Eaton 20mph Zone

Update on 20mph Zone Consultation for Eaton – Posted 11th October by Chris Stebbing

The NHAC approved the Officers recommendations for the 20mph Zone for Eaton as set out in our post on 13th September. Eaton will be a 20mph Zone but will have minimal traffic calming implemented on Church Lane as part of the widening of the footpath beside the cemetery. This will be for an experimental  period of 12 months and the City Council will monitor vehicle speeds during this time to see if these have reduced significantly. If so, no further traffic calming will be implemented. If the vehicle speeds exceed an average of 25mph then traffic calming as proposed in the original consultation document will be considered. However, as set out below the Council is unlikely to have funds to implement any traffic calming at that time so the speed limit in Eaton is likely to revert back to 30mph.

EVRA will work with the City Council and Councillors to promote the 20mph Zone for Eaton and publicise this on our website and Facebook page. We will also look at resurrecting our plans to set up a Speed Watch team to help monitor vehicle speeds around the Village. Please contact Vic Flute on 457802 if you are able to help or send him an email: vicechair.evra@gmail.com

We understand that signage for the 20mph Zone will be installed before the end of March.

Update on 20mph Zone Consultation for Eaton – Posted 13th September by Chris Stebbing

The papers for the Norwich Highways Agency Committee (NHAC) meeting on 20th September have been posted on the City Council website. The good news is that the proposals for Eaton Village have been modified in line with the many comments submitted during the consultation. In essence the recommendations to NHAC are that the 20mph Zone for Eaton is implemented but the traffic calming measures in the consultation document are not proceeded with other than widening the pavement outside the cemetery on Church Lane to make this safer for pedestrians as well as narrowing the road to reduce traffic speeds. It is not clear from the papers if the widening of the footpath outside the bank will also proceed or if this will be part of a proposed assessment for a zebra crossing instead.  All other traffic calming and changes to the priorities at the Greenways/Church Lane junction have been dropped.

However, it is proposed that the 20mph Zone implementation for Eaton Village be dealt with as  “a 12 month experimental extension of a 20mph zone with minimum traffic calming in the Eaton area”.  Paragraph 45 of the paper states as follows:

45. In discussion with the road safety team at Norfolk County Council, it was suggested it may be appropriate to trial the residents’ request of no traffic calming on Church Lane and Greenways on an experimental speed restriction order. In this way the 20mph could be installed, with up to 12 months to decide if the speed restriction does perform and make the area better for cyclists and pedestrians. During this time traffic speeds will be monitored and other evidence such as residents’ comments and road collision data will be collected. After approximately 6 months, the evidence can be studied and a decision made whether the scheme should be made permanent. However, if this course of action is taken, and the scheme does not prove to be acceptable, the only option will be to revert from the experimental 20mph scheme on Church Lane, Greenways and surrounding roads, back into 30mph. There will be no budget available for consideration of new traffic calming. The area proposed for this experimental 20mph speed restriction order is shown on plan No.CCAG2/21/06A, attached as appendix 7.

EVRA and Councillors have agreed that a 20mph Zone for Eaton Village would be beneficial to the community. Assuming NHAC endorsement of the recommendations we will work with the City Council to help publicise the zone and encourage residents and visitors to comply with the 20mph limit.

The papers regarding the 20mph Zone proposals cover Norwich North as well as the South part of the City. These include all the responses to the consultation and Council Officer comments on these. There was a very high number of responses to the consultation from Eaton residents and the strength of these has led to the changes. It is now up to the NHAC to accept the recommendations Here is a link to the report submitted to NHAC: Item 5 Report on 20 MPH Zones for Norwich

The full Agenda for the NHAC meeting includes proposals for other areas of Norwich which may be of interest to residents including the proposed changes to the Five Ways roundabout at the Bluebell Road/ Earlham Road junction. Agenda and papers for NHAC Meeting 20th September

An update will be posted following the NHAC meeting on 20th September.

Eaton 20mph Zone Consultation – EVRA Meeting with City Council Wednesday 22nd August – Posted 24th August by Chris Stebbing

EVRA Chairman Chris Stebbing and Vice Chairman Vic Flute, Eaton City Councillor Judith Lubbock and Eaton County Councillor Brian Watkins met with the Council Officers dealing with the 20mph Zone project.  We discussed comments on the proposed 20mph Zone which EVRA has submitted as part of the consultation. The consultation doesn’t close until 29th August but the meeting was an opportunity to provide background information to the Officers in support of our comments.

