This Saturday the 18th May we are holding a public event at 12 Market Place from 10-4pm. There will be hourly presentations on the scheme’s progress and the recently produced technical note, which summarises the recommended measures that will assist in achieving the proposed town-wide 20mph Zone. Phil Jones of Phil Jones Associates (PJA), renowned transport planner and lead designer of the scheme as well as members of the working group and a Kent Highways officer will be available throughout the day to listen to your views and discuss the scheme in person .
The scheme has been agreed in principle with Kent County Council (KCC) and the purpose of the PJA report is to set out the measures that can be introduced to help make it work.
We want community input to further shape these recommendations so we are sharing this first stage design with you and inviting your feedback.
You can download a full copy of the Technical Report here: TN-03773-FavershamTreatments-v4+APPX
We are hoping to gauge ongoing support, obtain feedback on the scheme as a whole and find out your views on the suggested calming measures.
We would very much like to see the scheme implemented as soon as possible but there are statutory requirements that need to be met and we want to ensure we work closely with the community to achieve a scheme that really works for the town – and this takes time to achieve. There will be several stages of informal and formal consultation with the public before the scheme is finalised and approved by KCC.
The 20’s Plenty for Faversham campaign began with a small group of residents determined to address the road safety concerns throughout Faversham. We could see there was a lack of safe pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and we wanted to change that.
We have worked hard to gain and maintain the support of both the town and borough councils as well as convince Kent County Council to re-examine its policy and engage with us. Having successfully achieved all this we now hope that the people of Faversham will continue to show their support by engaging with the design process and responding positively to the public consultation later in the year.
Road safety organisations (including BRAKE, RoadPeace, RoSPA), walking and cycling organisations (including British Cycling, Sustrans, the CTC, Living Streets) and public health organisations (including NICE, WHO) all support 20mph limits due to overwhelming evidence that they are one of the most effective ways of making our streets safer for children, older people, those with disabilities, pedestrians and cyclists as well as healthier and less polluted.
At the very start of the campaign, we knew we needed to gauge local feeling and find out where the problems were, so we shared a map of Faversham and asked residents to place a red dot where they felt unsafe to cross or where they thought traffic speed was too fast. This resulted in what we call our our Red Dots or Protest Map.
When we compared our map with the offical CrashMap recordings of casualties, we saw that the red dots largely match the places where accidents are actually occurring. This told us that residents are accurate in their perceptions and that the problems exist across the whole town.
We want to achieve the greatest benefit for the greatest number of residents as cost effectively as possible and a town-wide 20mph limit seems to be the fairest and most practical way to achieve this. We are simultaneously working with councillors and the local authority to develop pedestrian crossings at the Abbey School and on The Mall but achieving a 20mph landscape is our priority.
We have taken an evidence based approach and the evidence tells us that small speed reductions over wide-areas bring greater benefits than big interventions in specific places. Many locations across the country are choosing to implement wide-area 20mph limits rather than small isolated zones because…
- they are more effective at reducing overall speeds and casualties.
- they are simpler and cheaper to sign and promote and therefore easier for motorists to understand and remember, leading to greater compliance.
- they promote a slower, steadier driving style, which means lower exhaust emissions as well as less pollution resulting from road surface and tyre erosion.
- they can encourage more sustainable, and healthier modes of transport.
The town council commissioned Phil Jones Associates (PJA) to create a design that would meet KCC’s requirements for traffic calming and achieve 3 key objectives:
- Reduce road casualties
- Improve air quality
- Improve health by encouraging walking and cycling
Why Traffic Calming?
Evidence from existing schemes across the country demonstrates that most motorists comply without physical calming measures and 20mph zones should be mostly self-enforcing, relying on street design and environment to slow motorists down. Speed surveys carried out across our town showed us that many of our streets are already naturally low speed routes for motorists but several faster speed streets will need adjustments in the form of traffic calming.
Speed humps are not suitable measures for many streets because they hinder emergency services, can increase exhaust and road surface pollution and are very expensive. This is why PJA have recommended inexpensive and alternative calming measures such as signage, planters, road narrowing, staggered parking bays, removing the centre line and advisory cycle lanes.
We especially like the idea of planters as a form of traffic calming because they help improve air quality, enhance the way our streets look, are inexpensive and their location can be adjusted if necessary. Planters could form the required “Internal gateways” of the scheme, acting as “community corners”. “Community Corners” is the name Bristol City Council gave to the introduction of low cost features into residential streets, designed by communities, to reduce traffic speed and road danger. Planters need volunteers to maintain them and several residents have already said they would be willing to help with this, so let us know if you would like to help in this way or can volunteer in other ways.
For the formal public consultation phase, as well as traditional door-to-door leafleting, the working group is investigating new online consultation software that will enable residents to give ongoing feedback by commenting on an interactive map. It is possible that this could go live before implementation and remain live afterwards, so that residents can continue to provide feedback and tell us what works on your street and what doesn’t.
Our aim is to keep you as engaged and informed as possible throughout, so please do come along to 12 Market Place to find out more and make your voice heard.
There will be free car window and wheelie bin stickers for you to take home and an art activity for children.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far.
If you would like to become an official supporter, help us campaign or join our mailing list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We meet monthly in the Guildlhall and all meetings are open to the public. You can view meeting times, dates, agendas and minutes as well as all supporting documentation here https://tinyurl.com/yxa5y5d7
Amanda Russell – Chair, on behalf of 20’s Plenty Working Group for Faversham.