spoke to my road safety expert friend yesterday about the ‘ears’ I said had been
built at junctions in Oaklands
Road and he said they were called ‘Build-outs’
if there was just one and ‘Pinch points’ if there were two or more opposite each
other. Pinch points, he said, can reduce traffic speeds if planned carefully which
in turn may reduce accidents. The problem is that their mere presence causes
accidents because people fail to see them and cyclists in particular are put at
risk through being brought closer to passing vehicles. The trick is to put pinch
points where accidents are frequent enough to
make the installation a positive force for good, not the reverse. If pinch
points are installed in a cul-de-sac where there have been no accidents their
effect can only be detrimental. I was reminded that the number one rule of road
design must be “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. If only Bexley council was
clever enough to understand that simple rule.
The Department of Transport advice on traffic calming stresses how important it is for local authorities to consult widely before installing traffic calming measures. If Bexley did so then it’s odds on it would be a sham consultation, all those I have looked at closely have been a sham, with all advice by residents ignored.