343 bus route consultation - frequency increase proposed

Transport for London is currently conducting a consultation about the future of the 343 and N343 bus routes, which runs from New Cross Gate to London Bridge via Brockley and Telegraph Hill. A new franchise will be awarded in 2011 and a small increase in frequency is proposed.

The Telegraph Hill Society Chairman Malcom Bacchus sets out their feedback on TheHill forum:

We have questioned whether Pepys and Jerningham Road are even appropriate as a double-decker bus route given the social and environmental impact on residents. We have made proposals to change the 343 route (or stop it earlier) to avoid the Hill and replace the service across the Hill with a modification to one of the single decker routes.

We have also suggested that a number of the buses are turned at an earlier point to reduce the frequency on this part of the route, which is under-utilised. Lewisham Council has tried to support us in dealing with the antisocial issues of speeding and the bus stand. We have tried to have meetings with TfL to show them the vibration problems and the issues with the bus stand.

If you'd like to have your say on the route, the xontact email address is STEngagement@tfl.gov.uk and the subject ref is MH/T335/Stage2/R/0110. The deadline is February 26th.

With thanks to Emily.

61 comments:

sevenoakser said...

Yipes. Thanks so much for alerting me to this! I need the N343 on the exact route it does in order to get home from my nighshifts. Very handy, that stop on St Norbert - puts me nicely across the rail lines from Crofton Park. Night buses are poor enough in this area without them being changed. Increased frequency would be brilliant, though.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the title of this thread a bit misleading? Increased frequency isn't a lot of use if it no longer comes to Brockley. Wouldn't "343 bus route consultation - curtailment of route proposed" be more to the point from Brockley's perspective?

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - is TfL proposing to shorten the route? I thought that was just the Telegraph Hill Society's idea?

Danja said...

Yes, that's just what the THS want, because the buses vibrate the houses on Jerningham road (and Pepys Road, but that doesn't bother the THS so much, because it lives on Jerningham.)

As the buses are not full on this section, but the earlier section of the route through Peckham is closer to capacity, the THS are lobbying for some of the buses to turn before the hill.

The increase in frequency is tiny, another 2 buses (an hour?) in peak hours IIRC.

The speed bumps (and the state of the roads) which were introduced with the 20mph limit are the real cause of the vibration problems (which are pretty bad).

Brockley Nick said...

@Danja - thanks for clarifying, I thought I was going mad.

I don't think an increase 2bph is a tiny difference though - the loss of 2tph from London Bridge (off-peak evenings) has rightly had people up in arms.

I understand the problems with vibration, but I don't think the fact that the buses are not full at this end of the journey is a good argument for their turning. Buses are erratic and confusing at the best of time for non-regular users. I don't think you should introduce different routes on the same code. Just a personal view!

Anonymous said...

Has there ever been a campaign for a bus from Brockley to Greenwich/Blackheath? It would be a real boon to this area.

Anonymous said...

Well, there is already the DLR from Lewisham and the 177 from New Cross.

Don't let the fact that neither of them are called "Brockley" make you think that they're more than a short walk from your house.

Anon @ 12.39 said...

Oh OK, read it quite quickly and that was what leaped out. Looks like there are conflicting interests on this one.

Anonymous said...

Both are over a mile from my house, actually. Hardly the same as a bus that runs along Brockley Road.

Anonymous said...

A mile! Oh no! How will you cope? You might even have to wait up to 10 minutes when you get there! Heavens!

Tamsin said...

OK, about 50% of the active committee members of the THS live on Jerningham Road, but that is not by intention and it does its best to respond to concerns raised by any residents across the Hill. Also to inform, through a fairly extensive e-mail contact list, and publicly through thehill forums on matters of wider impact. When we received notification from TFL of this consultation with quite a short time-frame for response we did not just answer from previous frustrating discussions with the relevant bodies and on the basis of complaints received over the years about the noise, speed and size of the buses, but opened it out to all affected.

