To all our supporters, here’s an update on progress with the campaign:
1. KCC agrees to a town-wide scheme
In March 2019, KCC and the 20’s Plenty Working Group, gave a joint statement to the Swale’s Joint Transportation Board, stating that they have reached agreement in principle to a town-wide scheme, subject to funding and a positive public consultation outcome.
2. KCC accepts the preliminary scheme design
In May, Kent County Council approved all the recommendations of the 20’s Plenty Technical Report – produced by transport experts PJA and commissioned by the Town Council – with two minor caveats, one of which they have already actioned. Continue reading 20’s Plenty by 2020
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.
This document provides helpful myth-busting advice on 20mph speed limits.
Yesterday evening the 20’s Plenty for Faversham working group gained the full support of Swale’s Joint Transportation Board in moving Faversham towards a 20mph limit.
The board congratulated us on the quality of our report and voted to unanimously accept our 6 key recommendations.
Notes from the meeting:
To accept the following recommendations of the Working Group’s report:
1. A 20mph limit across the whole of Faversham to include required signage, social engagement and self-enforcing traffic calming.
2. Fund-raising to meet the expected cost of 60K
3. A town-wide consultation.
4. Ongoing monitoring to identify where compliance is achieved and where further work may be required.
5. The working group’s ongoing involvement in the implementation process.
6. Support of an independent consultant with experience of devising 20mph schemes that deliver.
Congratulated the group on the thorough report. Said it was the first such working party.
Fully supports the broad scope of all the recommendations, particularly the ongoing involvement of the group.
Will refer to officers to consider further.
Would like to see this come back to the JTB as quickly as possible.
A very good job, very well done.
Drew attention to Helen Whately MP’s letter of support.
COMMENTS FROM SWALE BC AND KENT CC MEMBERS
Member of working party.
Congratulated Amanda Russell on her thorough presentation.
Shows how passionately people in Faversham feel about this.
Said that the working group wanted the report to come sooner to the JTB but also wanted to carry out a thorough job.
Encouraged the JTB to be brave.
He understands it’s controversial, especially the inclusion of the A2 but emphasised the importance of its inclusion in the light of future development which will change its status from a bypass to an internal road.
Something needs to be done and now is the time to progress this.
Air quality – lots of evidence that slowing vehicles to 20mph leads to less braking and accelerating, less pollution, improves air quality.
In summary, there are implications for budgets but asked the JTB to be brave and give this its full backing.
Also a member of the working group.
Has learned a lot through the process. As you learn more, you learn how important it is. Believes it has clarified into something that will improve Faversham for all its residents.
Also emphasised the importance of including the A2. It will no longer be a peripheral road, will be an internal residential road.
Abbey School bridge – an alarming number of people are not using the bridge.
Not a simple safety issue, safety is important, but its also about pollution.
It’s also about walking. 20mph for cars helps people make a 20 minute walk across Faversham.
Will also improve the potential for cycling.
Just back from Bristol – a 20mph town and much safer to walk and cycle.
There is more than one stage in the process but creating a default 20mph limit is the first step. Identifying other areas is the next step.
Hopes the committee will give it its full support and urged KCC to give it support and funding.
Fully supportive but wanted to know how we can implement it across the borough of Swale. “Adopt, support and widen”.
It’s taken one year for Faversham so it will take many years for Sheppey and elsewhere, so there is a need to start looking at the process for implementing this across the entire borough.
Chances of getting KCC to fund this are virtually nil. Mentioned community grant funding.
This council should make a decision to fund borough-wide.
£150-180k borough wide is worth serious consideration.
Proposed an amendment to make it borough-wide.
Accepted the amendment.
Also supports this.
Catching up with the USA – who have such speed restrictions in their towns.
Cost – doesn’t want to hear from KCC that they haven’t got the money. £35-60k is a good investment. This could be attained from the enhanced value of land in light of new development.
Also wants to address the issue of implementing it across the borough.
Well done to Faversham.
I fully agree with everything that’s been said. It’s now down to the JTB to grasp it and make it happen.
His only concern is enforcement. Feels it won’t stop persistent speeders. Need to put pressure on enforcement authorities to make sure there’s proper enforcement.
Mentioned the AQMA at Ospringe (Air Quality Management Area)
What is SBC doing about it? Should not just be monitoring it.
2. Enforcement – shouldn’t stop us pursuing things. Once it’s down to a few offenders, police may let us have stingers.
The red dots on the map worry me. He is referring to this map – At the Faversham Transport Weekend in May 2016, we surveyed town residents to find out where they felt unsafe walking, crossing and cycling and where they felt speed of traffic was an issue.
