Questions offered prior to the CCC meeting on 6 February, with responses
1) How will 20mph be enforced, especially in small side roads which folk may use as a ‘rat run’?
The Metropolitan Police enforce speed limits in London and they have been clear in their position that their enforcement efforts for a 20mph speed limit will be at the same level as that used to enforce the existing 30mph or any other speed limit in the borough.
Croydon council will also collect current speed information on a number of roads in the area before any change is made. If the new speed limit is implemented, the council will repeat these speed surveys at the same locations to see what effect the new speed limit has had on speed. Where speeds continue to be high, the police will be informed so that they can look to carry out targeted enforcement.
The council may look to introduce physical speed-reducing measures at key locations where speeding is persistent but that will be subject to consultation at the time.
2) Why not have 20mph limit across Farthing Down where people often speed? This would add extra safety for the cattle, when they are there, and generally enhance the environment of the area.
In order to have a lower speed limit along Ditches Lane the council will need consent from the Corporation of London (the landowners) regarding the possibility of erecting signage along Ditches Lane and also English Nature because this is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This will require careful consideration as the land is used for cattle grazing and the placement of upright signs and road markings and may be looked at later as a separate scheme.
3) If the majority of road traffic accidents occur on main roads why not prioritise these for speed reduction first rather than the roads proposed, where there are fewer or no road traffic accidents?
Understandably and without doubt, it is agreed that more road accidents occur on main roads as a result of a lot more interaction between the various modes of traffic. The question appears to assume that the council does not prioritise accident prevention on main roads over the residential/side roads.
The council has had and continues to have accident remedial programmes to tackle road accidents on main roads. Main roads have considerably greater road space and good sightlines compared to residential streets, thereby allowing for more innovative and expensive measures to be put in place. Costly measures such as controlled pedestrian crossings or footway buildouts, enforcement cameras, signalised junctions etc. are more justified on main roads where usage is likely to justify the costs.
A 30mph speed limit is generally considered appropriate for the main road network which is generally wider and has the necessary infrastructure/capacity to support the higher speed limit, whilst residential roads have many physical constraints which makes 20mph more suited for those roads.
Maintaining a higher maximum speed limit on the main road network is desirable for a number of reasons amongst which one is so as to encourage drivers not to rat run through residential roads.
Under the Traffic Management Act the council has obligations to cater for all road users which includes both motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. This is key to understanding why the approach adopted by Croydon’s 20mph speed limit has been to maintain higher speed limits on main roads.
The Traffic Management Act 2004 contains various requirements on how a Highway Authority should manage their road networks. The act places a duty on an Authority to secure the expeditious movement of traffic on their network, and to facilitate the same on the networks of other Authorities. This can be perceived as a duty to secure the fast movement of motorised traffic and used as an argument against 20mph schemes. However, this narrow interpretation does not reflect the whole meaning of this requirement, as ‘traffic’ encompasses all modes of transport using roads, including pedestrians. The duty is essentially about balancing the needs of all road users, and also operates alongside other duties, including those in the area of road safety. This is made clear in the DfT’s Network Management Duty Guidance.
4) Can and will the police enforce 20mph speed limits?
The 20mph speed limit is made using statutory powers which the Police can and do enforce. Croydon police have confirmed that they will enforce 20mph speed limits in the same way they enforce 30mph or any other speed limit.
The speed limit in North Croydon came into force in September 2016. The Police have started enforcement of the lower speed limit as is evident in this tweet from the local policing team from Upper Norwood in November 2016.
See original at https://twitter.com/MPSNorwood/status/795968771043291136
5) Will the introduction of 20mph zones have any effect on the speed at which emergency vehicles can travel?
The lower speed limit does not impact emergency services when attending an emergency call. Drivers of other vehicles will have to give way/make way to emergency vehicles as usual.
6) Why was the policy imposed in north Croydon when only 2% of the population felt it important enough to vote on?
The decision to implement the scheme was taken following a ‘Statutory Consultation’ process through which all objections were considered prior to a decision being taken. Everyone living or working in the area was entitled to have a say in that process; that so few people objected can be seen to indicate the broad level of satisfaction that existed with the council’s decision.
7) What level of objection would have an effect on the proposed scheme?
The decision whether or not to proceed with the proposal will be made following a full consideration of all the objections received, as well as any responses submitted in support of the proposals.
Road safety officers base their advice on how the proposal may benefit/disbenefit the public by looking at available studies/research carried out by other Government departments, practical experience of other local authorities and the nature of the objections received. Bearing this in mind, officers often try and put forward an elaborate analysis which covers these issues so that decision makers can have as much information as reasonably possible when making decisions.
What is important is that although the question assumes that there is a level of predetermination of the scheme going ahead no matter what, officers have an open mind and will consider the nature of objections before providing an officer report.
8) Why was Smitham Downs Road included – it is a B road and is wide, not very busy, has no schools and not dangerous in my opinion?
The starting point in the determination of which roads to include in the 20mph speed limit has always been whether the road is part of the A and B road network. However, it has always been the intention to consider our main road network carefully and amend the scheme to include or exclude roads based on local knowledge of their traffic carrying function.
Smitham Downs Road may be the B2030 historically, but is not considered to be a major traffic through route and as such it is proposed to be included in the 20mph speed limit. Similarly, Pampisford Road, Canterbury Road, Shirley Church Road, Mitchley Hill and Purley Downs Road are local distributor in nature, include schools or are otherwise considered inappropriate for high-speed traffic, and have therefore been included in the 20mph speed limit.
Conversely, roads like Croham Valley Road, Beddington Farm Road, Ampere Way, Addington Hills Road, and Lodge Lane are clearly major traffic routes and have been excluded from the 20mph speed limit. This is not to say that the scheme is fixed, and if individuals wish to object to the inclusion or exclusion of any road within the 20mph proposals they can voice this opinion through the public notice/objections process and changes may then be considered if appropriate.
9) If the scheme includes Pampisford Road, this will drive all the traffic onto the Brighton Road, which doesn’t seem sensible.
See answer to question 8 above.
Traffic movements can be complex in nature and so to simply assume that all of the current traffic flows on Pampisford traffic will shift to Brighton Road is not necessarily true. Why would not some of it remain on Pampisford Road? Or why would not some of it not shift to Purley Way? If Brighton Road or Purley Way are congested why would drivers not continue to use Pampisford Road where a 20mph speed limit has the potential to offer a smoother more consistent speed throughout its length?
A study carried out by The Centre for Transport Studies at Imperial College London found that, across several routes in central London, a greater range of speeds occurred on 30 mph segments compared to 20mph segments. A large proportion of time was simply spent accelerating and decelerating on 30 mph segments suggesting that 20 mph routes may facilitate smooth driving.
10) Shouldn’t Chaldon Way/Mead Way stay at 30 as again they are both wide, with little traffic and very few parked cars, and are bus routes.
See answer to question 8.
11) How will objections be counted (e.g. per number of signatories, per number of objections listed, per individual objections logged as separate objections) and will they be weighted in any way ( e.g objection from Residents Association, household, individual?)
Officers will endeavour to report objections, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
The focus will be more on the content of objections so as to ensure that objections are considered appropriately and not on the number of times that any one person writes in. To date it has been observed that some individuals have written in numerous times and presented one issue at a time in each of their correspondence.
It is the issues which will be quantified and not the number of times the individual has written in.
Download a copy, here: Premeeting Q&A on 20mph consultation