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Bonkers Blog July 2011

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20 July (Part 2) - Frizoni Follies

Unnecessary pinch point in Oaklands RoadI 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.


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