Lewes Forum thread

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Traffic calming

On 13 Mar 2013 at 7:44pm Jaywalker wrote:
Traffic calming work has started around Pells . Some twenty mile an hour signs have been put up. However to really reinforce the message we now have 20 painted onto some of the local roads. The one on Talbot Terrace is a particularly ugly example as it is surrounded by an oval and it's huge. To be honest though if you were driving from the step end you would be hard pushed to get to 20 mph before you had to break for the junction anyway. What a waste of money, i suppose someone's making a few quid though. I have always been philosophical about the bad decisions made in local Government but this really is the act of morons .
On 13 Mar 2013 at 8:16pm Carl Mingmeasures wrote:
much signage has to be provided in a specific way as defined in law, even if it is is clearly a nonsense when implemented in certain locations, so that might explain anomalies. If there are alternatives I doubt anyone will have considered them, so it may be worth investigation, especially if you are in the Conservation Area. This is how yellow lines were changed, and/or removed. Also it is worth remembering that after the white has gone all grubby, and faded it won't look so bad, and I doubt anyone will ever repaint it, because there seems to be a rather obvious problem with that issue in Lewes. My understanding is that the scheme we have covers such a large area as it means less signage overall.
On 13 Mar 2013 at 8:23pm the old mayor wrote:
I saw one sign painted on the road, huge, in a great circle that clearly said 02. I thought it was advertising something.
On 14 Mar 2013 at 9:14am Speedonot wrote:
Well, if last night and this morning are anything to go by, these measures are being totally ignored. I saw NO diminution of speed from any driver (our refuse executives at 6.30 AM were still driving like maniacs to finish before 9AM). I think someone on this forum last year said that the average speed of vehicles in Lewes was only about 22MPH anyway. How the devil can you pick up any speed on say Southover High Street or near Priory School? This is yet another example of council ineptitude on a grand scale. I am all for trying to avoid accidents and I know that there have been some pedestrians injured in Lewes over the years - but as the result of speeding drivers?
The only people I have seen driving fast are the aforementioned executives in their 30+ tonne carts, bank messengers, local bus drivers and boy racers. The new limits will not stop them and the signage (OK, it must comply with regulations) just looks a complete mess.
Finally, who will monitor the new limits? our beloved council? If they get involved you can guarantee a complete balls-up!
On 14 Mar 2013 at 10:11am Southover Queen wrote:
I do feel your pain. And certainly painting limits all over the roads in the Pells (and Toronto Terrace in particular) is obviously a complete waste of time since I can't see how you'd move faster than walking pace down there.

The "average speed" figure is a slight red herring though, and actually I find it surprisingly high if it really is an average for the whole of town. For instance I was on School Hill the other day and was really shocked at the speed that many vehicles thought appropriate. They were probably only travelling at 25-30mph or so but it really is far too fast when there are pedestrians trying to cross the road, loads of parked cars etc etc.

In most of Southover, it's difficult to get far above walking speed. For example, there are speed bumps outside the shop, which I imagine is because it's a main route for school children, both to the primary schools and to the Priory. But for some reason once drivers are over the speed bumps they put their foot down on St Pancras Road going up to the Southover High St junction. There are blind junctions and no pavements there, and anything above 15 or so mph is pushing it.

