before then: premature.

6. Cllr Henderson – thank goodness it’s on hold. 20mph will create more junction capacity so – should be tried first. We need solutions that promote walking and cycling.

7. Chair – KCC may come back with new proposals.

Double success for Faversham! 20s Plenty supported & A2/A251 roundabout rejected

20mph speed limit
The Swale Joint Transportation Board this evening approved a motion to set up a working group to look at how a blanket 20mph speed restriction can be implemented across the whole of Faversham. The JTB expressed a strong view that the working group should also investigate a borough-wide 20mph limit.

This decision is a significant success for the 20s Plenty for Faversham campaign, and for Faversham Town Council, which supported the campaign.

A2/A251 roundabout
It was also reported to the JTB that the proposed, and highly unpopular, A2/A251 roundabout is on hold because cost estimates for services diversions have come back at around £400k against a budget allowance of around £50k. The 20s Plenty campaign spoke afterwards with Kent County County Highways Engineer and requested a working session before any new recommendations are made so that local views can be input and a solution can be co-created.

Thanks go to Faversham Town Council, The Faversham Society, the 20s Plenty for Faversham campaign, Ethelbert Road School and the many local people that have opposed the roundabout.

Both results demonstrate what can be achieved when people in Faversham engage in reasonable discussion, broad consultation and concerted action.

Presentation to Swale Joint Transportation Board

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak today.

I think we are all agreed that the junctions of the A2 with the A251 Ashford Road and the Mall can be improved. But the characteristics of the present problem and, therefore, the nature of a preferred solution are not addressed by the proposed roundabout and its associated banned turnings. I would like to address both problem and solution in this brief presentation. And I would like to suggest a way forward.

The current problem
First, the current problem of vehicle congestion is highly peaky. Most of the time, the junction is free-flowing.

Second, at school peak times there may be more pedestrians using the road space of The Mall than vehicles.

Third, children and other vulnerable road users have no formal pedestrian crossing points – they have to chance it by crossing, often running, between moving traffic.

Fourth, local residents report they don’t walk into town because they are afraid to cross the road, especially Forbes Road and The Mall.

Fifth, there are no formal cycling provisions.

Sixth, planned housing development in Faversham will create more travel demand that can only be accommodated in a safe and convivial way by a significant shift to non-vehicle modes ie to walking and cycling.

In other words, traffic congestion is not the only problem that needs addressing. Road safety – both real and perceived – as well as public health, air quality and social cohesion also matter.

The proposed roundabout
The proposed roundabout is highly expensive, highly unpopular and fails to address the current needs of road users, especially vulnerable road users. It provides no facilities for cyclists and only a deeply substandard, token gesture for pedestrians.

Faversham Town Council is against the roundabout. Ethelbert Road School is against it as are the Faversham Society, local residents and public realm design professionals like myself. Even the local taxi drivers I’ve spoken to are against it.

By banning the right turn out of The Mall, the proposals will encourage traffic to rat-run through local streets or to swing round the roundabout and rush back along the A2 to make up for lost time from having been forced out of its way.

As a result, the overall junction will work less well for vehicles and will make conditions for pedestrians and cyclists even worse than they presently are.

An alternative approach
An alternative approach should go back to the drawing board and follow these principles:
First, it should prioritise vulnerable road users, providing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

Second, it should improve junction capacity by slowing vehicle traffic to 20mph so that, as vehicles approach the junction it is possible for more vehicles to turn in and out. This principle is well established elsewhere in the UK. Amanda Russell will speak about the 20sPlenty campaign later but let me here make the point that 20sPlenty benefits vehicles as well as non-vehicle road users.

Third, an alternative approach should involve local people in its design – they are also experts. This issue is now so high in the local consciousness that it shouldn’t be left to those on high to come up with the alternative and then send it out for comment.

Traffic lights
Finally, let me say something about traffic lights. Would they be a better solution to a roundabout? Perhaps, yes – but only if part of a design that benefits pedestrians and cyclists; only if part of a design that slows vehicles and only if part of a design that is co-created with the local community.

In the meantime, my preferred approach is to introduce a 20mph speed limit at and around the junction and monitor the effects of this single, extremely low-cost design change before committing to significant further spend.

Thank you.

All quiet on The Mall

It’s the first day of half term and the junction of the A2 with The Mall is flowing as freely as I’ve ever seen it. 

Of course some commuters are on holiday but could it also be that a significant proportion of the traffic normally flowing through this junction is parents and carers with children heading to and from schools? Have transport planners considered how this group of people can be addressed and reduced by providing alternative, viable means of getting to and from school? For example, by improving walking and cycling?

Or have transport planners just assumed that they need to accommodate traffic growth “because car traffic always grows, doesn’t it?”

No one doubts that new development in Faversham will generate its own car traffic growth. But what we are campaigning for is the delivery of alternative transport modes – walking, cycling and public transport – that can slow the rate of car growth. 

Providing parents and carers with a viable alternative to driving must surely be a key priority for Kent County Council, which has a duty of care to protect vulnerable road users. So why is there no provision for walking or cycling in the proposed junction plans?

Consultation on the proposals ends at 12 noon today. 

Voice your concern by emailing:

tro@kent.gov.uk

An alternative, people-centred approach to traffic growth in Faversham

At yesterday evening’s Town Council meeting, councillor after councillor spoke in opposition to the proposed roundabout at the junction of the A2 and A251. There were many damning comments from experienced public servants who will, I’m sure, have chosen their words carefully. All of which makes the Town Council’s rejection of the roundabout even more significant.

Cllr Willcox said that he believed the roundabout would only move the problem and that the designers of the scheme had forgotten about the needs of pedestrians. He expressed grave concerns from both an ethical and a governance perspective. He said the scheme did not represent value for money.

Cllr Cosgrove said that the proposals needed to be set in the context of wider development and couldn’t be judged as a standalone project. I quite agree with these comments. He also said that further modelling work was needed. This is undoubtedly correct but let me sound two notes of caution:

First, that such modelling work will likely show that neither a roundabout nor traffic lights – nor anything short of a miracle – will be enough to accommodate traffic growth in Faversham and the wider region if the conversation remains fixed on the subject of moving vehicles. If transport planners continue to talk only about car-based solutions then many of us can tell you now – before tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds of public funds are spent on modelling – “We’re all doomed”. Continue reading An alternative, people-centred approach to traffic growth in Faversham