Sunday, 26 January 2014

Pavements, Benches And Automobiles...

Regular blog reader and contributor Richard spotted this badly parked car earlier in Windsor Road and wonders if it's just one more symptom of a badly thought out plan. He writes:
"Residents and traders will be familiar with the ludicrous one-way system that blights car park access and results in funnelling extra traffic and HGVs into Windsor Road. Added to that, the road has been raised to the level of the pavement, resulting in a poor segregation between pavement and roadway. 
One bizarre Sutton OLF solution to this unclear segregation of its own creation has been to position (back to front) benches on the edge of the now dramatically more busy Windsor Road – including one very exposed bench on the corner of Windsor and Central Road. It seems Sutton Council is attempting to deter vehicles from mounting the newly ‘curbless’ pavements by using residents as a human shield!
Human Shield Bench
However, having walked along Windsor Road’s indistinct pavement on Saturday and passing the toy shop, I found myself actually dodging a car intent on parking on the public pavement! It seems some self-styled ‘Starsky and Hutch’ drivers are simply utilising the newly extended pavement as a car park overflow. Given that the next shop along, in front of this car is a toy shop, it’s pretty clear how dangerous this poorly conceived Sutton OLF ‘venture’ is.
Given the now extreme width of the pavement in Windsor Road, along this parade of shops, it seems to me that reducing the huge width by reintroducing car parking spaces along its length (and a curb!) might actually be dramatically more safe and efficient answer to these Sutton OLF-induced problems."
Update (1st February)

They seem to be multiplying...




21 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Paulus said...

The habit of parking on the pavement there has been going on for over 10 years. Not sure why they do it but it doesn't seem to be directly linked to the new one-way system...

guest said...

One culprit was Papa Johns - I nearly got run over by one of their cars whilst I was walking on the pavement - this was before the one way in stone place

Hardgrafter said...

I think the one way into Stone Place is a good safety measure. The Waitrose (and other fine stores) Car Park is meant for shoppers with trolleys, and not as a shortcut to the lower end of Central Road. For me, as a pedestrian Stone {lace is much safer. My wife fell over there a couple of years ago because of the kerb and the rather lousy narrow footway.

Bexx Bissell said...

A couple of years ago I was nearly run over by a Papa John's moped when I was on the pavement outside their shop. I went in the shop to complain but they didn't seem surprised or bothered.

Stewart Mackay Conservative WP said...

I think the stone place one way was a safety measure where no accidents had occurred. no one I have spoken can remember any accidents there. It has though really blighted the lives of the residents who live in Windsor, Hampton Donnington roads. Hopefully will know the real picture when the traffic counting camera's have completed their task and the numbers have been crunched.

guest D said...

Stewart,

There are two approches to safety, reactive where you wait for an accident to happen and proactive where you look at the risks. A search on the internet shows 5 councils being attacked for closing rat runs through their property where no accidents have occurred and 2 for not closing rat runs before accidents (involving injuries) occured.

I personally prefer the proactive approach.

Lastly as I think Alec pointed out we will never know the true picture as there is no before data, only after data, so no meaningful conclusions can be drawn.

Perhaps some compromise can be made, i.e. restore the traffic flow through Stone Place but make it undesirable with sleeping policeman that you have to crawl over or your car gets shaken to bits.

Stephan Torcy said...

The human shield bench is very amusing & absurdly dangerous! What were they thinking???

Guest said...

The Sutton Outer London Fund Team claimed to have statistics for both before, to justify the change, and after. But as yet, strangely, have declined to reveal any of them - I wonder why?

Nathan G said...

I understand guest D's point about being proactive but I think the new arrangement at the junction of Central Road and Stone Place is dangerous. I have seen cars on the area intended for pedestrians and pedestrians (including children) wandering without a thought on the area designed for cars, as there is no demarcation by way of a raised kerb. I have also seen cars going the wrong way along the one way section as the indication that it is no entry from the car park is not as well positioned as it could be. I like the idea of putting it back as it was but with some kind of speed reduction measure. A well thought our one mind, not another half-baked idea that causes more problems (or potential problems) than it solves.

whatthe_eck said...