Most drivers use the roads round here cautiously for obvious reasons. However I agree with Speedonot that simply imposing new limits will not make a jot of difference unless it's actually enforced, and I can't see that happening before hell freezes over. That's because the cautious drivers will go on being cautious and the eejits will go on speeding until something slows them down. Painting a sign on the road isn't likely to do that.
On 14 Mar 2013 at 10:16am Lewes lady wrote:
Agreed. Crossing Offham Road near the Paddock is very hazardous due to speeding fools coming into town. The limit should start - and be enforced from - before the Prince Edwards Road junction.
On 14 Mar 2013 at 11:33am Carl Mingmeasures wrote:
It is rather typical of some people that they criticise a scheme for not working, before it is even completed, or operating.
Of course, it may end up being a load of crap, and if that happens I will be the first to join the moaning brigade to try and sort the problem out. (or do people just want to do the moaning part?)
I agree that loads of people will ignore the limits. However a lot of people won't. That means the fast people should be slowed by increased numbers of slow people, especially professional drivers, whose job is at risk if they exceed limits. i am guessing that this will have a beneficial effect. Lewes at night may experience no change, but then is that the problem time?
There is a clear explanation above about why we have some seemingly unnecessary signs. I am presuming the ones in quiet back streets have appeared first, because they can be painted without too much interruption to traffic, and that one night we will find all the ones in the town centre have been done, and the scheme starts seeming more viable.

Then again, the scheme may just be as useless as the drivers who speed through the town causing the problem in the first place. The Council, as much as i am not a fan, does not pay for them to do that.
On 14 Mar 2013 at 12:41pm Southover Queen wrote:
You probably mistake my motive, Carl. I am actually fully in support of a 20mph limit in town because I think a lot of people drive far too fast for the prevailing conditions. What I am doubtful about is whether the eejits who routinely break the speed limits already will be deterred by the mere existence of signs. As it happens in Southover the limit is already 20mph and a lot of people take no notice, either of the signs or of the road conditions which make speeding dangerous. It's not commercial vehicles either (who are a bit large to drive too fast round here), it's local drivers who have stopped noticing the hazards.

So unless there will some way of monitoring and sanctioning speeding drivers I fear this will make little difference. I'm saying "great: 20mph speed limit but how exactly does anyone plan to enforce it?"
On 14 Mar 2013 at 1:25pm Old Cynic wrote:
All very well but what about Malling Street / Malling Hill where it is supposed to be 30 but is more like 40 to 60. During rush hour its at a snails pace but the rest of the time its leathal!
On 14 Mar 2013 at 2:50pm Southover Queen wrote:
Agreed, Old Cynic - the same applies to Offham Road as LL says. It shouldn't be an either/or. Maybe some well placed GATSOs would persuade the speed merchants in those locations...?
On 14 Mar 2013 at 4:18pm Carl Mingmeasures wrote:
I agree that speeding drivers in the Southover 20mph zone are not ideal, but I suppose the point is , 'is it better or worse than it would have been without the Zone.' My view is that it is better , even if it is not perfect, because I can remember how bad it was before, and that was when there was considerably less traffic. It is a shame that only one part of the town was treated to a zone back then, as we could have developed a town wide strategy sooner, and it would be better by now.
Interestingly the Southover Zone cannot be enforced, because as many people know, and have pointed out to ESCC, the signage is incomplete. I have seen a letter than one resident was sent promising that missing signs would be installed in Aug 2011. They weren't. Another failure our Councillors should take responsibility for.
I will be driving through the Lewes 20mph zone at 20mph, which means that whoever is behind me will be doing the same. That is the tiniest degree of improvement, so I cannot help but think that given the number of people who do drive approximately the sped indicated as a maximum, that it can only be reasonably better. I personally think the zone should extend to all town boundaries for it to be properly successful, and that we should do this in all small towns. it would then become more of a habit than driving at 30mph.
There will always be people speeding, but we shouldn't use that as an excuse to not bother trying schemes which I can only think have a record of success elsewhere. Otherwise why would anyone have paid for it?

