Letter to Ecclesall councillors
Dear Paul, Roger and Shaffaq
Congratulations on your elections results.
At the Bents Green Ward Meeting in April 2014, I gave a presentation on the benefits of 20mph speed limits in residential areas. These have been proven to improve safety and well-being in the areas where they have been implemented, with minimal impact on journey times for motorists.
It was unanimously agreed at the meeting that this was a good thing and there was much discussion of the difficulties local residents were having in making the roads safer particularly for the many children who attend schools in the area. The Labour council has obdurately refused to respond to requests to reduce speeds particularly on the short section of Ringinglow Road that is affected by this.
The Ward Plan agreed by LibDem councillors of the time included the following strategy: “Champion the Ecclesall Ward for inclusion in any future Phase 2 20 mph developments”
Since then we have been eagerly awaiting the implementation of a 20mph scheme for the area. First we were told that the Streets Ahead programme for the area meant that the 20mph scheme would have to be delayed: I would have thought that the street refurbishment scheme would have been an ideal time for bring in 20mph, but it would appear not.
More recently, the sticking point appears to be the deadlock over the Ringinglow Road area.
You will no doubt also be aware of the petition started due to concerns from parents whose children travel from the Fulwood area to Bents Green.
The “compromise” that Council officers have proposed is a part-time 20mph restriction in the school area. The demonstrates a failure to understand the issues around children and the “School Run.” An Important aspect of 20mph on distributor roads near schools is that the highest volume of traffic is in school run times. Hence outside those hours any increase in journey times has little effect on total daily flow. So all that effort for timed 20mph has few benefits compared to full time 20.
Adopting different speed reduction measures around schools than the rest of an area is counter-productive, as children and their parents have to travel through the area to get to the schools, as the Fulwood petition demonstrates. We have children from many different parts of the city travelling through the area to get to school and we want them all to be safe. We want everyone in the area to be safe at other times as well, remembering that we also have a high proportion of elderly residents.
It should also be noted that most traffic on Ringinglow Road is for leisure purposes, as the road doesn’t really “go” anywhere. Business traffic uses Ecclesall Road South for journeys to and from Derbyshire. We do however have a problem with “boy racers” using Ringinglow Rd for high speed burns at evenings and weekends.
All this being so, you would think that the council could make a decision one way or the other on the issue. However the decision has been repeatedly postponed – in fact of the past 16 meetings of the Highways Decisions committee, 11 have been cancelled – here’s the list:-
14 Apr 2016 2.00 pm – CANCELLED
10 Mar 2016 2.00 pm – CANCELLED
18 Feb 2016 1.15 pm – Agenda, Decisions
11 Feb 2016 10.00 am – CANCELLED
14 Jan 2016 10.00 am – Agenda, CANCELLED
10 Dec 2015 10.00 am – CANCELLED
17 Nov 2015 1.00 pm – Agenda, Decisions, Draft Minutes
8 Oct 2015 10.00 am – CANCELLED
10 Sep 2015 10.00 am – CANCELLED
13 Aug 2015 2.00 pm – Agenda, Decisions, Minutes
9 Jul 2015 10.00 am – CANCELLED
11 Jun 2015 10.00 am – CANCELLED
14 May 2015 10.00 am – CANCELLED
24 Apr 2015 1.00 pm – CANCELLED
9 Apr 2015 10.00 am – Agenda, Decisions
We were told that a decision could not be made at the 14th April meeting because it was too close to the election. With the election over, could you please take this up with Cabinet members and press for a speedy decision and implementation?