Whitchurch Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Doctorb on September 05, 2006, 06:04:28 pm



Title: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: Doctorb on September 05, 2006, 06:04:28 pm
Hello.

Recently I have stayed over in your fine town (am moving to whitchurch soon) and I thought I might comment on the subject of traffic speeding through the town.

I'm quite suprised that a fine town like Whitchurch does not have any measures to combat speeding. Having stayed overnight a while ago I noticed that over 50% (well it seemed like it..probably more) of cars blast through the main roads not even caring that a pedestrian may accidently trip into oncoming traffic, I even saw a bus (doing about 50) slamming his brakes on at the zebra crossing outside the white hart.

Having been passed through loads of similar Towns like Whitchurch, I am amazed that Speed bumps have not been installed. They are more effective than prority islands and cameras (which are ugly as well) and would cure the problem overnight..... if implemented well.




Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: thewhitorg on October 22, 2006, 10:26:01 pm
Sorry it's taken me so long to respond.

The reason there are no speed bumps on the roads running through Whitchurch is that they are deemed main roads.

Only side roads can have physical restrictions such as speed bumps.

There is a proposal to extend the speed limits on 3 of the routes into the town but whether they will be noriced is another matter.

On a positive note the cars parked at the sides of the roads do have the effect of slowing (most) motorists down

Phil


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: kot on October 22, 2006, 10:55:53 pm
Extensions of the limits will make little difference until there is some enforcement, which seems severely lacking, as shown by the speed of many drivers.
A more appropriate solution may be to make the whole town a 20mph zone with some effective controls - cameras, wardens, etc.

Yes, parked cars do slow traffic, but they also have other effects. They cause severe congestion which restricts road use, causing delays, frustrations and dangers. Anyone who wishes to own a motor vehicle should provide somewhere off-road to keep it when not in use. Roads are not designed for storage space for one's personal belongings but are for the essential movement of people, goods and services.

Take London Road as an example, where traffic regularly mounts the pavements to pass, causing both dangers to mums and children walking to school, and damage to the road edges and paving.
In addition buses get delayed causing late arrival at work, and school for many.
The same happens in Church Street, Evingar Road, Bell Street and outside Tescos.

I'd like to know how many of our Councillors, Town and Borough, ever travel using public transport and suffer the delays and unreliable service  - or do they clog our town's roads up too.



Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: Doctorb on October 23, 2006, 06:09:44 pm
Thanks for the reply.


I suppose it makes sense why only some streets have speed bumps and restrictions, speed bumps and buses don't go well.

Shame really...have to wait for the permenant hidden speed cameras, i'm sure they will be the norm soon!


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: Graham Burgess on November 05, 2006, 02:25:53 pm
A key thing to think of in respect of little towns like ours is that any opportunity to facilitate the viewing of shops and then facilitating proximate parking will lead to extra trade.People whizzing by do not see what is either side.I agree that speeding should be stopped but slow movement is great for the shops.

The motorist that has not a few minutes spare in their life to be stopped for a while is in a sad situation so far as I am concerned.Our local shops are being killed off and I know from my experience of having one that an extra £50 per week of turnover can be the difference between being in business and out of it.

I am always reminded of the small and vital shops in Paris where the highest quality, small shops thrive because the people (and their cars) are there.
In a previous job I used to be involved in car paprks for Waitrose and there a car park space is worth more than you can imagine. I think there is space for a few more on the roadsides in town, the difference in turnover that that wouldbring would be significant.
Graham Burgess


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: Keith Watts on November 09, 2006, 05:13:04 pm
Quote from: kot on October 22, 2006, 10:55:53 pm
I'd like to know how many of our Councillors, Town and Borough, ever travel using public transport and suffer the delays and unreliable service  - or do they clog our town's roads up too.


I just saw this.  Our Town and Borough Councillors have little influence over these matters because Highways and Transport are County Council functions.  Our County Councillor lives in Woolton Hill near the boundary with Newbury.
Keith Watts


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: kot on November 10, 2006, 02:32:10 pm
Quote from: Keith Watts on November 09, 2006, 05:13:04 pm
Quote from: kot on October 22, 2006, 10:55:53 pm
I'd like to know how many of our Councillors, Town and Borough, ever travel using public transport and suffer the delays and unreliable service  - or do they clog our town's roads up too.


