So asks Open Our Roads when publishing this graph:
One of their own supporters provides an answer: “Why are we playing theyre games? How does showing thousands of cars going through this road help us get rid of this?”
We note the concern about unreasonable volumes. Having said that, we’ll look at a few more complexities.
The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed one word appears six times on the graph: “average”. Here’s what average obscures:
- less traffic on weekends brings down the average
- daily counts don’t reveal peaks, for example at commuting or pupils going to school times
- the very nature of rat run roads is that they act as a pressure relief to blockages (accidents/utility repairs/flooding) on main roads when Waze/Google/TomTom send unprecedented levels of traffic onto minor and unclassified roads.
Let’s look at the data in more depth.
On Thursday 8 August 2019 (pre-Covid but in the summer holidays), in the hour 12:00 to 13:00, 369 vehicles (in one direction only) passed the Speedvisor. Roughly one vehicle every 10 seconds. Incidentally 66.4% of them were speeding.
On Wednesday 13 March 2019 between the hours of 08:00 and 09:00 there were 470 vehicles recorded. Roughly one car every 7.5 seconds (in one direction only) of which 36.8% were speeding at a time when pupils are going to school.
Rat runs as pressure relief
On Wednesday 19 May 2021 between the hours of 17:00 and 18:00 there were 649 vehicles recorded (in one direction only). Only 29.9% were speeding, but up to twice the speed limit. OOR point out that there were roads works on Goat House Bridge at the time, but this illustrates how the average daily volume of a car every 37 seconds jumps to every 5.5 seconds when Waze/Google/TomTom pumps displaced traffic down a minor road.
Volume appropriate to a ‘C’ road?
If we consider that Auckland Road, at the location of the Speedvisor, is on a bend, with speed bumps and cars parked on both sides of the road effectively making it a single lane, is it appropriate to carry this volume of traffic (more than on some local main roads)? Clearly the OOR supporter quoted above thinks not.
|Criteria||Main Roads||Auckland Road|
|Status||‘A’ road||‘C’ road|
Cycle Route 29
|Funded by||Central Government||Local Council|
|Lanes for moving traffic||2 lanes for its entire length allowing cars to pass each other coming from opposite directions||For much of its length it is effectively single carriageway as vehicles are allowed to park on both sides|
|Speed bumps||None||Along entire length|
|Other traffic controls||Speed camera||Restricted width at council boundary; bus gate (previously)|
Purpose of a Low Traffic Neighbourhood
The benefits of LTNs extend far beyond the improved conditions for people living within them. The main reason everyone in the extended community should support them is that they provide safe passage for all those citizens who want to exchange car to active travel. Note 38.6% of residents within the LTN don’t even possess a car.
Here’s a few benefits:
|Issue||Solution provided by LTN|
|Climate change||less emissions|
|Pollution||more clean air (Croydon has the highest incidence of asthma in London)|
|Health||promote active travel and thus a healthier life-style|
|Safety||less people killed and injured on our roads|
|Children||gives them independence in a safe environment|
|Business||walkers and cyclists spend more locally|
Some more questions for Croydon Council
Given that we have comprehensively answered OOR’s question for you, we thought we were entitled to ask:
- do you intend going ahead with the ANPR scheme?
- when will it be implemented?
- when will you actively campaign for it in the community?
You can check the data:
Open Our Roads are a local campaign group insisting on their right to drive anywhere despite knowing all the issues (listed above) that over-dependency on cars produces. A good example of what Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport described as the “loudest voice”.
All independent polls show a large majority of the population in favour of controlling traffic.
The Dutch provide an example of what can be achieved by brave municipal authorities.