I always thought is was an offence to drive or park on the pavement, where are the traffic wardens?

oh dear said...

rather then admitting that it was a stupid idea, they cover it up with yet another stupid idea? looool you got to love the people who think up of these ideas they must never get bored in life with the amount of stupid ideas they have in their heads!

loool said...

you should have said you work for the home office, you would have never seen that driver again! looool

guest D said...

Yes and no.

If there are dropped curbs you can drive across a pavement.

If there are clearly marked bays (as in London Road, North Cheam) you can park on the pavement (in the marked bays only)..

If the signage indicates you can park with one set of wheels on the pavement.

But I guess here they are just ignoring it, as they do with the parking within 15 metres of a junction restriction.

Stewart Mackay Conservative WP said...

I'm just pleased at least we are having a debate about it.

Alex said...

Unfortunately, the central weakness of the operation of the Outer London Fund in Sutton is that there was no real debate. The decisions were taken by Councillors intent on their personal agenda and the opposing local knowledge/ of traders and residents simply got in the way of that personal agenda. Result £2.3 million opportunity lost.

(No doubt extremely expensive) bespoke, technical drawings and computer mock-ups have been embraced, without a thought of practicality: The car park is a classic example. So is the shambles of Victoria House. And the new paving stones on the crossings are disintegrating for a second time (whilst the original road that was left alone remains unaffected!). [It looks to me like materials designed to take the weight of a pedestrian are being used to take the weights of HGVs and buses, with inevitable results].

Stewart Mackay Conservative WP said...

Hi Alex,

I fear your right on just about every point you make. you only have to look at Sutton high street debacle and the mis-handling of that "upgrade" to see that liberal council is well out of its depth when it comes to street planing, they push their own green agenda above all else. Also failing in that since recycling has actually been dropping in the borough despite the 200% increase in bins along Central Road. You couldnt make it up...

Stewart Mackay Conservative WP said...

They do, and at the local committee last night. I asked for early indications on the new traffic counting measures and was told the numbers are still crunching. I will ask for a copy of the data and this will be scrutinized along with any conclusions.

Windsor Road said...

One-way
Another consequence of the one-way which everyone seems to be ignoring...business trumps residents...is that those living nearer the Central Road end of Worcester Park are now woken every morning between 5am and 6am, as all HGVs servicing the car park are forced to exit on to Windsor Road. The incline requires revving up that with the 'speed' bumps makes for quite some noise, not to mention vibrating local properties. You might manage five hours sleep some nights as between 111pm to midnight certain high street businesses that receive late night deliveries use the car park or Yoga Way junctions to turn around. We've lacked sleep now for seven months, it's like living in the middle of a distribution centre. It maybe easier to walk beside Iceland but can your mind be easy, when you consider for a moment what consequences residents at the Windsor Road end are having to endure every day?

Guest said...

To be fair, I don't think traders are any more in favour of this one-way disaster than residents and some I've known for years bitterly resent the Sutton Outer London Fund's interference and restrictions on car park flow and the digging up of Central Road for many months on end (with no real benefit at the end). It's forced out long-term customers that will never return - just look at the almost doubling of empty units that has occurred whilst this nonsense has been going on.

Before, it was easier to drive to the car park, park up, go shopping locally, load up the car and drive home. It was easy for customers and that meant it was good for business. It worked. Only a deranged ignoramus would spend public money sabotaging local trading: Enter the Sutton Outer London Fund . . . . . .

Now, the one exit and loop around Windsor Road, together with associated queuing in the bottleneck has made it artificially difficult to achieve the same thing (particularly for shoppers trying to go in the opposite direction to the car park loop (i.e. towards Green Lane, Old Malden or Kingston). Artificial inconvenience for trade means it's bad for business.

It would take a very brave shopkeeper to publicly criticise the local council and local councillors, who can, of course, make life very difficult for a local trader. And bear in mind, some traders are probably only just surviving. After having emerged from almost a year of having Central Road uprooted and the ongoing car park hell, the focus of the remaining traders is to desperately try to stay in business.

guest said...

The person on the moped must have passed their driving test soon after as I was nearly run over on the pavement by one of their cars, which revered into me on the corner of the old tv repairer, now a dentist. I too went in the complain, and they tried to sell me a pizza!

guest 2 said...

Yet another one - me too!

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