I just saw this.  Our Town and Borough Councillors have little influence over these matters because Highways and Transport are County Council functions.  Our County Councillor lives in Woolton Hill near the boundary with Newbury.
Keith Watts


Our local Councillors have 'some' influence - if they choose to use it.
The question was do they clog up the roads too?
Let's add, do they use their influence by lobbying on behalf of residents to improve public transport and to reduce the congestion caused by on-road parking? If so it is not very apparent.
Passing the buck makes you sound like a politician yourself   ;D


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: thewhitorg on November 17, 2006, 10:20:10 am
Quote from: kot on November 10, 2006, 02:32:10 pm
Passing the buck makes you sound like a politician yourself   ;D


Now, now boys  :o


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: Simon Preedy on August 01, 2007, 02:16:42 pm
Hello Whitchurch,

Great website!

I'm not a resident of Whitchurch, but no doubt you're aware via the local media about the debacle of the Pack Lane Road Humps in Kempshott - and recently concerning: "Should they stay or go?"? This matter been debated for some time on the www.kempshott.com community website - see thread:  http://www.kempshott.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=204 You might like to review recent postings on that weblink... and check out the whole website?!

Referring to Phil's post last October:
Quote:
The reason there are no speed bumps on the roads running through Whitchurch is that they are deemed main roads. Only side roads can have physical restrictions such as speed bumps.


Phil - interesting info. Please can you tell me where this info came from? Was it just yourself or info from B&DBC / HCC or your Town Council? I wouldn't class Pack Lane as a "side road" suitable for road humps myself, whilst not an A or B road, more of a "main road / thoroughfare" perhaps?! Anyway... Thanks. I hope to hear from you. 

Thanks & regards,

Simon.



Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: thewhitorg on August 01, 2007, 11:44:59 pm
Simon,

It came to light when there was a push in the Town to introduce traffic calming measures to both slow those down who must use the north-south route (old A34) and the east-west (B3400) and discourage those who could use alternative routes. HCC were involved as the traffic authority - strangely B&DBC are not licenced to work on highways.

The ruling came from HCC that the roads were of the through traffic type (I forget the exact words) that could not have speed bumps and the minimum minimum limit is 30mph.

The new extensions to the 30mph and 40mph limits don't seem to be having much effect - having said that the move of the 30mph limit to more than 300m from the limit of housing to the north of the town seems to be an open invitation to exceed it - what is the need to reduce speed where there are no houses and there is a footpath for pedestrians?

I use Pack Lane to get from Whitchurch to my son's house in Brighton Hill. It is the most direct route and as quick as going via the B3400 or M3 because of that (even allowing for a speed of ~20mph in the area of the bumps).

Andover went through a similar bumps and then no bumps on Weyhill Road (at great expense to the rate payers) - the traffic planners employed by towns don't seem to talk to each other about their experiences!!


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: Simon Preedy on August 02, 2007, 10:02:47 am
Thanks for that Phil.
Quote:
the traffic planners employed by towns don't seem to talk to each other about their experiences!!


Indeed... sad that it is!


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: Keith Watts on August 04, 2007, 12:16:12 pm
I considered running a '20 is plenty' campaign in Whitchurch earlier this year.  The few people I consulted thought that drivers who don't observe a 30 m.p.h. limit wouldn't change their habits whatever the limit is.  What is the forum view on a 20m.p.h. limit for the centre of Whitchurch?

(Declaration of interest: I live in the centre)

What I did instead is asked for a trial of the flashing signs that tell drivers what speed they are doing on each of the entry roads to Whitchurch.  I am still pursuing that.

regards

Keith


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: kot on August 04, 2007, 06:19:00 pm
I do not believe that more signs and more regulations are the way to go in the Centre. As said, someone who breaks 30mph will also break 20mph and without adequate enforcement and increased penalties, then any legislation is worthless. Please don't get me wrong but putting a few signs up is very often the politicians way of being seen to be doing something.

As is often suggested, the only way to slow a driver down is to remove all so-called safety features from their vehicle and install a spike on the steering wheel facing their chest. That would focus the mind and ensure they drove slowly!

Reducing the Town Centre's limit to 20mph will simply be more regulation. I doubt if much traffic exceeds 20mph speed, so it would be fairly worthless. Have any surveys been carried out? What is the average traffic speed? With increasing congestion it is sure to lower itself anyway.

My own preference is similar to the approach and philosophy of the road designer Hans Monderman, where the aim is directed at road users psychology. He says that road signs are an admission of failure, and if a road designer had done their job properly they would not be needed.

All signage should be removed, and with careful design and integration of paved areas, all traffic, whether walking cycling or motorised would have equal priority.

