Will Charlton road changes give you the hump?

Greenwich Council 20mph zone map

Big changes are on their way to a big chunk of Charlton’s back streets – if they affect you, what do you think of them?

Hundreds of homes were sent consultation packs last week about making the area between the A102, Charlton Road, Charlton Church Lane and Woolwich Road into a 20mph zone. If you got one and it came as a surprise, you weren’t the only one – it’s understood local councillors weren’t aware of the plans, either. (If you haven’t had one, call the council on 020 8921 3804.)

“The Victoria Way area has been identified as a priority,” says the accompanying letter, citing 21 accidents in three years, one causing a serious injury.

Furthermore, work is planned for the railway bridge on Victoria Way to protect the narrow, weak footway from vehicles mounting the pavement.

The documentation is supposed to be on the council website, but – surprise, surprise – it’s not on there. I’ve asked when it’ll be uploaded and will link to it when it is.

Here’s what’s planned for the Victoria Way 20mph Zone

Speed humps on nearly all roads within the area (apart from the no-through roads and those that already have them).
– Installing 20mph roundels at key points, and removing existing road hump warning signs since they won’t be needed.
Repainting faded road markings.
– Giving northbound traffic priority on the Victoria Way railway bridge, adding a new 7-foot width restriction south of the bridge, introducing a 3-tonne weight limit (it’s currently 6 tonnes) and installing guard rails and raised kerbs between the roadway and the pavement.

20mph zones are slowly being adopted by London boroughs – indeed, streets around Charlton Lane, as well as in Blackheath and east Greenwich were made 20mph zones some years back. More recently, Greenwich Council has become keener on the idea and plans gradually to make all residential roads 20mph zones. The key reason’s safety – if you’re hit at 20mph, you’ve a better chance of surviving. But 20mph zones tend not to be actively enforced by police, who say the surrounding measures mean they tend to be “self-enforcing”.

Another concern is the speed humps themselves. Humps with shallower rises are promised, providing a smoother ride for both motorists and cyclists. But with the humps also affecting streets on the 380 bus route, has Transport for London been consulted? (Existing humps on the bus route section of Victoria Way are more like raised tables.) And will residents have to put up with the scrape of speeding cars’ exhausts as they bash against the humps?

On the other hand, is this just too weak a solution? You could dispense with speed humps and cut rat-running by closing off short sections of each road to all except pedestrians, buses and bicycles – something that’s been done successfully in the borough of Hackney.

As for the works on the railway bridge – would a guard rail add to clutter?

Lots of questions, and I suspect there’ll be a variety of answers. What do you think?

14 thoughts on “Will Charlton road changes give you the hump?

  1. Paul August 15, 2013 / 08:30

    Proper driver / rider education is the way forward.
    You should be imposing your own speed limit up to the maximum speed posted; this is dependant on several factors, what you can see to be happening, what you reasonably can expect to happen and what’s the worst thing that could happen.

    20 mph zones aren’t enforced due to lack of traffic police and the fact they do not have the correct paperwork or codes to process prosecute speed infringements in 20mph zones. A motorist using their phone is far more of a danger travelling at 20mph than an alert one driving at 30mph. Our national limits in the countryside are gradually being turned into 50mph rather than 60mph due to accident rates, drive to your own limits and the limits imposed by your environment.
    Further training is available, but unfortunately those that seek it tend to be those that don’t really need it.

  2. Neil Clasper August 15, 2013 / 09:11

    It’s an interesting one. I definitely welcome the 20mph zone; there’s really no need for anyone to be going faster than that round these streets. I think the proposed scheme brings some risks, though, and also presents some missed opportunities.

    It strikes me that the main problems with speeding at the moment are one Eastcombe Ave and Wyndcliff Rd; the streets in between don’t get much through traffic (certainly mine doesn’t, and most of that is trucks taking cars to the car pound). There seems to be a risk that we end up with a lot of ugly street furniture and some road humps, for not much return. From what I have seen on Banchory Rd, I think we can expect an increase in road noise, as the car transporters crash over the humps. As you point out, the 380 bus passengers’ experience won’t be improved by the road humps, either. The efficacy of speed humps is a little

    The new Sainsbury’s and M&S developments at the bottom of the hill are likely to bring considerably more traffic down Eastcombe Avenue and Victoria Way – this, surely, is the opportunity to do something more radical to reduce the impact of the increased traffic. At the least, narrowing the street where it comes off Charlton Rd to make it clear to drivers that this is a residential street rather than a main road, then narrowing it again at the junction with Bramshot and installing a proper pedestrian crossing (where currently pedestrians have to walk out tentatively into the middle of the road to see past the parked cars – particularly dangerous on winter mornings); then considering blocking it off halfway to prevent rat-running; the Victoria Way end of Eastcombe Avenue struggles with the volume of traffic at the moment, and this is only going to get worse.