On 14 Mar 2013 at 4:59pm Ed Can Do wrote:
There are so many better ways to slow traffic down than sticking a bunch of signs up and expecting people to pay any attention to them. Putting a mini-roundabout at the bottom of the Avenue has slowed traffic along the Offham Road past there a great deal and putting one at the entrance to Orchard Road would kill the speed of traffic up and down Malling Hill whilst also making it possible to actually pull out of Orchard Road rather than making a detour either past the school or round past Tesco. Granted there aren't too many other places in town you could squeeze in mini-roundabouts but then there aren't too many places in town you can get much over 20mph, especially during the day. When the 20mph limit was first suggested I actually attempted to drive through Lewes at a flat 30mph fairly late at night and even with empty roads, it's not an easy task. Obviously there are certain points where it is easy to speed up without really realising but not so many that we need a complete speed limit overhaul. Put a roundabout outside the new Police HQ and another where the lights are at the bottom of the hill. One where the left only turn out of Waitrose is too and you'll cripple the speed of anyone going round the one way system and across the bridge which is about the only place in town people can regularly hit 30mph.
On 14 Mar 2013 at 5:16pm king cnut wrote:
I raised the possiblity of a mini-roundabout at junction of Orchard Road (with the help of Matt Kent) but the reply was not enough serious accidents had occurred here. I now detour via Church Lane because its just unsafe to use that junction anymore. Large lorries travel at speed up and down Malling Hill. This is one area that mini-roundabouts and an average speed check would work.
On 14 Mar 2013 at 5:26pm Southover Queen wrote:
I honestly don't disagree, Carl. However once the signage is all correct it still needs enforcing. No-one enforces it on St Pancras Road and consequently people frequently hurtle up to the High Street junction at dangerously high speeds.

Interestingly I drove to the supermarket today and noticed a 20mph sign painted onto the road going down Little East St. I proceeded at a stately pace to the fury of everyone behind me, and they all roared past me on the inside at the bridge (I was turning right at the roundabout). So on a road where overtaking is possible I think you might find 20mph is hard to stick to and, on occasions, actually dangerous.
On 14 Mar 2013 at 5:34pm Horseman7 wrote:
Many is the time I've driven up Malling Hill at 30 mph in the small hours of the morning with a lorry (petrol tankers especially) up my arse hooting, flashing and gesticulating at me because I decline to break the speed limit. They then like to overtake before having to slam the anchors on so that they don't crash into the islands at the Church Lane junction.

Still, no longer a problem as my car has died. The chances are at that time of night I'm a passenger in a taxi who's driver is occasionally behaving in much the same manner......
On 14 Mar 2013 at 5:36pm Horseman7 wrote:
Huge apologies for spelling error - "whose" driver.