Says there are four hot spots, the clusters are at pedestrian crossings. We need pelicanised crossings as a quick fix. Forbes Road is dangerous if a bus is turning. All can be fixed with pelicanised crossings.
Other hotspot is St Mary’s Road.
But supports the scheme and would like the quick fix if we can get it.
Congratulated the working group.
Iwade looked at 20mph. Has money for signs. But Parish Council voted against as speeds were 26mph. Needs more funding to implement physical calming measures.
Congratulated the group’s report – v professional.
Said it was a pity he wasn’t able to do it around schools in Sheppey but KCC told him there aren’t enough accidents.
There is a groundswell around UK.
Mentioned the issues surrounding enforcement but said that Speedwatch is a community based initiative that works very well in achieving compliance and has already been very effective in Minster. It works.
Said the Transportation team would be more than willing to look into this and take it on, said it was very good work.
In response to Cllr Mulherne’s comments about Pelicans being safer than Zebras, he said that crash statistics show there is not much difference in accident rates between Pelicans and zebras. The decision to install one or the other is more to do with management of traffic flow.
Thinks we need further discussion about the inclusion of the A2. Not saying it’s impossible but needs further work.
If approved, technically goes to KCC cabinet but should also go to Swale cabinet.
Thinks we need a technical report.
Said the unanimous support of people in the room is testament to the quality of the report.
Said that the issues around enforcement shouldn’t be a barrier to implementation.
To accept the recommendations of the Working Group’s report with an amendment to pursue a 20mph limit on residential streets across the entire borough of Swale.
May and June have been busy months for FACT, so here’s all the latest…
May 28th saw FACT in the news following two traffic accidents involving pedestrians in a single week, both requiring an air ambulance response. I won’t reiterate the events or the article, which you can read in full here. What I will say is that it’s really horrible to hear news of traffic accidents and then be asked to comment. I know it’s a necessary and inevitable part of running this campaign, press attention leads to more exposure and (hopefully) support but first and foremost it is very upsetting. Faversham is a small and close-knit town and the consequences of these accidents reverberate all the more because of that. It also leaves me in no doubt that more needs to be done and soon.
In June I agreed to be the official contact for Faversham’s very own branch of 20’s Plenty. This is the national campaign to make 20mph the default speed limit where people live. The wide-ranging benefits of this scheme are already a reality for many towns up and down the country and you can watch a short video featuring the campaign’s founder Rod King MBE here. Being part of the national campaign means we will benefit from all their research, campaigning experience and resources. It also means we’ll be working alongside other 20’s Plenty groups across Kent to achieve the same goal. I was sent a starter pack with lots of useful things in it, my favourite being this “20’s Plenty Where People Live” wheelie bin sticker, which is such a clever idea.How amazing would it be to have these stickers on as many wheelie bins as possible? I’m convinced it would make motorists think – if only for a moment – and reduce their speed through town. I’ll be launching our 20’s Plenty for Faversham website and petition in the next few weeks.
You can buy your own sticker here and I’m currently trying to raise money to purchase a larger number to sell and give away at events, so if you are a local business and would like to support the campaign in this way, please do get in touch.
On June 29th, I attended the town council meeting with two other FACT members, Tim Stonor and Tina Hagger (Swale Green Party). Our aim was to confirm the town council’s support and find out what happens next. Cllrs Cosgrove and Kay had already expressed their support at March’s Local Engagement Forum (you can read my previous post about that here) and had pledged to make Faversham 20mph in their election literature (see below) but I hadn’t heard anything more since the election and didn’t know if this view was shared by the entire town council.
Your Borough Council Candidates leaflet, Election 2015.
To my relief, the town council responded with a unanimous YES, which is excellent news. As for a more detailed discussion, this would have to wait for another day and another meeting; that of the Public Realm Group, which takes place on Thursday the 23rd July, 9:30am (should any of you wish to attend.) Not the best time for a working parent or a working anybody in fact, but needs must.
One last piece of news is that Helen Whately MP has apparently expressed her support for FACT and 20s Plenty for Faversham. I haven’t managed to track her down in person yet but I’m hoping to meet with her in the coming month.
Thanks for reading and supporting,
On March 4th, FACT attended the Local Engagement Forum where we submitted this question for discussion:
“Given the recent spate of road accidents in Faversham…..we would like to hear from the representatives as to how we can implement 20mph zones, a safe network of crossings and various other traffic calming measures…..”
Responses were gained from the following participants: Chief Inspector Henley of Swale Police, Councillors Wilcox, Cosgrove and Town Mayor and Councillor Kay and Bill Ronan, the Community Engagement Officer for Swale. Kent Highways did not attend.
