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TOPIC: Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood proposals published

Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood proposals published 05 Nov 2017 11:06 #3312

I agree its good to see a holistic approach being taken to to the Lakes Estate's traffic problems which are twofold: excessive speed and sheer volume of 'rat-running'. Colin is right, these proposals will do little to reduce speeds on the link roads between Aldermans Hill and Fox Lane - many drivers see a 'straight' and cannot resist putting their foot down. I am frequently woken in the middle of the night by loud vehicles in Lakeside Road.
The recent huge increase in rat-running (now about 90% of traffic) predates the current road works on Green Lanes and I suspect is more to do with sat-navs. However the changes to Green Lanes will undoubtedly make this problem worse. I cannot see how the proposals will reduce the volume of traffic.
Lakeside, Grovelands and Old Park Roads, the preferred rat-runs, will get welcome pavement extensions yet Ulleswater with less rat-running gets 3 constrictions which seem far more likely to divert drivers into other roads. Why the imbalance? Am I missing something?
All roads have excellent planters at each end except Lakeside which, despite heavy traffic, has only one. Why? What is the rationale? It was suggested it would make it awkward for drivers but that, surely, is the point. It would be great to have an explanation for these plans.
I really do welcome these proposals but I fear the noise and fumes that now pervade my once quiet residential street will persist.

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Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood proposals published 05 Nov 2017 16:23 #3313

John Philips raises some reasonable questions, specifically the impact of the QN proposals on traffic speed and volume issues.
Having started looking at local traffic issue – probably over 15 years since – at the bequest of local councillors from the then conservative administration, I can say it’s certainly not straightforward. A significant voluntary team, hundreds of hours, surveys, analysis, public meeting, votes and all the rest plus a true working partnership developed with Council officers, couldn’t produce a silver bullet. We did however secure immense funding (many hundreds of thousands) from central sources to implement traffic calming measures. The same administration that encouraged this bottom up solution to this area’s widely acknowledged traffic issues then, at the very last minute, walked away and rejected the funding. Something quite recently described in the local press by one involved politician as highlighting “his credentials”. That said it all.
Wind forward to late 2014 and it all starts again, this time as the Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood. Since then we have (again) seen an extraordinary level of hard and soft data capture, perception surveys and in particular 250 locals who volunteered to become engaged in helping find resolution. Two workshops, with say 50 attendees each, worked towards an optimal solution.
This is possibly the most researched and widely consulted residential traffic area in London. What we certainly don’t need is more and longer consultation; now we are on the cusp of very long overdue action. It might not be perfect, at this stage, but it will be better.
Outside of closing off the area to through traffic, everything is a balance: to slow rat running traffic you either exclude it altogether (not fully supported locally) or implement hard measures such as speed humps (not fully supported locally). We also always risk street vs street issues; for instance the 96% of households (including two care homes and a GP surgery) in my own street who sought full closure acknowledge they are part of a wider picture and so work with the wider grain.
I would read the proposals as including 3D roadway marking pilot (might work?) and a road narrowing pilot (might work?). If either are successful then copying them to other streets should be cheap and rapid. I would like to have seen added a pilot planter(s) mid way on a street to see if that made any difference to speed (might work?). Again, if successful, that could be cheaply and easily `replicated.
The proposed end street planters should have a useful function in stopping the largest wagons entering our streets and other drivers doing so at speed. Both would be wins.
So yes, I can see the risk of residual speed issues, but also the possibility of measures being identified with experience to help mitigate them. What I can also see is the real risk of history repeating itself and lobbyists from eg N21 who complained vehemently last time that their right to rat-run was being undermined (I paraphrase) will be repeated, leading us to securing nothing as a holistic whole - for the sake of a shouty few emerging with last minute partisan views, despite the years of build-up work.
It won’t be perfect but it is based on immense levels of data and balancing conflicting interests and certainly will be better than we have been forced to live with. I suggest welcoming it and then let’s see where we go from there. Transport is finally a leading issue and the direction of travel is absolutely clear; we are on a journey and whichever way you look its pace is quickening and traffic volume and speed on residential streets is certainly not amongst its objectives.