    There’s obviously no perfect solution, but the one presented in the proposal seems a little half-hearted.

  3. Boneyboy August 15, 2013 / 10:39

    Thanks for highlighting this. I live in the area, but haven’t received a consultation pack, so will be chasing the council for myy copy.

  4. Boneyboy August 15, 2013 / 11:03

    No mention of this consultation in Greenwich Time either !

  5. Gary August 15, 2013 / 13:52

    I like it. Live on Elliscombe Road and there is always someone speeding.

    Its a shame that we have to go this levels but there are a lot of careless drivers, not just young men, some are a lot older and should know better. There’s a lot of young families on our road and I’m sure in the surrounding area, it would be a tragedy if something happened to a child because of one of these ignorant drivers.

    Sometime last year someone on the road had a petition for something like this so it’s great news that the Council is listening.

  6. Cara August 15, 2013 / 14:04

    I know many people are anti speed bumps and I can appreciate the negatives. However, having lived on Eastcombe Avenue for three years, I would personally be very pleased if these – along with any other traffic calming measures – are introduced.

    I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to drag my kids back off the road as a driver comes speeding around the bend. I’ve seen impatient drivers actually overtaking those sticking to the speed limit, narrowly missing cars or buses travelling in the opposite direction. Eastcombe Avenue is a known cut-through and the speeds some cars drive along the road is crazy. It has got busier since we’ve lived there and is going to get far busier again once the massive housing development is finished, and Sainsburys and Marks open for business. I have contacted the council in the past to raise concerns but the response seemed to boil down to “no one has died from a traffic incident in the last couple of years so it’s not viewed as a priority zone”

    With three schools (Sherrington, Fossdene and Invicta) in a very small radius of Eastcombe Avenue/Victoria Way, it seems even more essential that restrictions are put in place. Other roads with bus routes – Westcombe Hill, Westcombe Park Road et al – have speed bumps and I am very much of the opinion that Eastcombe Avenue should be a prime contender for this and other restrictions. I do agree that the local traffic problem needs to be addressed on a far wider and longer term scale but this would solve some immediate safety and speeding concerns that many residents of the road have.

  7. Neil Clasper August 15, 2013 / 14:33

    It’d be interesting to know what our local councillors think. Perhaps if any are reading they could let us know.

  8. Chris August 15, 2013 / 20:52

    I fully agree about Eastcombe Avenue. It’s used as a rat run throughout the day and I’m amazed there haven’t been more injuries on it. Speed calming measures there are long overdue.
    But that said, why is every road tarred with the same brush? The speed bumps they are proposing putting in Priolo Road are those awful square humped ones that give the car a hell of wack even at walking pace.
    They are putting a set directly outside my house. At the moment the traffic (including the 380) passes by smoothly and not at top speed. Once the humps are in it’s going to be kerump, kerump, and then an engine accelerating. IE Far more noise and air pollution to solve a problem on a road that hasn’t had an accident to my knowledge since I moved here in 1999.
    For an area the size of the proposal (Charlton Church Lane to Victoria Way, up Eastcombe to Charlton Road and all roads within that) I think a record of one serious injury in three years is pretty good.
    Are the council just being PC with all these bloody speed humps?

  9. Theresa August 16, 2013 / 13:35

    I complained to the council months ago about the speed vehicles were going up and down Eastcombe Avenue and was sent details about a consultation that was taking place. I didn’t hear anything more until a couple of weeks ago when I contacted them again and lo and behold this comes through my door! Neil (above) is right, Eastcombe definitely suffers from speeding cars and pound car lorries. They should narrow parts of the road just to slow the traffic down but I imagine we will just get speed humps. Signage with faded SLOW on the road has never worked. Maybe a zebra crossing at the junction of Bramshot? I have seen a few accidents on Eastcombe with cars not slowing down and cars pulling out – 20mph signs are at least a start

  10. Janey September 9, 2013 / 01:01

    The proposals are more ways Greenwich Council is restricting the movement of people and goods.

  11. Tatyana Kims October 15, 2013 / 14:14

    Hi there, I am in the process of considering buying a house on Eastcombe Avenue, my one reservation being the traffic! Interesting to read this.

  12. ANDREW CLINTON January 5, 2014 / 13:26

    I was never consulted and I dont want to pay for expensive intrusive speed humps, I will protest

  13. Chris January 6, 2014 / 18:34

    Too late mate. The notices are up. Work starts next week.

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