There are now several examples now in the UK and Europe where this method is proving successful. Whitchurch would seem to be a prime location for the implementation of a similar approach.

I hope those drawing up the plans for improving the town are looking at this option which would return the Town to People.
Who is responsible for this work?
Who are the contacts?

Increasing traffic levels in Whitchurch are unsustainable and with little encouragement to lower the reliance on the private-car, our Town will become worse before it can improve.
Outside the centre another approach can be taken.
These roads (eg parts of Newury Street, London Road, Evingar Road, Winchester Road, Micheldever Road) are already clogged with those who insist on blocking the carriageways (and pavements) with their private vehicles, making essential services like emergency vehicles, deliveries, and public transport more and more unreliable. Drivers should no longer 'expect' to be able leave their personal possessions on a road meant for movement of people, goods and services. If you own a vehicle you should have somewhere off-road to store it. It is a simple concept that already applies to other belongings!

Additionally, much better use could also be made of directing through traffic away from the centre. For a start, Lynch Hill Park should be signposted at each end  - to Overton at the Newbury Road end , and 'to Railway Station/Newbury' at the Gables end.

What Whitchurch needs is a vision that looks at putting 'People' at the centre rather than the motor vehicle.

We need to have our Town back.

kot



Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: thewhitorg on August 04, 2007, 06:30:25 pm
Quote from: kot on October 22, 2006, 10:55:53 pm
A more appropriate solution may be to make the whole town a 20mph zone with some effective controls - cameras, wardens, etc.



John,

What's changed in 9 months?

I would also be interested in the views of residents of Lynch Hill Park on your proposals - would you like through traffic in McFauld Way?

Phil


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: kot on August 04, 2007, 08:09:44 pm
Quote from: thewhitorg on August 04, 2007, 06:30:25 pm
Quote from: kot on October 22, 2006, 10:55:53 pm
A more appropriate solution may be to make the whole town a 20mph zone with some effective controls - cameras, wardens, etc.


I'm confused, what's changed in 9 months?

Phil


First of all note the word "effective". Simply putting in cameras, signs, limits, lights and so on without the back up of enforcement will only have limited success and the lack of a deterrent risks a mockery being made of law and order . However, I still believe that there is a place for lowering limits in outer zone residential areas but it must be backed up - hidden cameras with film in them may help!
Of course the enforcement issue is part of much greater problem in that local services are always being cut (even though we pay more and more), and it would moves into a different discussion.

Secondly, in the last year I have visited some of the sites (in Holland) where the 'Monderman' solution has been implemented and seen first-hand how they have become 'People' focussed rather than 'traffic-ruled'. At one no longer is any traffic mode subservient to another and I understand that accidents have also fallen to zero. A town centre junction that had once been traffic light controlled, and with signs and notices everywhere, had changed into a pleasant place where everyone could mix safely.

Having also been in touch with various road safety officers and a few traffic planners over the last year, I have been coming across so many instances of ill-conceived signage that is positively dangerous to road users, increasing risk of conflict and collisions.
A fortnight ago in one Hampshire town I took a traffic planner around several schemes to show what conflicts had been introduced simply as a result of some paintwork. It was carried out from a cycling point of view and I was quite astounded that he hadn't seen the dangers introduced by putting bicycles on red paint around the outside edge of a roundabout!
He said his eyes had been opened  :D


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: kot on August 04, 2007, 08:53:03 pm
Quote from: thewhitorg on August 04, 2007, 06:30:25 pm
I would also be interested in the views of residents of Lynch Hill Park on your proposals - would you like through traffic in McFauld Way?

Phil


I am sure that residents of Lynch Hill Park would be aghast at signage directing traffic along the road, and I'd have some sympathy. I suppose it comes down to where your personal priorities are. I would like a nice pleasant safe town centre where I can shop, walk and relax,  and for public transport not to be held up and made unreliable. Use of LHP may be one way of relieving that. There may be others. I know of commuters from Freefolk who use LHP to reach the station. Are they wrong to?
What is best - they use LHP or they go through the town centre?
What would you do on that journey?

McFauld Way and Alliston Way are different in that they are not through natural routes in the way LHP could be. But they suffer tremendously by the the bottleneck that occurs at Micheldever Road/Winchester Road. On-road parking and the school run are main causes, as well as the increase in development up Micheldever Road.
It was because of the high traffic volumes and on-road parking that the Knowlings area lost its bus services a few years ago. Delivery vehicles to the schools often get severely delayed as do coaches to take youngsters on trips. I'd hate to think what would happen if there was an accident/fire at the either school in the morning or evening 'rushes'.

