Author Topic: Merton School Streets Programme  (Read 1205 times)

Merton School Streets Programme
« on: September 04, 2020, 07:27:13 pm »
Merton council are stepping up to the plate.

Hot on the heels of a borough wide 20mph limit they are also introducing a 'School Streets programme' for virtually all schools in the borough.

Quote
School streets restrict access to vehicles at drop-off and pick up times and allow children to safely walk, cycle and scoot into school.

School Streets Programme

More power to their elbow I say.
Rust never sleeps

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Merton School Streets Programme
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2020, 08:52:24 pm »
I hope it goes well and they don't get swayed by the inevitable complaints. The more places that do things like this, even in The Special London Transport Bubble, the more likely others will take it up.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Re: Merton School Streets Programme
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2020, 11:38:57 pm »
We've also got a School Street outside my daughter's primary school in Putney (and extending past one of the neighbouring schools).

The council had been doing nothing for 18 months and so XR got involved and just brought along a couple of "Chapter 8" barriers and stopped anyone trying to drive along those roads, asked them where they were going and convinced most who didn't need access to drive the obvious alternative route. The vast majority of people were happy about it.

The alternative route is simple, it's literally closing off two sides of a rectangle, so if you want to go to the opposite corner of the rectangle you just use the other two roads. That's it.

A rota of parents will be taking over manning the barriers although the council took the signs down to change them slightly (they'd missed off putting "term time only" on them) and haven't put them back up yet.

I stood in the road for the morning and afternoon shifts yesterday, with no signs, and just holding a hiviz jacket (actually it was my PBP'09 gilet) and that alone had a good effect as many people just assumed I was there to warn people about a builders merchant delivery or something else blocking the road.

I even helped one parent who parked on the corner of a junction with hazard lights on to drop off his children. When he came back I pointed out that the parking restrictions aren't in place until 9.30 (this was 8.45) and so he could park in any number of free bays with no chance of getting a ticket. If he kept on parking on the corner like he did he'd risk getting a ticket for parking illegally. At first he was a bit miffed (at being told he was doing it wrong, which is often incompatible with being a man) but realised I was actually trying to help him.

(The two roads in the school street scheme have parking restrictions from 8.30am to stop people using them for school drop-off and pick-up).

But the number of complaints from some of the residents. It's amazing, and all based on them assuming it means something completely different to what it actually means.

"What about residents?!?" - they can still drive on the roads for access
"But what about disabled people?" - they can still drive on the roads for access
"What about delivery drivers?" - if they need to deliver large items they can, if there are small items we'd prefer it if they could do it on foot
"What about access to the clinic and RSPCA hospital on those roads? - that's access, that'll be fine

In the first few days of XR doing it (before the signs appeared) a couple of residents called the Police, who turned up, chatted to XR and left them to it.

On Thursday morning I had one local resident, who lives just inside the school street area, come out, get in her car, drive it once round the block (so through the whole of the school street zone) and then sit with the car idling for 20 minutes. I'm guessing she was trying to goad me to come over to talk to her but I couldn't really give a shit. (Although I was hoping a parking attendant would come along and give her a ticket for idling.)

If there's any further silliness I'm planning on arranging a bunch of parents to turn up on bikes each morning and cycle back and forth along the streets (they're not really narrow enough for a car to overtake a cyclist) at 5mph for the time the school streets are in use. Anyone ignoring the signs and driving through will just have to plod along behind them.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Merton School Streets Programme
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2020, 12:32:58 am »
I was hoping a parking attendant would come along and give her a ticket for idling.

AIUI the law requires the attendant to give the driver a chance to turn the engine off before they can issue a ticket, so the number of tickets issued nationwide is zero.

ElyDave

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Re: Merton School Streets Programme
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2020, 07:58:47 am »
There are lots of streets and country lanes round here that are too narrow to go past a bike, doesn't stop people doing so, including the muppet giving his daughter driving lessons who obviously told her to push past anyway and give me a earful as he went past.  I can't imagine Londoners being any more respectful.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Merton School Streets Programme
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2020, 10:42:45 am »
I was hoping a parking attendant would come along and give her a ticket for idling.

AIUI the law requires the attendant to give the driver a chance to turn the engine off before they can issue a ticket, so the number of tickets issued nationwide is zero.

Although that shows that the law does have some useful demonstrable effect.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Merton School Streets Programme
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2020, 04:33:18 pm »
This video about Ghent mentions that on a "bicycle street" it's illegal for motorists to overtake cyclists.
https://youtu.be/sEOA_Tcq2XA
Which I didn't know. We hear a lot about copying the Dutch, Danish or occasionally as here the Belgians, but I've never heard anyone mention this.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Merton School Streets Programme
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2020, 09:52:49 am »
I was hoping a parking attendant would come along and give her a ticket for idling.

AIUI the law requires the attendant to give the driver a chance to turn the engine off before they can issue a ticket, so the number of tickets issued nationwide is zero.

Although that shows that the law does have some useful demonstrable effect.

Sadly, not outside our local school, where they sit there waiting with their engine running (I'm not sure why, I originally thought it was winter and they were keeping the heaters working, but they'll sit there in summer, window open and engine running).

I have a teeny bit of sympathy that people drive and drop their kids off there, it's one of those school complexes they've stuck on the edge of town* (along with the leisure centre) – but even then, given the size of the town, you have to figure that most of the kids there have a less than 20 minute walk. There's no possible way to cycle there.

Chapeau for fighting for change though. It's tiresome to put up with the same fauxcuses every time. What about the ambulances and disabled people. Driving slowly creates more pollution. Bah.

*it's almost like the planners sat down with a map and plotted out the least accessible location. This seems common for schools and leisure centres.
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Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Merton School Streets Programme
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2020, 10:44:56 am »
Apparently there's now a school street in a (large, satellite) village outside Bristol:
Quote
Frampton Cotterell: First “school street” outside Frampton Cotterell CofE Primary School: a section of road outside of the school closes to traffic between 3pm and 3.45pm, Monday to Friday, during term time
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/latest-changes-improve-cycling-walking-4437230
No idea how it's working nor why it doesn't apply in the mornings.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Re: Merton School Streets Programme
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2020, 10:55:54 am »
...(I'm not sure why, I originally thought it was winter and they were keeping the heaters working, but they'll sit there in summer, window open and engine running)...

From talking to a few people who do it I've found a lot of people think it's because having their mobile plugged in (to charge, and also whilst they text/FB/watch videos/etc) will run the car battery down if the engine isn't running to keep it being topped up.

And it doesn't matter how many times you say "the average car battery has more than 20 times the capacity of even the biggest iPhone batteries" they'll still think they'll end up with a flattery if they don't have the engine running.

It's times like that you realise the stupidity you're up against and just learn to shake your head and walk away.

Although we've had good help from the council, at our request they've sent parking attendants round at drop-off times to help remind people about idling/etc.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Merton School Streets Programme
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2020, 11:10:02 am »
I've often wanted to ask them, but it's not worth the aggro. I'm sure they're the same people who complain about the price of petrol, yet they're sitting there with their car running to charge their phone. And their own kids are breathing the fumes.
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