Agenda item

Traffic Calming Measures Information Report


David Knowles, Head of Transport and Town Centre Projects, was present for this item and introduced the report by noting that the link between this item and the previous one was that resident demand, often through the Council’s petition process, was the primary driver behind the introduction of measures. It was initially highlighted for the benefit of residents’ knowledge that the police were the only authority that could enforce speeding violations, and that safety cameras, often referred to as speeding cameras, could not be installed by local authorities, therefore requests for such cameras could not be followed up by the Council. There were a number of tools available to the Council in terms of mitigating the impact of speeding vehicles in the Borough as outlined in the report; one of these measures was the installation of vehicle activated signs (VAS), of which the Council had recently agreed the purchase of a new set of VAS and Members were encouraged to give their feedback as Ward Councillors as to suggestions for appropriate locations around the Borough for the new signs. It was noted that there was no legal process required to install a VAS which meant they were a relatively fast method of introducing traffic calming measures.


Speed tables were also discussed as another relatively common traffic calming measure in the Borough and an important tool at the Council’s disposal to slow traffic. It was noted that these were often requested by residents by way of petition which was a useful technique for displaying resident support for such measures; however, a recent example was given as to a petition which requested the removal of speed tables that had been installed as a result of a request brought about by a previous petition, this was due to the noise created by HGVs, primarily lorries carrying skips, when they hit the speed tables. Members noted that the noise created by larger vehicles and HGVs when encountering speed tables was a burden for those residents living within the immediate vicinity of speed tables; Members were encouraged to galvanize residents into submitting a petition in those instances whereby they can directly suggest actions that they would like to see the Council take. Members discussed the parameters of speed tables and the viability of colouring them with yellows or reds to ensure their visibility and that drivers would associate them with a hazard. Officers noted that the parameters of speed tables were defined in legislation and as a duty of care, the Council must ensure that what is installed is fit for purpose; it was also added that the Council could consider installing coloured speed tables and had installed a number of coloured tables previously where there was either a red anti-skid coating on the top of the speed table or an entire zebra crossing installed upon the speed table, however it was noted that with coloured tarmac would come increased maintenance costs.


The Committee discussed concerns regarding motorists who ignored traffic restrictions with regard to banned movements/turns, speed limits and road markings. Officers noted the issue informing Members of local authorities’ ability to enforce moving traffic contraventions which can use cameras to enforce issues such as parking on zig-zag lines outside of schools and driving in bus lanes. Officers highlighted that local authorities were no longer allowed to undertake parking enforcement by camera, it was noted that this did add to the challenge of nuisance parking.


The Committee discussed the typical timeframe between the receipt of a resident petition to the implementation of traffic calming measures, should the scenario warrant measures. Officers highlighted that traffic calming measures were often funded through Transport for London (TfL), whose revenue streams were badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, an impact that was still ongoing. As a result, a number of the traffic calming schemes devised over the years since the pandemic had to be redesigned or put on hold primarily due to finding a funding source for the measures. Officers informed the Committee that assurances had been given from TfL that a steady stream of funding could be expected over the coming years, possibly signalling a return to normality in terms of funding for traffic calming measures.


By way of clarification, officers confirmed that Hillingdon was part of the London Lorry Control Scheme, a scheme that seeks viable routes for the movement of HGVs over a certain weight. It operates at night and at weekends on specific roads throughout London to minimise noise pollution. It was noted that historically, boroughs paid a fee to be part of the scheme and there was a perception amongst outer London boroughs that the focus of the scheme was entirely within the central boroughs, therefore Hillingdon chose to withdraw from the scheme. This changed when London Councils, the operators of the scheme, approached all of the London boroughs stating that they had increased their resources and that there would no longer be a fee for subscribing to the scheme, Hillingdon then chose to re-join the scheme. The Committee were encouraged that Hillingdon was part of the scheme and urged officers to do what they could in their communications with London Councils to ensure that HGVs avoided the quieter residential streets in the Borough.


The Committee thanked officers for the detailed report and the breadth of work that they undertake in ensuring the Borough’s roads are safe for both pedestrians and motorists.


RESOLVED: That the Property, Highways & Transport Select Committee noted the contents of the report and provided comments to officers as necessary.

Supporting documents: