Window on my world — 14 July 2009

windymiller Patrick Moore must know if there is a parallel universe in London.

For most of us who use London’s roads encounter inappropriate speeding, overtaking on the nearside, rude and careless drivers, and a complete disregard of pedestrians and cyclists.

But it would appear that The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s roads department don’t populate the world that I live in (or most accurately the world that I drive in).

Their world is akin to Camberwick Green when everybody is aware of other road users, greeting them with a cheery riposte, and continuing on their journey unimpeded. They help little old ladies cross the road and slow down for children.

For what the good Burghers of Kensington and Trumpton are proposing is to convert Exhibition Road by removing the kerbs and to semi pedestrianise the road. Already the RNIB have objected to this lack of delineation between the road and pavement, going as far when on 17 June 150 blind and partially sighted people campaigned outside the London Assembly.

This is an extract from Trumpton’s website explaining the proposed changes:

The most recognisable characteristic of shared space is the absence of street clutter, such as conventional traffic signals, barriers, signs and road markings. This encourages motorists to slow down, engage with their surroundings and make eye contact with pedestrians – resulting in a higher quality and more usable street area, with enhanced road safety.

So next year look out for Police Constable McGarry, Mickey Murphy the baker, Dr Mopp, Mrs Honeyman and Windy Miller.

Pugh Pugh Barney McGrew Cuthbert Dibble and Grubb!

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(2) Readers Comments

  1. In my opinion, motorists and pedestrians do not mix. Drivers are shut away from pedestrians (motorcyclists inside their helmets) and are therefore detached from them, leading to an us/them confrontational situation. At best, removing the separation is an attempt to achieve “traffic calming” on the cheap.

    I don’t think even cyclists and pedestrians mix and am therefore against opening canal tow paths etc to cyclists who speed along jangling their bells and expecting us to flatten ourselves against the wall (even where there are “Pedestrians have priority” notices).

    If there is a case for making a road more user friendly to pedestrians, then this is a case for closing it to vehicles altogether. I would like to see much more of Central London pedestrianized. A number of cities that I visit do have such pedestrian areas and they are a real pleasure to visit.

What do you have to say for yourself?