Jerningham and Pepys, along the bus route and so potentially hostile to any increase in frequency, were leafletted and - to ensure that bus users who could well be on the other side of the issue were notified - posters were put up by all the bus stops - including those down Avignon Road and (possibly, I would have to check) St Norbert. We have tried to replace these as they are torn down but that is not necessarily easy to do. Some people are also, when the opportunity arises, talking to those waiting at the bus stops.

What the THS want is for some creative thinking by TFL and the bus companies. Currently there are huge overcrowding issues on the route as it goes through Camberwell and Peckham - talked to someone who says she regularly has to wait for two or three buses to go by - and these will not be met by an an extra two buses an hour. But this is all we were being fobbed off with - irrespective of the fact that it would not particularly help overcrowding where this is a main issue and inevitably add to the frustration of those who suffer as a result of buses which, at that point, are usually under-utilised. Some re-planning and possible extention of other routes might help on both these matters.

Anonymous said...

Here's how the debate is going over at The Hill: http://thehill.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=thsoc&action=display&thread=793&page=1

As you can see, not everyone is in agreement with our THS friends...

Anonymous said...

Anon @13.15 what an utterly fatuous comment. I could walk to London Bridge instead of taking the train, I suppose, but it would add a hell of a lot onto my journey time. Are you so thick that you cannot see that a couple of hundred yards to a bus stop is greatly preferable to over a mile to a train station (one that is not even close to being in a straight line between here and the destination)? What if you have stuff to carry? What about those who are elderly or who have difficulties walking? Clearly not a problem for you - brawn but no brains.

Danja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danja said...

Mostly just pulling your leg, Tamsin, about Jerningham - save I think I remember you arguing that the buses should run both up and down Pepys and I do hope that the THS does not lobby for that re the proposals at NXG.

What the TFL letter actually says is that they are "proposing two additional journeys in the morning peak. We are also considering further peak frequency increases later on".

The first sentence is a bit vague, really, but makes it sound more like two extra buses across the whole of the morning peak (whatever that is defined as) rather 2 per hour.

The second sentence is hopelessly vague.

Tamsin said...

There's a link to that thread from Nick's Original Post.

And I'm all defensive (and feeling equally misunderstood) there too!

Tamsin said...

@Danja That's OK. And Malcolm did take more photos of the damage on Jerningham than on Pepys, but the poor chap was suffering from a bad back, exacerbated by hanging around in the cold. He was also wanting to take a nice photo of a bus coming down the road to end the series with and (so much for them being too frequent already) had to wait twenty minutes for it!

I think my suggestion that they should come down Pepys was frantic retaliation to your idea of opening up the junction at the bottom of Jerningham - which would have had the bus companies (who do like things simple, poor things) wanting to go up and down Jerningham and in and out of Sainsbury's.

Tamsin said...

Seriously, though, the THS as a matter of policy tries very hard not to get drawn into issues where what would relieve problems (e.g. traffic) for one lot of residents but make things worse for another.

Still trying to keep to this principle on the buses issue. Definitely not saying that the route itself should be cut short, just that (as the perception is that the buses are not full in these later stages of the route) some buses could be turned earlier, which should help relieve congestion on the really busy part but still have a service, although less frequent, to the rest of it. Alternatively looking to varying or extending one of the other single-decker routes would keep the travel option between NXG and Peckham, but also meet a lot of the noise, vibration and damage issues.

not happy said...

I also need the N343 to get home in middle of the night from work and it is very upsetting to hear that there is this big organised lobby group fighting to have the service cut before it gets to my area of Brockley. We only get ONE night bus every HALF HOUR. Most of us using it are doing terrible hours for little money, doing the kind of services that people in daytime jobs wake up to expect to be working. And they grudge us one bus every half an hour!

As Nick said, just imagine how upset people would be if the Brockley train service during peak time was cut to one every half an hour - and then an organised lobby group started campaigning to have it stop in Forest Hill, or NXG in the other direction. That is exactly the effect cutting this bus would have. Really makes me want to leave this area - more money coming in seems to mean more selfishness and mean-spiritedness and abuse of the power that comes with having a bit of spare time and cash.