I don't know what came over me. Been watching too much horse racing over the last 3 days and brain addled.
On 14 Mar 2013 at 5:40pm Pedant wrote:
Thank you. Much appreciated.
On 14 Mar 2013 at 7:46pm The Super K wrote:
Well the town Nazis have finally pushed through there completely pointless 20 mph scheme. A monumental waste of money, and completely pointless. Around a school ok, but though out the town? Really???
The town isnā??t safe for pedestrians because none of them cross at the points allocated for crossing. People complaining White hill is dangerous to cross, but they refuse to walk 20m up the road and use the Zebra crossing. Same story outside Waitrose, TWO crossing points 30m down the road in both directions yet morons STILL try to cross two lanes of traffic?
Everyone says motorists need to be more considerate on the road, but the reality is the pedestrians need to do their part too!!! Use their brains and cross where itā??s safe to.
The 20mph speed limits are a waste of time because the 30mph speed limit isnā??t patrolled in any way. Thereā??s no money for more police, do we really want them running around giving out speeding tickets? Or doing a proper police manā??s job and making the streets safe and catching burglars etc.
20mph, complete joke. Watch all the pedestrians stepping out in front of cars thinking they have longer to cross the road.
And the reason you haven't seen any change in peoples speed after ONE day, is that the scheme hasnā??t started yet. When the little red signs are unveiled, then itā??s the law, not just because thereā??s a 20 on a road, thatā??s just 'advice'.
On 14 Mar 2013 at 9:32pm the old mayor wrote:
Taxi journeys just went up a couple of quid !! Bus journeys became better value for money (cos the fare is the same but you are in it twice as long !)
On 14 Mar 2013 at 10:13pm Lewes lady wrote:
FYI, the Offham Road crossing challenge I was referring to involves the centre island refuge - ie where you are meant to cross!
And the new 20mph signs that were grey-ed out last week are now fully visible, which presumably means that the scheme is now operational.
On 15 Mar 2013 at 12:53am IMEYOU wrote:
Lol at "the old mayor" but if you want door to door service without any questions asked then call a local cab !
On 15 Mar 2013 at 7:42am Clair Voyant wrote:
I foresee a time over the next few years where the town and district will get even better, unemployment will be less, there will be more affordable housing, regeneration will really kick in and finally, yes finally Harold will realise he's just a complete cretin.
On 15 Mar 2013 at 10:39am GhostBike wrote:
Towns are for people not cars, Super K. Why do you expect pedestrians to go out of their way for cars, and have road networks designed around the convenience of motorists rather than the comfort and safety of pedestrians? Lewes is full of tiny streets and tiny pavements which are unpleasant for walkers to use because cars are so all-important.
Incidentally if the average speed is 23 mph it means many people are driving far faster than 40. 'Average' will include a lot of time when people are stationery or driving sub 20mph down areas such as SOuthover HS. They must be zooming around elsewhere to get the average so high.
On 15 Mar 2013 at 11:43am Horseman7 wrote:
Come on Pedant - slow on the draw my friend.
Cars are envelopes.
On 15 Mar 2013 at 4:59pm Independent Thinker wrote:
Could those opposed to the 20mph zone please make up their minds on how to attack it? Either it's impossible to do more than 20mph in town anyway, so it's a complete waste of money, or it's unenforceable and people will carry on driving at 30-40mph, or it'll slow the town to a standstill and cause taxi fares to rise and drink driving will increase as a result. I suggest choosing one of those contradictory positions and sticking with it.

By the way, is it safe to assume the same people saying it should be scrapped because it's unenforceable, would be the ones turning purple with rage if one or two speed cameras were brought in to enforce it?
On 15 Mar 2013 at 7:15pm wanderer wrote:
Average speed camera's?
Cost alot more but the revenue from them could be offset to pay for them ..
Probably just be another cash machine and the town not benefiting from them
On 15 Mar 2013 at 7:17pm Sussex Jim wrote:
Let us prove a point by all driving at a maximum of 20 mile/h within the boundaries of Lewes for two weeks, like until after Easter. It will only need a minority to drive at this speed as all following traffic will be forced to.
Let us see how much extra congestion is caused, and take the argument from there.
On 15 Mar 2013 at 9:19pm GhostBike wrote:
SJ - Sudden braking and other poor driving are bigger causes of congestion than slow speed. I'd suggest reading a bit about it.
On 16 Mar 2013 at 9:58pm Utalks Hit wrote:
SJ won't read anything it will put him in danger of learning something, heaven forbid.
On 17 Mar 2013 at 12:22am peasant wrote:
ESCC Highways suck - they await fatalities before changing anything even if they can see it's potentially dangerous. Staffed by part-timers who notoriously achieve fark all on the odd days they're in!
On 17 Mar 2013 at 12:46pm Fed up wrote:
Another scandalous waste of tax payers money by this useless council. Any coincidence one of the 20mph markings is a few yards from a local councillors house albeit not in direct view of course.
When will this council wake up & come up with some thoughtful initiatives to actually promote Lewes?
Spending precious time & money on schemes that are not needed is a disgrace, someone please name & shame the culprits.
I'm afraid the current lot 'in charge' have lost the confidence of your average Lewesian, definitely time for a change, I just hope it comes before the town suffers anymore
On 19 Mar 2013 at 7:51pm Sussex Jim wrote:
Traffic calming was in operation this afternoon at Ringmer. Two electric recycling trucks were driving in convoy towards Lewes at about 20mi/h. I used the morning rat-run of Ham Lane and A26 to take the low road and be in Lewes afore ye...

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