by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 6 November, 2020
Many thanks to all the residents who took part in our recent survey on road safety. We had an excellent response and it was good to get your feedback. The full survey report is here.
The main concern mentioned was the speed of traffic (mentioned by more than half of you) but similar levels of concern were raised about heavy vehicles, and out of service buses using the road (especially at night) to return to the garage. You told us about the noise, pollution and vibration to your houses this caused.
Most residents (more than 60%) supported a camera at the by-pass end to regulate heavy vehicles, with support also for better speed signage, including a ‘smiley face’ sign, and some form of surface treatment at the Give Way signs to make them more prominent. A majority also asked us to lobby for a ban on out of service buses. Only 20% asked for the road to be closed.
Many of you were critical of the new road layout, saying that it was ignored, or dangerous, increasing pollution.
The road has a 20 mph speed limit and a 7.5 tonnes weight restriction: in simple terms, the weight restriction prohibits any vehicle with more than two axles. However both of these restrictions are widely ignored. Part of the problem has been the confusing signage at the by-pass. But discussions through Caroline Pidgeon, member of the London Assembly and vice Chair of their Transport Committee have nearly resolved this. New weight restrictions signs are now in position. TfL have also agreed to change the 30 mph to 20 mph signs at this end of the road, and we expect these signs to go up in mid-November.
We think the recent water leaks are signs of the impact of heavy lorries on the road, and have asked for a radar survey of the road to be carried out.
We are taking forward a number of initiatives you supported in the survey, including installing a ‘smiley face’ speed warning sign. A bid for funding for the ‘bus gate’ camera at the by-pass end has been submitted to TfL. This is a camera which would enable vehicles over the weight limit (except buses, and those that need access) to be sent a penalty notice.
We have asked TfL to talk to the tanker company about them changing their routing. Ruth (as Leader of the Council) and the Supt of Police have written a joint letter to the bus company about the problems they are causing.
We asked for a camera to be stationed by the entrance to Collingwood Rec ground to monitor heavy lorries. Officers are reviewing the footage over specific periods they are alerted to, and are prepared to write to companies telling them to use different routes – this camera cannot be used to issue penalty notices. So please send us details of heavy vehicles over the weight limit – ie more that two axles). We need to have the date, time and any identification details.
When we were calling on residents last week, one drew our attention to the growth from the trees which is obscuring some of the signs, and sight lines near the width restrictions. I have asked for these to be cut back.
Road safety initiative are funded by grants from TfL. These are currently not available – you may have read that TfL has had financial problems due to lack of passenger fare income, and the bail-out provided by government is not sufficient for these schemes. The survey shows the support of residents for doing something about the issues in the road. We will be pressing Sutton Council to implement low cost measures, and lobbying TfL and the bus company to bring about improvements as soon as possible.
We will continue to keep you up to date on our web site and by emails to residents in the road.
Ruth, Marlene and Steve1 Comment