Tamsin said...

Not a "big organised lobby group" and hardly any "spare time and cash". The equivalent of the Broc. Soc. (but without their resources) trying to ensure that the repeated complaints by one group of residents received over a long period of time are considered by the relevant bodies in the current consultation, but also passing on information about the consultation so that the views of others could be heard too.

Maybe an answer is to have the night buses turning round at the roundabout at the top of Jerningham and Pepys since the main issues of noise, speed and vibration are on those two hills. For those who currently use the night buses for those last three stops down Jerningham Road (or the first three up Pepys) there are alternative routes to and from Central London and Peckham along the the A2 and A202.

not happy said...

If they changed those stops, I would have to get two nightbuses instead of one at night. And that means a way, way longer journey as most only run every half hour so there'd be a long wait between them. There are not the options, or the frequency, that daytime users enjoy. To blithely suggest limiting the service would not be a huge, huge blow to users of the N343 ... makes me pretty sick.

ade said...

Surely the people on Pepys and Jerningham all bought the houses knowing that they were a bus route so not sure what the point of the THS idea is exactly?

There are a lot of people who use the 343 instead of driving to get their shopping home from the bottom of the hill as well as the 10 million children who use the bus to get to Haberdasher Aske that might be more than a little peeved about a shorter route!

Danja said...

They have no proposals to change the N343, so you will be safe. They have already rejected the idea of splitting the route and aren't exactly likely to change their mind on that.

Tamsin said...

Trying - as usual - to work towards a compromise. Would you mind very much saying what your journey is? I can't quite get my head around you referring to your area of Brockley but being affected by the suggestion of cutting out the first (or last)third of a mile up and down Pepys and Jerningham respectively.

Brockley Nick said...

Given how important public transport is to so many people - how vital better links are to the development of the area - I don't think any amenity group should ever argue for a reduction in service.

But it is quite right to raise the issue of noise and ask TfL to consider how the problem might be reduced - without the need to cut services.

Tamsin said...

@ ade. The night bus frequency was doubled (without any apparent consultation) about two or three years ago, maybe less.

Over twenty-five years or so years ago (before my time) there was massive debate (which tore the then existent amenity society apart) about whether to have a bus route across the hill at all. The reasonable compromise worked out was that there should be buses - public transport in reach of as many people as possible has to be a good thing - but that the 184 route would, in deference to the terrain and residential nature of the streets, be single-decker only. This is what we, personally, bought into.

The limitation to single deckers, and the fact that they would go into the bus depot on New Cross Road for the turn-around rather than standing, engines running, by the school, went out of the window with the introduction of franchises about ten years ago.

And since then the double-deckers have steadily increased in size and weight - the factors in vibration and road damage - although, to be fair, with one change of model the engine noise did go down. (You did not hear the buses go by from the back of the house, just felt them.) The residents of Jerningham and Pepys have been complaining about the buses basically since the privatisation and loss of the single-deckers and, in an area of relatively slow turn-around of house and flat sales, a lot of of us pre-date those changes. We've lived were we are for 23 years and have neighbours either side who were there when we moved in.

Danja said...

It's less noise than vibration - house shaking is more accurate than vibration - mostly as they go over the speed cushions or hit other ruts. The whole mass of clay just wobbles, probably not helped by all the tree roots binding it together.

I blame it for making my front garden wall lean over as everything slips down the hill, but that might not be fair.

Basically shouldn't have speed cushions on a bus route, but can't have a 20mph limit without traffic calming, and other traffic calming measures are expensive so the council doesn't like them, and they might also slow buses and emergency vehicles down so TFL and the emergency services object to anything but cushions.

So it isn't easy. My view is they should just do away with the cushions, especially as they do not actually slow down anyone who wants to speed.

Brockley Nick said...

Perhaps you could lobby for the route to be one of the first to get fuel cell buses? Practically no vibration.

