Category Archives: 20s Plenty

Stone Bridge Pedestrian Crossing – road damage creates an opportunity to act

When the Friends of the Westbrook & Stonebridge Pond were working in the Westbrook on Sunday we noticed that there is an area of the road surface on the Stone Bridge that is significantly depressed. I’ve circled it in this image:
Since this will need to be repaired, it occurred to me that we could take the opportunity to implement the footway widening/roadway narrowing work that I’ve proposed in a previous post. This work could even be done on a temporary basis and it would allow us to study whether a permanent solution would work or not.
The depressed area is close enough to the existing kerb that it would, I think, be entirely within the area that would be taken up by a widened footway on the north side of West Street:
What I noticed on Sunday and again when I stood there this morning, is that a widened footway in this location gives pedestrians much better sight lines both south east towards vehicles approaching from Tanners Street and, especially, west down the length of Dark Hill/West Street.
Since it may be that the depression has been created by the gradual collapse of the historic bridge, then taking this area away from the heavy, breaking loading of vehicles may simply be a good idea in itself.
It would be a shame for public money to be spent on a repair that could likely be reduced in cost through an alternative approach.
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A roundabout for the A2/A251 junction. Really?

Are Faversham Town Council and Swale Borough Council opposing the A2 roundabout? I believe they should be. The roundabout was a bad idea 3 years ago and it is an even worse idea today:

First, in the past 3 years we have seen the 20sPlenty campaign persuade the JTB of the merits of a pedestrian-friendly approach in Faversham. A roundabout is entirely contradictory to this approach. How could the JTB possibly approve a roundabout and remain credible?

Second, in the same period we have also seen how there will be considerable development south of the A2 that risks being detrimentally disconnected from the existing town unless strong pedestrian connections are made. A roundabout is therefore inconsistent with the social and economic interests of the town.

Third, the cost of the roundabout is enormous in comparison with the cost of implementing other road safety improvements that would create greater benefits for the town. The roundabout was costed at “at least” half a million pounds, which is around 100 times the cost of implementing a 20mph limit. Yes, 100 times!

When things go wrong on the motorway then whether the A2/A251 junction is designed as a roundabout, lights or – my favourite – a 20mph limit through the junction, it won’t make a blind bit of difference. What therefore matters is what the junction is like in between times. Is it designed as an expensive, land-grabbing machine for moving cars and suppressing pedestrian and cycling activity, or is it designed as a slow-movement, pedestrian and cycle-friendly piece of in-town public realm?

I think it may be time to get very upset with KCC.

Image

My design for a major junction in central London that balances high volume vehicle movements with high volume pedestrian & cycle activity.

Stone Bridge/West Street Pedestrian Crossing

I have offered to help Cllr Antony Hook investigate ways of improving the crossing of West Street at the Stone Bridge: the bridge that spans across the Westbrook at the bottom of Tanners Street. He is responding to a number of approaches from people concerned that crossing at this point is unsafe for pedestrians. It’s a highly used crossing point for people walking to and from the town centre. It’s heavily used by schoolchildren, including many young children walking to Davington School:

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Continue reading Stone Bridge/West Street Pedestrian Crossing

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.

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.