The Council Officers explained the rationale behind their proposals:

The adoption of 20mph Zones for Norwich is a policy approved by the Norwich Highways Agency Committee (NHAC) in 2017 and this consultation relates to the implementation of this in the Norwich Southern Area.

Under that Policy all roads within 400 metres of a Norwich Pedalway will be designated as 20mph Zones to provide a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. The exceptions in our area are main roads such as Unthank, Newmarket and Bluebell.

National Guidelines on implementation of 20pmh Zones allow for traffic calming features to be installed every 90metres on roads where surveyed average speeds are greater than 26mph within a 30mph area. The surveys conducted on Church Lane and the lower area of Greenways found that the average speed was 29 and 28 mph respectively, so within current speed limits but above threshold that allows traffic calming in 20mph Zones.

Thus the proposed traffic calming features for Church Lane and Greenways which include a mix of Give Way junctions, 20mph roundels and pedestrian refuges.

Part of the funding for this work comes from Central Government grants for cycle paths and other improvements to encourage more cycling. The money has to be spent by end of March 2019.

We discussed the points raised by EVRA as posted on our website and explained why we thought the proposed traffic calming measures would not work and, in fact, create bigger traffic problems for the area especially during school run times.  We pressed our view that use of roundels and speed indicator signs would be more effective. We also set out why the proposed changes to the Church Lane /Greenways junction would cause problems for buses, cyclists and other vehicles heading towards Marston Lane. We also covered all the other items on our list. (See post of 17th August below)

We discussed having a Zebra Crossing in place of the proposed refuge on Church Lane but the Officers said that this is outside the remit of this consultation. Apparently a Zebra Crossing costs £30,000 to install! We could, however, request this as a separate exercise so will explore with our Councillors how we can take this forward.

We urged them to consider a “soft implementation” for Eaton using signs and other reminders but without the physical features proposed. We noted that it was not compulsory for physical features to be implemented within a 20mph Zone. The Consultation has not yet finished but the Officers said they would take our comments and our clarifications into account in the final design for Eaton which they will present to NHAC in September.

Residents should continue to submit their comments on the proposals. If you just want to support the comments made by EVRA then just say that in any email or other correspondence to the Council. But please also include any points which you think have not been covered by us or where you have specific experiences of incidents etc. to support these.

Comments should be emailed to: transport@norwich.gov.uk or posted to:

Transport, City Development Services, Norwich City Council, City Hall, Norwich, NR2 1NH

Your comments should arrive at City Hall by 29th August 2018.

 

EVRA View on Proposed 20mph Zone for Eaton Village – Posted 17th August by Chris Stebbing

The EVRA Committee and Eaton Councillors met on Tuesday 14th August to discuss our joint concerns on the proposed 20mph Zone for the Area. We have set out below our view on how the 20mph proposals for Eaton Village should be taken forward and will be meeting with the City Council next week to discuss these. Residents are also encouraged to submit their comments on the consultation to the City Council by the closing date of 29th August. (See details below)

  • We accept in principle the implementation of a 20mph Zone for the Eaton area as set out in the proposals from the City Council.
  • We do not think that the many proposed traffic calming measures are appropriate for Eaton nor do we think that they will be effective. However, we are pleased that the proposals do not include any road humps.
  • We propose that roundels together with automatic flashing speed warning signs are used at various locations on Church Lane and Greenways in place of the proposed physical pinch points and Give Way junctions. We believe that with sufficient flashing speed signs in place drivers will reduce their speed along the open stretches of these roads. For much of the day the traffic along these roads is fairly light and at these times the pinch points would not slow vehicles. At busy times the high level of two-way flow on Greenways and the many Give Way junctions would create gridlock and increase pollution from exhausts whereas at quieter times vehicles would not be prevented from exceeding 20mph. Without oncoming traffic vehicles would be able to manoeuvre around the pinch points as they pleased! They would also create problems for nearby residents getting in or out of their drives. Additionally, the many signs required for the proposed Give Way junctions would distract drivers and adversely affect the look and character of the Village.
  • The changes to the Greenways/Church Lane junction do not appear workable since vehicles turning into the upper end of Church Lane wouldn’t have a clear line of the sight of vehicles coming down Greenways until they were some way beyond the turn. There does not appear to be sufficient room at the junction to create the type of turn proposed. The junction would be unsafe, particularly for buses and other large vehicles heading towards Marston lane or the Eaton Activity Centre.
  • The proposed pedestrian refuge by the Bank is of the wrong type and in the wrong place. Given that the Bank will be closing in November we think that a Zebra crossing near the Church Hall that enables people to cross safely between the bus stops on either side of Church Lane would be better. This would help to slow traffic and would also allow wheelchairs, pushchairs and mobility scooters to cross the road more safely. The pedestrian refuge doesn’t have enough room to safely accommodate these when people cannot complete the road crossing in one go.
  • The proposals do not include any traffic calming on Church Lane beyond the Greenways junction. Several residents have suggested that widening of the footpath by the Cemetery to a usable width for wheelchairs and pushchairs would be helpful and would also help to reduce vehicle speeds and we would support this.
  • We do not think that narrowing the corners on the side roads at the top of Greenways will work because the turns will be too tight for vehicles to turn safely onto Greenways, especially during school run times when cars are parked along both sides. Also, the 5A bus would not be able to turn easily into Bradenham Way to reach its turning point at Norton Drive.  Other vehicles such as refuse collection and delivery lorries and coaches for the School would also have difficulty turning into these roads.