Tamsin said...

The vibration is not the bus engines, but the weight of them and truly grotty road surfaces. Danja and I are agreed that when the roads were re-surfaced it was, for a while, bliss. But the roads did not stay that way for very long and are now truly terrible - which I think must, in part, be due to the buses.
If fuel cells add to the weight they would only add to the problems.

Danja said...

Are they that much lighter then?

(It's the weight of a several tonne bus crashing onto and then off the speed cushion/rut etc that causes the shaking).

Node said...

Here here to an increase in frequency and not touching the route, it's the only night bus from London Bridge to Brockley and it drops me at the bottom of my road.

The THS should lobby the council to improve the atrocious road surface of Jerningham, not to reduce a vital service. I imagine the potholes and unnecessary speed humps create 90% of the problem anyway.

Brockley Nick said...

No idea if they're lighter - I thought you were talking about engine vibration, rather than crashing up and down on speed bumps.

It's somewhat pie in the sky, admittedly, but the first buses will appear before 2012.

They're zero-emission, so that would be a plus.

If speed bumps are the problem, remove the speed bumps and find another way to limit traffic speeds? Speed cameras?

Tamsin said...

Been there, done that, talked endlessly and will never be able to get the t-shirt.

Tamsin said...

@ Node So would you be OK with them turning round at the top of Pepys/Jerningham? Still presumably dropping you at the bottom of your road then if you are in Brockley.

Danja said...

I asked TFL to clarify and to their credit they were quick to do so. It is two extra buses, northbound only, across the whole morning peak.

When the route is retendered for Feb next year, the frequency is likely to go from current 9bph to 10bph through the day.

Danja said...

That was just as ambiguous of me - two extra bus journeys in total, not two per hour.

Danja said...

If speed bumps are the problem, remove the speed bumps and find another way to limit traffic speeds? Speed cameras?

For my part I think that is the most sensible strategy, and that we should push Lewisham to make us an average speed camera zone and take the humps away.

Does no harm to raise a fuss in the meantime, but they are never going to cut bus services because they run on roads which people live on. It wouldn't leave too many bus services in London.

slightly happier said...

Danja, that's great about no nightbuses being touched. Phew. And sorry I got so snappy Tamsin. You always seem very nice on this blog. It would just be a terrible loss, and it is great to read other people supporting the service here too. I get off before the Pepys/Jern bit but what worried me is the argument that the service is crowded to Peckham and then empty. If bus re-routed at Pepys it wouldn't affect me - though it would do others, I am sure, as it is the only night bus from the eastern side of the city to Brockley - but the fear would the idea of just cutting it off at Peckham before it gets to any of those small streets where the neighbours don't like it. Anyway apologies for getting so mad.

Tamsin said...

Well, thanks to you all. I think it has been really quite helpful. And it may be that having the bus just go round the roundabout (except when the driver is going off duty) is a possible answer and I would not have got to it without this discussion. Yet to put in my pennyworth to Tfl so might propose it as an idea (no more than that!) if their studies show that those at this very last (or first) stage of the journey could be equally served by other night bus routes.

What hasn't been so good is my day job and the state of the minutes I was meant to be writing up this afternoon - and the next meeting is Tuesday! Help!

Node said...

@Tamsin

Indeed that would be okay as I do get off before the roundabout. But logistically I don't see how they'd then get to the NX bus garage, they'd more than likely just stop it in Peckham rather than come over here and then turn round...

Victoria Mills said...

As a near neighbour to Brockley - I'm on Ivydale Road, just over the border into Southwark, I've been following the 343 consultation for a while. I've tried to summerise some of the discussions on the
http://peckhamryelabour.blogspot.com/2010/02/343-consultation-more-buses-not-popular.html - apologies if you don't think these are a fair reflection.

I think splitting the route in Peckham (if you mean around Rye Lane) would be problematic - the route gets very busy along Ivydale Road, Cheltenham Road and along Rye Hill Park. And I say this as someone who also suffers the noise and vibrations as the 343s whizz along Ivydale Road.