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Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood proposals published 06 Nov 2017 09:56 #3317

Not sure I see much evidence of aforementioned serious speeding in Conway Road. I only use my car at weekends but usually pootle along at 20-25 MPH and don't find myself holding anyone up. When cycling midweek I rarely come across a car let alone a fast moving one - a noticeably tranquil difference to seconds off Conway onto either Fox or Aldermans.

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Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood proposals published 06 Nov 2017 10:13 #3318

Ref traffic calming measures, does anyone here with much deeper knowledge than me, know whether/why not modal filtering has been considered?

Seems the most obvious solution to rat running AND speeding, whilst not inhibiting cycling, and would only require a single filter every street half way down.

Ref the planters, they are a horrendous idea, clearly thought up by somebody who doesn't cycle. I can't imagine anything more scary than trying to turn off Alderman's, coming down hill, with traffic already roaring and raging behind, and having to slam the breaks almost to stationary to navigate round a lane-hogging planter rather than just swing safely into the street and out of danger.

Modal filters on each street and speed cameras on the boundary roads. Job done. Easy.

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Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood proposals published 06 Nov 2017 22:31 #3320

Ref' David Eden's comment at 9.56 on 6th November 2017. David you may 'pootle' along Conway Road at 20/25mph, and some others also do so, and it's true that on the whole the street is fairly free of traffic except on school days, but past my house (between Fox Lane & Harlech Road) some are going too fast for a residential area. If I remember correctly when the Council collected some data in a previous campaign figures over 70 were measured. These days I think it's a little better, but I think that most days will find someone doing 50, and after dark higher still; full throttle engine roaring. Streets like these are for living, not for cars; streets like this should be safe for kids at all times.

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Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood proposals published 07 Nov 2017 15:58 #3322

Well I've been sat in my front room working since 8am and seen not a single speeding car, hardly any traffic at all in fact. Busier around school opening/closing (which I don't see the QN proposals helping at all, to keep on point) but that's it.

Have always felt blessed to live on a street as quiet and pleasant as Conway Road.

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Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood proposals published 07 Nov 2017 17:15 #3323

If you are judging traffic issues as they affect Conway, then I very much doubt that it gets through traffic to anything like the extent that Derwent, Lakeside, Grovelands or Old Park roads do because these more directly connect Aldermans Hill and Fox Lane. Grovelands and Old Park are the worst because they offer a direct link through to Bourne Hill.

I had hoped for mid-road measures to slow traffic down in Lakeside Road, where the long views up and down the road are particularly tempting. At the moment traffic volumes are not great; it's the odd speedster that is a potential problem, particularly for vehicles creeping out between lines of parked cars, or for someone sleeping in a front bedroom. I don't understand why Ulleswater is getting so many calming measures. Does anyone know?

I recall discussion in the QN workshops about the problems caused by parents dropping off/picking up children for St Monica's and parking in Conway and even Harlech, and ideas about imposing some sort of time constraint on access. The proposal to close Cannon Road instead seems entirely wrong, it will surely just increase the parking pressure on Conway and Harlech, and possibly Selborne Road.

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Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood proposals published 07 Nov 2017 17:30 #3324

Part of the disparity between David E. and myself may be due to where we live on Conway Road, but I begin to wonder whether the bigger issue is a different mental picture of the concept of a purely residential street/area. I turned 80 this year, and when I was young there were few cars and deliveries were often made with a horse and cart. We rode round on our bikes, played a version of cricket with a soft ball, and played hide-and-seek after dark. Kids have different priorities now, times have changed, but speed should be slow enough for a child to make mistake and for an advancing car to stop in time nine times out of 10. QNs won't get anyway near that in most streets because the 20mph rule will be regularly flouted, as was in evidence when I stepped our of my car a little after three this afternoon.

What hope that kids could walk (as I did age 5 supervised by older kids) or bike (as I did at about age 10) to school (about a kilometre) as I did. Again things are different now - people often live much further away from their kid's schools - but we should be aiming for kids to walk or bike to school as soon at a relatively young age.

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