Chief Inspector Henley was the first to speak. He asserted that as Kent Highways set the speed limits, this wasn’t strictly a Police matter. He admitted to being unprepared but gave several reasons why he thought it might be problematic, I’ve listed them here and our responses:
- Crash data statistics will not support the need for a 20mph speed limit
Crash data is not a fully reliable indication of how dangerous our roads are.
I attended the meeting with a list of personal injury crashes for the 5 year period up to 30.09.2014. This information was obtained for me by Gary Miller of the Green Party. The information originates from data collected by the Police when an injury road collision is reported to them. On analysing the data it became clear that there are no fatal accidents recorded in Faversham during this period, despite there having been at least two in recent years. This is because crash data only records the status of an incident at the roadside, if the individual dies at a later date as a result of his/her injuries, the data is not updated to reflect this. Decisions about where to improve and install crossings and traffic calming measures are being made on the basis of this data but the data isn’t reflecting the seriousness of all accidents.
- A 20 mph speed restriction would be difficult to enforce
20mph speed limits are very much self-enforcing with the proper support of the Police and the council. Community policing, accompanied by proper engagement and education with the public means that a 20mph limit can be enforced with a “light touch”. If a 20mph limit has support from the majority of the community, a culture shift would happen fairly soon and 20mph would become the norm for most people. This has already been implemented with great success in London, Liverpool, Oxford, Cambridge, York, Bath, Bristol, Edinburgh and Lancashire and many more places have already implemented or approved 20mph speed limits for their residential and shopping streets. In all of these places the national 30mph limit is seen as “no longer fit for purpose”.
- There were several concerns raised about the expense from various members of the forum.
20mph speed limits are relatively inexpensive to implement as they rely on effective and visible signage and require no physical change to the existing infrastructure. Furthermore:
A Council’s responsibilities are to fulfil its statutory duties, including road safety and aim to maximise the rate of return on any discretionary spending toward its priorities. The one-off cost of installing 20 mph limits without humps gives fantastic returns. Warrington reported a 800% (1:8) First Year Rate of Return (FYRR) on casualties avoided2 . Bristol found a 1:24 FYRR on the health benefits of more walking3 . Citations can be found here: Councils_Can_Afford_20mph_Limits (1)
Most tragically, recent years have seen fatalities on two of the existing crossings. This is simply unacceptable. Updating and installing new crossings and traffic islands does cost money but the lack of a cohesive and safe crossing network is proving to be fatal, compromising safety and health, as well as access to health centres, schools, nurseries and green spaces.
- We specifically asked why Faversham’s schools don’t have crossing assistants (Lollipop people) or flashing signs and speed humps, restricting motorists to 20mph, or designated safe crossing areas for parents and children?
The answer on the night was simply “we don’t know”. Yet parents regularly complain about traffic traveling at dangerously high speeds on roads near our schools and nurseries.
Bill Ronan was due to meet with local schools in the week following the forum and agreed to feed back his findings and any decisions made. His response is here.
At my recent meeting with elected representatives, Kent Police and KCC Highways we have agreed some remedial actions including re-marking enforcement lines at designated schools, and undertaking a targeted campaign of enforcement and traffic management. At this time, the schools being looked at are not within the centre of Faversham, but I have discussed with colleagues your concerns and request that we look at future initiatives.
Following this meeting, Councillor Mike Cosgrove and Town Mayor and councillor Nigel Kay have both publicly pledged to support a 20mph speed limit in Faversham.
Kent Highways were not at the meeting but I have had a response from them, which I will summarise in the next post.
This week has seen two further road accidents involving pedestrians. The most serious involved a 13-year-old boy, who sustained “life-changing” injuries and had to be air-lifted to Kings College hospital in London. (Faversham News, May 21st 2015) It is extremely upsetting to hear this news and we will continue campaign to campaign for safer crossings and traffic calming.
We need your support, start driving at 20mph, it will add a mere 40 seconds to your journey time and the benefits are immense. For info on journey times at 20mph check out 20s Plenty Myth Busting info.
I know that Faversham is a truly special place, as well as being beautiful and historic it is much-loved. It benefits from a strong and active community of residents, who are connected to each other and their local environment. They are passionate about what happens in the town and many work tirelessly to make it the best it can be.
If you want to get involved, please subscribe to this blog and send me your email, stating that you would like to help with the campaign.
Please also let me know;
- roads where traffic speed is an issue for you
- roads/junctions you find difficult to cross
- where you would like to see cycle paths and bike racks