Tamsin said...

Ah, but they don't go to the NX Road Garage - one of the problems - the bus stand at the bottom of Jerningham Road where they stack up between journeys. In the past there have been terrible problems with the unfortunate drivers having no option but to urinate in the street and, not so unfortunate, just pig-headed, sitting there with the engines running for up to twenty minutes at a time. Things on this side of it have been getting better, though - as far as I can tell.

Whether a circular route without a break at this end (however inadequate) would work is, I agree, an issue. But we can at least ask.

ade said...

@ Tasmin - thanks for clearing that up - I assume everyone is a Brockley newbie like me:) I live right next to one of the bus stops where the road is particularly bad so I totally sympathise about the noise but I wonder whether asking Tfl to terminate the route at Sainsburys - NXG might address some of the issues about the standing noise and then talking the state of the roads would deal with other road traffic noise?

Tamsin said...

@ ade Thanks for your response and sorry - I probably sounded like an old crone in the corner of the public bar of an unfriendly village pub muttering into my half pint of mild about "dratted newcomers".

Very, very reluctant to even suggest having the junction at the bottom of Jerningham opened up to allow buses across - an invitation to even more rat-running through these residential streets than there is at present and this is something that we deliberately did not buy into. (We were looking at two possibilities, one in Erlanger Road was on the market too, and actually came over to the area during the rush hours to assess the traffic levels by each property. At the time Erlanger was the busier so we went for Jerningham - a single decker bus going down hill being better than cars every ten seconds or so speeding noisily up hill - then Erlanger got traffic calming and is shortly to be even more cut off as a through route by the Kender Triangle works! In our search for a quiet life we tried too hard and with hindsight definitely made the wrong call.)

I'm not sure how much of a solution just resurfacing the roads would be - the job was done not that long ago and they are now worse than ever.

The other factor that has not been mentioned here - although talked about on the thehill forum (and even more so on the thread on the same issues more than three years ago) is speeding. But let's not start that now....

John said...

Danja, I think I may be wrong but I thought that most of that area had a 20mph speed limit rather than being part of a 20mph zone? 20mph zones legally require that no section of a carriageway be further than 50m from a traffic calming feature but 20mph speed limits do not require traffic calming. However, 20mph speed limits should only be imposed where that speed is reasonably achievable. If it IS within a zone then the repeater 20mph signs that Lewisham have erected are illegal.

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about road engineering, but I would not have thought that Jerningham Road, or Pepys, were so exceptionally steep that it could be argued that they should be granted exemption from having their surfaces made strong enough to cope with double-decker buses. Just look at, say, Archway Road - pretty steep - and takes double-deckers.

I agree there's an argument for doing away with speed humps.

Anonymous said...

I use the 343 to get me up the hill after getting off the train at NXG or going to Sainsbury's. I often wait much longer than the timetabled 6 -11 mins and there are usually several other people waiting too by the time a 343 stops to pick up. Stopping buses from town at, say, St Asaph Road, would be inconvenient to anyone wanting this journey and I can't see a service not beginning or ending at a bus garage working very well. So I wouldn't say the St Asaph Turn Around Plan And Then Have A Little Shuttle Bus would work.

Tamsin said...

Archway Road is the A1 and a dual carriageway! Jerningham and Pepys aren't even district distributor B roads, unlike the unfortunate Gellatly and Drakefell.

It is, I am pretty sure, a 20mph zone - hence the risible anomoly of a speed hump in the cul-de-sac bit of Arbuthnot by the park. In the conservation area one wanted to avoid too much street clutter and repeater signs. The things that (inaccurately at present) flash at you if you are presumably part of traffic calming rather than repeater signs.

The 343 does not start an end at the bus garage - which is part of another problem.

