Tuesday, 29 May 2012
3 road collisions this morning in St Leonard's Ward - and actions that can be taken
There were three separate incidents this morning, including one fatality, on the roads in St Leonard's Ward this morning.
I visited each of the sites, and police told me that at one, a female pedestrian had been killed.
The three were as follows:
2. Up near the new hub development, around the junction of Natal Road and Streatham High Road a cyclist was hit. I don't have any more details.
The changes in the traffic outside the new hub development and with the works due to be carried out on the High Road soon, provide an opportunity to change things for the better. The crucial question however is whether TfL and Lambeth Council are willing to take the string decisions that are required, to re-establish a road hierarchy in Streatham which puts pedestrians and cyclists first, followed by public transport and then other motor vehicles. And this is a question, not just of safety, but the kind of place we want Streatham to be.
Three measures which should be taken:
Lower Speed Limits
We need to bite the bullet and lower speed limits right across Streatham - including the High Road - to 20 mph. The facts are simple. If you lower speed limits, you save lives. We need to create a slower traffic culture. Not only with this save lives, but it will also move Streatham away from being a just somewhere that people drive through, towards being somewhere more pleasant to stop and stay in. It will also actually improve traffic flow, as numerous studies have shown, with less stopping and starting, and of course less noise pollution.
Longer crossing times
Right across Streatham I hear from people who say repeatedly they don't have enough time to cross the road. Crossing times need to be longer. The mayor of London has pursued a policy of shortening crossing times, but this causes many problems - particularly for those with children, older people, those with mobility impairments, and those using wheelchairs etc.. It is also about reclaiming Streatham for the pedestrian.
Dutch style cycle lanes
All four main political parties (eventually) came around to the idea that Dutch-style, segregated cycle lanes, were a good idea. Cycling has repeatedly been identified as something which needs to be encouraged in Streatham, and made safer, but very little in the way of political action has been forthcoming. Again the new hub and development of Streatham High Road presents a real opportunity to put in safe road spaces for cyclists.