The Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood consultation is open, showing some innovative and promising ideas. You can see the plans and respond here, while the technical drawings are here – the closing date is 26 November.
As Better Streets our response isn’t set in stone, so feel free to contact us with your views. Here’s the short version:
- The area-wide approach, with planters on every street entrance to signal that drivers are entering a residential area
- The (unofficial) 20mph zone
- The continuous footways on Aldermans Hill
- The traffic ban at school run hours for Cannon Road
- Reduced traffic in the Bourne Avenue area with point no entries
- Sinusoidal speed humps and road narrowing to calm traffic.
We are concerned…
…that these measures on their own will not prevent drivers from cutting through our residential streets. Without a reduction in traffic volume we are unlikely to reach our goal of increased walking and cycling. Therefore, we want to see the council monitoring the effects on traffic speed and volume for 3–6 months after implementation. If it hasn’t produce the desired effect of less traffic, we would like the council to trial more effective measures. We welcome the statement that the planters could be repositioned to help further reduce traffic speeds/volumes.
Read on for the longer (draft) version as a more detailed response:
The Better Streets approach to Quieter Neighbourhoods
As Better Streets for Enfield, one of our end goals is the removal of through traffic from residential areas to create low-traffic neighbourhoods. This will promote all-age active travel, discourage short journeys by car and allow residents of all ages to enjoy their streets as community space. This ambition is in line with the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and healthy streets/liveable neighbourhoods approach. We will respond to each of the Quieter Neighbourhood consultations with this end goal in mind, and while we recognise that it can’t be achieved overnight, we welcome any commitment or steps in this direction.
Continuous footways from the Triangle to Aldermans Hill zebra crossing
We welcome this design to signal priority to pedestrians over the side roads on a busy stretch of Aldermans Hill, especially train passengers. However, we’re concerned that since these side roads are also well-used through routes, there will be lots of vehicle movement over them and that not all drivers will respect pedestrians’ right of way. Therefore it will be essential to make the turns very tight to keep driving slow, perhaps with bell bollards or planters. Such measures are not shown in the technical drawings.
We are also concerned that the proposed design, with painted give way markings on the Aldermans Hill side, may undermine the visual priority for pedestrians. Surely the more common design of the footpath paving continuing across the junction without painted markings is clearer?
Planters as width restrictions near the entrance of every side road
We welcome this innovative measure for its potential to slow drivers as they enter roads; to signal that drivers are entering a residential neighbourhood; and to green streets, possibly allowing for community gardening as well. We note that the whole area or cell has been taken into account, not just individual streets, which is very welcome.
It may be worth putting something on the pavement, level with planters, to prevent drivers mounting the kerb and to restrict access by the largest vehicles that frequently and inappropriately use these streets. A second smaller planter or a large natural boulder (no maintenance required) could be used.
However, we don’t think this measure on its own will discourage drivers from cutting through our streets, or necessarily reduce driver speeds along their length (unless more planters are introduced at intervals, if residents agree to lose parking). And without a reduction in traffic volume and speed we are unlikely to reach our goal of increased walking and cycling. Therefore, we want to see the council monitoring the effects on traffic speed and volume for 3–6 months after implementation. If it hasn’t produce the desired effect of less traffic, we would like the council to trial more effective measures. We welcome the statement that the planters could be repositioned to help further reduce traffic speeds/volumes.
Sinusoidal speed humps are welcome where they’re being introduced, notably on Fox Lane. The absence of a sixth speed hump to the eastern end of Fox Lane is surprising given the speed levels seen here from vehicles moving in both directions. Ideally, we would like to see more streets in the neighbourhood receive speed humps – if not now, then when funding allows. We are slightly sceptical about the optical illusion speed humps planned for Devonshire Road in terms of slowing down the habitual speeders on this one-way street. Residents complain of speeding as a daily nuisance and may perceive this option as inadequate given the scale of the problem. Again, the effects of this measure should be monitored.
Unofficial 20mph zone
We welcome the introduction of an unofficial 20mph zone as a first step towards slowing vehicle speeds. To reinforce the message, the council could issue households with ‘Twenty’s plenty’ vinyl stickers for people to add to their wheelie bins, to help reinforce the message:
However, ultimately we would like to see an official, enforceable 20mph zone implemented throughout the neighbourhood in this area and all built-up areas of Enfield (although removing through traffic from residential areas is a higher priority for us).
Point no entries
We welcome these traffic reduction measures for the Bourne Avenue area, though we hope it will not add to the already heavy through traffic on The Mall.
School street for St Monica’s primary school
We warmly welcome this scheme – we hope it will not only boost walking and cycling rates for St Monica’s families and improve safety on the street itself at school run times, but provide a model for school streets elsewhere in the borough.
Finally, it bears repeating – while we support these proposals overall, we view them in themselves as unlikely to truly deliver a ‘Quieter Neighbourhood’ that is quiet, where walking and cycling rates rise, and car use falls. They do not, in their current form, address the heavy through traffic on streets such as Old Park Road, The Mall, Caversham Avenue, or Amberley Road. Our support is therefore based on the assumption that if these measures do, as we fear, prove relatively ineffective on their own, further steps will be taken to create true Quieter Neighbourhoods.