Between 31 October 2003 and 1 November 2006 there were 9 accidents (4 serious and 5 slight), recorded by police, on this part of Spaniards Road. 6 accidents involved motorcyclists, 1 involved a pedestrian and 1 involved a pedal cyclist.
In March 2007, we carried out a 7-day 24-hour speed survey of vehicles travelling in both directions on Spaniards Road. The following results were observed:
• 79,124 vehicles were recorded travelling in the northbound direction on Spaniards Road; of these, 11,869 (15%) were travelling at 37mph or higher.
• 73,015 vehicles were recorded travelling in the southbound direction on Spaniards Road; of these, 10,952 (15%) were travelling at 37mph or higher.
We believe that 15% of vehicles travelling in both directions at speeds exceeding 37mph indicates the need to install traffic calming measures. Due to the results of the traffic survey and because the speed limit on Spaniards Road is 30mph we would like to put “rippleprint” on Spaniards Road to reduce vehicle speeds and put a smoother strip at the edge of the road, next to the kerb, to allow cyclists to ride over it more comfortably.
CCC has asked Ed Quartey for a report on the effectiveness of Ripple Print on East Heath road. He said:
- The survey on East Heath Road shows traffic speeds have been reduced from over 30mph (85%ile speed – 38mph)to 20mph (85% speed – 25.9mph).
- As part of the LSS for East Heath Road, 3 raised zebra crossings were installed together with the rippleprint. Therefore the reduction in speed is due to both of these measures.
Three locations were chosen for the assessments. They are as follows:
- Between Squires Mount and Cannon Lane – 21.5mph (85%ile – 25.9mph); one raised zebra crossing south of Squires Mount.
- North of Holford Road – 23.4mph (85%ile – 30mph); no raised zebra crossing
- Between Well walk and Heathside – 27.3mph (85%ile – 33.4mph); one raised zebra crossing south of well walk
- Between Heathside and Downshire Hill – 20mph (85%ile – 26mph); one raised zebra crossing north of Downshire Hill and rippleprint north of the zebra crossing.
The above speeds were after the measures were implemented.
Camden Cycling campaign is very much in favour of introducing measures to reduce speeds on Spaniards Road. Our subjective experience of speeds well above 30 mph is confirmed by the figures you give in your information letter.
For a road in this unique situation where pedestrians want to cross between the main Heath and Sandy Heath, speed reduction is essential. In addition, the road is narrow, so cyclists often need to
take the lane which is feasible at 20 mph, but not at 30 mph or more. Finally, the noise pollution on the adjacent Heath should be reduced by a reduction in speed.
Your letter describes the provision of a smoother strip at the edge for cyclists. This should be at least 1 metre in width. Cyclists report that they sometimes fail to notice the smooth strips in East Heath Road until it is too late – we therefore request that the smooth strips should be coloured green. In addition, cycle logos should be used to emphasise that cyclists should use the strip.
Cyclists have suggested that it would be useful to provide warning signs, both to make cyclists aware and to motivate drivers to slow down.
Thank you for providing the report on the effectiveness of Ripple Print in East Heath Road. You pointed out that the reduction of speed to 20 mph is probably the combined effect of two raised crossings with ripple print between them. We therefore suggest that the pedestrian crossings on Spaniards Road should be raised, both for speed reduction and for pedestrian safety.
We heard on 17th March 2008 (from Simon Lee at the Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee) that LB Camden no longer plan to use rippleprint for traffic calming on Spaniards Road and that they think you cannot raise tables at the pedestrian crossings because it is an emergency services strategic route.
We wrote to Ed Quartey and Michael Norman pointing out that both East Heath Road and Highgate West Hill which are emergency services strategic routes make use of speed tables to calm traffic. And asked whether they agree me Spaniards Road would be a very good place in which to deploy
average speed cameras to enforce a 20 mph limit as there are no side roads and all you would need is a pair of cameras at each end?
On March 31st Michael Norman told us that they will not use ripple print because it wears out; the speed limit is 30 mph and they intend to try to enforce it with flashing signs on the south side of the road, but Simon Lee will not allow them on the north side. The speed camera trial has not yet got approval from Home Office and the lCSP decides where future trials will take place. He also said that more would be needed than raising the three zebras (as there is 350-400 m between then). He told us Tom Allen has no plans to change the limit to 20 mph and is against traffic calming – also residents in Spaniards end would object. They will monitor speeds and if they remain higher on north side, they will approach Simon Lee again.