What I would propose as a way forward is that the Night Buses turn around at the roundabout Pepys/Kitto/Vesta/Jerningham - they are too big to turn on Pepys/Drakefell - and that the daytime journeys up and down the hill, to and from NXG and Sainsbury's, be covered by extending one of the other routes that goes to or through Peckham, but a single-decker one. Not a shuttle service, but a fully functional route, that would serve those wanting to travel to NXG from Peckham - and beyond - but not from Camberwell (who are srved by other bus routes down the A202)or London Bridge (less than 10 minutes on the train).

Danja said...

I don't think there are any repeater signs (I take those to be the little roundels on lampposts), which is probably one of the reasons why the whole thing is so utterly pointless and ignored.

Speed has been controlled more near the top of the hill, where more effective (but more street-scape intrusive) physical obstructions have been used, and of course the embarassment factor of the flashing signs. With the park being up there, traffic calming is rightly important, but people tended to drive more slowly (or less fast) on that section anyway.

Speed naturally picks up down the hill, particularly after the width restrictor where many just floor it to the lights. And that's where they didn't bother to put islands between the cushions, so the speeders just go down the middle without any need to slow, leaving the buses and lorries to crash over the humps.

All utterly pointless and counter-productive.

Anonymous said...

I used Archway Road as my example just because it's well known. I'm sure you'd agree that there are plenty of other hills which manage to take double deckers without their road surfaces constantly crumbling away.

Tamsin - you should consider the possibility that people could suspect you of nimbyism and suggest that your real agenda with requesting that double deckers stop going down Jerningham Road is to have the road closed to all heavy-axel traffic on the grounds that it's surface isn't fit to carry it.

One way to avoid this is to be supportive of plans to properly repair the road's surface so that when buses (or lorries) go down it, there is less vibration disturbance to people in their houses.

Anonymous said...

All this talk of people stopping buses going down their road is horrific Nimbyism! Presumably it'll be okay to send it down someone else's road as long as you don't have to hear them would it?

People depend on buses to take them home particularly at night and especially when you can't afford a cab. Selfish indeed.

Tamsin said...

Probably better described as Niobrism - not in OUR back ROOMS. The issues that the THS raised when given the opportunity to do so by being invited by TFL to respond to the consultation as a "stakeholder" were in response to repeated complaints over the years from many residents in Jerningham and Pepys Roads.

Agreed people have an absolute right and necessity to take the night buses home when they work anti-social hours. But equally those (including the aged, invalid and school children with exam work) who live in what at that time of night are otherwise quiet residential streets have a right not to be regularly woken - as some are - by the vibration and rumble of large double decker buses going past (often above the speed limit). And the "back rooms" was deliberate - it is not just in the front of the houses that you get this disturbance. And it is, in fact, also felt on the side roads.

At the risk of repeating myself yet again, turning the night bus at the top of Jerningham/Pepys would leave everyone within quarter of a mile of either this service or the ones along the A2, and would resolve the issues which are particularly bad on these two roads.

@ Anon 10.36. Prepared to be convinced otherwise, but cannot immediately think of such steep roads which are double decker bus routes other than A or B roads. Blackheath Hill sprang to immediately to mind when I visualised the routes I know, but that is the A2.

Also, I am totally supportive of any plans to deal with the road surface, my husband was taking photographs of it to send into LBL on disc only last weekend. However from past experience (the work has been done before, repeatedly) this is only a very short-term solution.

The franchises are about to be set in stone for another five years, therefore everyone, with any views, needs to make them known now to TFL, or be content with the minimal changes they were trying to fob us all off with. The increased frequency will not make an appreciable difference to the huge overcrowding issues around Peckham and nothing has been done to address the years of complaints from people in Jerningham and Pepys.

RM Nimboid said...

Residents who believe they have a right not to be disturbed by buses should not have purchased houses on streets served by bus routes. Presumably their houses were cheaper for this reason and they would like to both eat their cake and have it as well.

drakefell debaser said...

yikes Nimboid, you really should read the full thread.

Anon 13:51 might want to join you.

Tamsin said...