Most roads can be safe through routes so long as the users respect the local conditions, and use them in a sensible safe manner. That applies to any road, be it LHP or any other. It is mainly the drivers do not proceed safely and put others at risk who cause the problems.

Oh - and that there are too many making unnecessary journeys.


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: thewhitorg on August 05, 2007, 03:52:20 pm
John,

Proposed new route to allow creation of pedestrian precinct in centre of town.

A flyover over the Test Valley would allow north-south, traffic to flow along both LHP and then the new bypass. There is plenty of space to the North and west of McFauld/Alliston to widen the road. A roundabout at the junction of Micheldever and Winchester Road (using some of the store car park) plus abit of road widening should solve the Micheldever Rd problems.

Traffic to and from the west would use the new route from Longmeadow to Wells Lane, skirting houses on the Weir, the cricket pitch and Vicarage, with roundabouts at each end - with one of Graham Burgess' neighbourhood rocks as centre pieces

Oh, BTW, it's not my idea - I'm not an ideas man, but I have friend who is (http://thewhitchurchweb.org/bypasss.jpg)



Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: Keith Watts on August 05, 2007, 03:57:27 pm
John, Phil has blown your cover.

Lynch Hill Park residents have the same concerns as the rest of us, speeding and heavy vehicles.  I support their wish to deter both from their road but the rules are against them.  John Wall reckons that SatNav encourages drivers to go that way.  LHP is a residential road and I could not support signing it as a through road.

I knowingly bought a house on Newbury Street and have never complained about Town centre traffic (nor pedestrian noise).  I become incensed when works on the by-pass cause all the A34 traffic to come through Whitchurch.

I want Whitchurch as a whole to be an undesirable route for through traffic.  It follows that it should not be easy for me to drive to McFauld Way nor to Charlcot.  

Keith



Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: thewhitorg on August 05, 2007, 04:04:57 pm
Sorry Keith, Charlcot is privately owned so if you want to get a compulsory purchase orde - I'll see you on the barricades



Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: Doctorb on August 05, 2007, 06:57:02 pm
I'm quite suprised that London St is not 20mph or at least an example of why 30mph is too fast. The pavement opposite the chippy and the Red house is narrow, a buses side mirror could easily hit a pedestrian. Its bad enough on bin day or when Mr postie has his bike parked...you have to walk on the road.

At least if it was 20mph less people would me inclined to do 30 or 40mph, especially if there were regular speed camera patrols.

As for the extending of the 30mph on Newbury St, that was pointless. Even the police and little old ladies either tailgate me or overtake! People just forget its a 30mph and ignore the sign anyway.


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: Harold Harebrush on August 06, 2007, 11:01:53 am
What we need is more roundabouts.


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: thewhitorg on August 06, 2007, 09:00:47 pm
If you read the Highway Code, the speed limit is the maximum you should travel at. I believe that the status of the B3400 prevents it having a lower limit than 30mph, even in Overton where they have put constrictions on it the limit is still 30.

As Kot said the existence of the limit is fairly pointless unless it is policed.

I was toying with idea of getting a speed gun and testing limits with and without the operator wearing a dayglo yellow jacket. To use Kot's continental experience, for many yars the German police put carboard cut outs of policemen at dodgy places and strangely people slow down!!

Phil

Harold, welcome to the list, I was beginning to think that you were one of the many who join the list to advertise wonderous medicinal and financila products - On roundabouts, we might be administratively part of Basingstoke but I think using its favourite bit of street furniture is taking things a bit too far


Title: Re: Traffic Calming/ Speed Bumps
Post by: Daniel on August 08, 2007, 08:09:58 pm
Quote from: thewhitorg on August 06, 2007, 09:00:47 pm
I was toying with idea of getting a speed gun and testing limits with and without the operator wearing a dayglo yellow jacket.


There is a problem with that. The minute you put on a dayglo yellow jacket you become 'invisible' to all traffic. It is like something out of rent-a-ghost. You stop being human the minute you put one on and become fair game!

My mother speaks of how bad the traffic was before the bypass. How a lorry killed a mother and child as it crashed through a window coming down Newbury Hill. I am surprised nobody has been killed on the zebra crossing just before the roundabout. It scares me to death to watch some of it.

Fortunately, the hideous parking is a double edged sword as it seems to stop some speeding, whilst encouraging that 'nip through quick' acceleration common to the pinch points in and around Hatch Warren in Basingstoke.

It's a tough call how Whitchurch calms things, but it needs doing.


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