1 Jul 2008

20 is plenty and Shared Spaces update

Moves to calm traffic across the ward have had a bumpy ride as regular blog readers will know. Last night in an effort to help create new impetus I organised a meeting of representatives of the two local Parish Councils to look at ways they could perhaps cut costs and share some of the work in terms of getting a 20 is plenty scheme implemented as a first step.

Photo: County money wasted on implementing a 20 mph scheme on a road off Folly Lane where no one can drive more than 15 mph tops

It was a useful meeting that identified the next steps towards achieving a 20 limit - still a way off. Both Parishes have already done lots of work to make it happen including speed checks. I particularly liked Randwick Council's idea to put large 20 stickers on the recycling boxes, to make a fortnightly advertising blitz, to maintain awareness. Also Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parishes proposal to look at pace car window/bumper stickers with the 20 speed symbol.

In the meeting we also discussed some of the 'Shared Space' approaches to traffic calming - Whiteshill and Ruscombe have already consulted on this approach. See also this great website, 'Roadwitch', looking at traffic calming here. I know I have plugged this before but it is worth a look - like the rope across the road!

And talking of Shared Spaces I heard again from Acocks Green Focus Group. They wrote: "Remember us? We are the group who endorsed your excellent "Better Streets for Stroud" report."

I did indeed remember them - they contacted me soon after I'd written the 'Better Streets' report - and now have a good website to push their message - however unlike here there is some resistance to a Shared Space approach - despite the evidence of reduced casualties etc. One of the things that group was after, was to visit a scheme in place - sadly things are also moving very slow here and we still have no scheme in place locally - we have supportive Parish, Town and District Councils and even the County has shifted following a workshop/seminar on the topic. However last summer the floods in Glos have meant ££££m extra in costs for Highways so virtually every scheme and proposal is on hold while they repair etc.

However Stroud have now produced a public realm consultation - with proposals - it is a positive step in right direction (could go further) - a possible (much hoped for and needed) transport interchange and the possible canal regeneration project which will impact on town - these factors have to work together. It seems we have to wait more.

Meanwhile 5 miles down the road in Stonehouse they have another more formulated Shared Spaces proposal with model - excellent stuff for a busy high street - congrats to all of them for a great piece of work - indeed I made that point a week or so ago when I was at a County Council meeting looking at community safety issues - however it is also on hold as no funding at present.

So no visit from Acocks group - I suggested Shrewsbury would be a better bet for a visit and of course Kensington.

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