There's a lot on this thread to look through but, if you see my post at ten to five yesterday, I explain that the problem with double decker buses only started about ten years ago (when with the franchise arrangements being brought in hard fought compromises that kept the routes through residential streets to single deckers were torn up) and that it has been gradually getting worse as larger and heavier (although admittedly with some changes quieter) buses are introduced.

Most of the people concerned did not "buy in" to this issue and many (ourselves included) deliberately chose what was then a quieter road.

Tamsin said...

PS If RM stands for routemaster I personally would be prepared to forgive them everything! Noisy engines, grinding gears and all.

As a digression I am really glad that they hung on for a while on the 36 route so that for my children (who regularly accompanied me on visits to my mother atarting off from Paddington) the archetypal London Bus is the old routemaster. My son, now at the tender age of 16, gets quite nostalgic about them!

Tressilliana said...

Tamsin, I sympathise about the vibration. Fingers tightly crossed that no one ever thinks of converting the 484 to a double decker.

Anonymous said...

You'd think some of the female residents would be pleased with the vibration.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure traffic volumes and vehicle sizes have increased for residents living along all streets round here in recent years. And may continue to do so. The top and bottom of it is that if you stop double-decker buses (and lorries) going down one street, they won't just miraculously go away, they'll have to go down someone else's. It shouldn't be decided on the basis of who shouts loudest and takes the most impressive photos.

If I lived on a wide-for-the-area and therefore wide-laned road where through-traffic is diverted off, in part at least, to narrow neighbouring roads, I think I'd just quit while I was ahead and accept a share of heavy-axel vehicles and support efforts to get a suitably robust road surface.

I also agree that humps are not the answer if they are ineffective at limiting speeding and cause juddering that damages the road surface and vibrates buildings. But there are alternative ways of obliging vehicles to slow down to safe speeds.

I also don't see what the point is about not being able to think of any steep roads taking double deckers that aren't A or B roads. My point was just that there's no reason why a road that has a steep gradient can't be built to accommodate HGVs.

urbansurgery said...

As someone with a modicum of knowledge in this sort of field, I would happily offer that the prevailing understanding of traffic calming is that speed humps 50m apart or not make little aggregate difference to speed in an area. Research undertaken by the EU, presumably with the benefit of cross comparing many EU countries, has concluded that the only reliable method of reducing speed is regular and mobile speed checks and fines. Speed bumps reduce speed only at the point of the protrusion, damage to the road surface over time (caused by all traffic – differential movement of the top surface in the direction of travel not a major factor of weight as it happens).

LAs in the Uk are all well aware of these findings are aggrieved whenever they get mentioned at 'consultation' stage. Truth is that a couple of lumps of tarmac installed by the lowest tenderer are a cheap and quick method of ticking the boxes...

...of course its our money they are spending and mobile spot checks (more reliable than fixed cameras) are v. expensive. Are we willing to pay more tax for this?

the only "fixed feature" solution is road narrowing which can offer some quite attractive road gentrification possibilities, but again done cheaply can look poor, and be themselves blighted by box ticking safety measures. They are known to be hazardous to emergency vehicles also.

the effective blight of 20 zones and their ineffectiveness at solving the supposed root cause (road safety) is a bigger issue and a bit of a long diversion from the original post. i could elaborate but would like to keep the rest of my traffic nerd light under my bushel)

FWIW when i used to live in Walworth it was a pain to sometimes have to wait for the 5th 343 to whizz by full to the brim. If i were still there I would definitely support an increase in peak frequency. At other times it was mostly empty.

Anonymous said...

Residents in north Peckham have been lobbying TfL about insufficient capacity on the 343 for years and have stepped up efforts after the cross river tram was cancelled by boris johnson - two journeys a day, one way is not going to really change the situation, but they have made some interesting alternative suggestions....

http://web.mac.com/evolutionquarter/EQRA/Home/Entries/2010/3/2_Waiting_in_VainLocal_Buses___We%E2%80%99re_on_the_case.html

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