We appreciate the desire of the City Council to make our roads safer for all users but we think that our alternative proposals will be just as effective as those proposed by the Council.  If some drivers persisted in exceeding the 20mph speed limit and this posed a problem for residents then we would be prepared to work with the City Council to explore other approaches to address this.

 

Update Posted 9th August by Chris Stebbing

I received in the post today a letter from City Hall about the proposed 20mph Zone for Eaton. I am not sure how widely this has been distributed to residents so have attached a copy for your information.

NCC Letter re 20mph consultation Aug 18

Posted 6th August 2018

The City Council has published a Notice about the implementation of 20mph Zone for the Norwich Southern Area which includes Eaton. We had expected that this would be delivered to all households but it has been posted on several lampposts around the area.

The proposal are that all roads in the Southern Area become 20mph Zones except for the main road such as Newmarket Road, Bluebell Road and Unthank Road. All of Eaton Village will become a 20mph Zone with traffic calming proposals as set out in the layout plans published by City Hall. You can read the proposals on the Council’s website at: https://www.norwich.gov.uk/info/20008/roads_and_parking/2158/southern_area_20mph_speed_restriction_order_and_road_hump_notice_2018/1

There are separate layout plans for Greenways and Church Lane where there are particular problems with speeding vehicles. These are on the Council’s website but have been attached below for your convenience.

General_layout_Church_Lane

General_layout_Greenways

The City Council are consulting on the proposals and seek your comments on these. Comments have to be submitted by 29th August.

EVRA recognise that speeding is a problem in certain areas of Eaton Village such as Greenways and Church lane and had sought to set up a speedwatch team to address this. However, we experienced problems getting sufficient volunteers to meet the requirements of the Police Speedwatch training team so this has not been created. The adoption of a 20mph Zone for the Village would in any case overtake the need for a speedwatch team.

The EVRA Committee accept the creation of a 20mph Zone in principle and main concerns are around the type of traffic calming measures adopted.  The Council’s specific calming proposals are set out in the layout plans for Greenways and Church Lane. The proposals do not include installation of speed humps around the Village.

The proposal is to create pinch points on Greenways with priority given to traffic heading towards Church Lane. The junction of Greenways with Church Lane would be altered so that Greenways becomes the main route and Church Lane beyond Greenways would in effect be a side road.

A pinch point on Church Lane near Havant Close would provide priority for traffic heading towards Greenways and create a pedestrian refuge by the bank. There are no other proposed pinch points on Church Lane yet this has been one of the roads where speeding has been a particular issue.

There are also other proposals such as 20mph roundels painted on the road surface and changes to the corners of side roads at the top of Greenways to aid pedestrians crossing these.

We have only just seen these proposals but initial concerns are: how the Greenways junction changes might impact on the 5A bus service turning into Church Lane; and the effect of the many pinch points on traffic during school times when there are a large number of vehicles heading in either direction on Greenways and Church Lane. Other concerns may arise as we examine the proposals more closely.

Please read the Council’s proposals and take part in the consultation. EVRA would also be interested in hearing your views which can be emailed to Chris Stebbing at: evra.vc@live.co.uk