Swains Lane Traffic Calming Review

Dates: consultation 3 Dec 2007; reply due 11 Jan 2008.
Decision by Asst Director of Culture and Environment. Feb 2008 meeting.
Officer Mohammed Ilyas. CCC member dealing with it Jean Dollimore. REPLIED 21 Dec 2007.

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The council removed the speed cushions in Swains Lane between Highgate Road and Chester Road as part of road resurfacing work.

Last April Camden Council asked local residents and statutory consultees whether they agree that the speed cushions to be removed should NOT be reinstated but that the speed limit remains at 20mph.

Click here to see the original consultation and CCC response

Camden Council have carried out a speed survey and find that speeds have increased from ~27 mph to ~ 35 mph. They are now asking whether to put back the original 7 cushions or to put only instead. They also note that there were more casualties before the original set of cushions were installed.

Click here to see the consultation leaflet

CCC’s response

Camden Cycling Campaign is pleased that LB Camden has carried out before and after speed surveys and casualty analysis as part of the evaluation of the need for traffic calming measures in this section of Swains Lane.
We are also pleased that LB Camden intends to put back some traffic calming measures so that this road may remain a part of the 20 mph zone.

However, the speed surveys indicate that even in the presence of the speed cushions 15% of drivers are exceeding 27.6 mph on this stretch of road.

In our response to the earlier consultation, we quoted from the Slower Speeds Initiative: “In general, every 1mph reduction in average speed is accompanied by a 5% reduction in the number of crashes. Casualty severity is very sensitive to impact speed. Even minor reductions in speed can make the difference between a crash being fatal or serious, and between serious and slight. This relationship is especially important where pedestrians and cyclists are present.”

Therefore we request that the council considers the use of a raised table at one or more of the junctions in addition to speed cushions. Raised areas are better than humps and cushions as they look more like shared space for all road users rather than simply obstacles in the way of drivers, so can change driver behaviour more when pedestrians and cyclists are about.

We also would like to remind you to consider cyclists when placing any speed cushions, bearing in mind the space used by parked cars and their opening doors. A cyclist will choose to ride at the low point to the left of a nearside speed cushion or between two speed cushions.
The cushions should be positioned so that the relevant low point is approximately one metre away from the kerb, or where there is adjacent car parking, one metre from the outside edge of the parking bay.