It’s a sign that driv­ers haven’t got the mes­sage

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion -

YET again Ash­ford’s shared space is un­der the spot­light. This time the fo­cus is on a new move­able sign in­stalled in El­wick Road to give mo­torists a vis­i­ble in­di­ca­tion of how fast they are trav­el­ling. Stick be­low the 20mph speed limit and the sign dis­plays your speed in green. Go above 20mph and it shows your speed in red. The hope is that mo­torists will re­act and slow down to stay within the speed limit. But isn’t this some­what of an ad­mis­sion of fail­ure that, de­spite all the pub­lic­ity that the whole phi­los­o­phy be­hind shared space has gen­er­ated, the mes­sage still doesn’t seem to have reg­is­tered with many mo­torists? Yes­ter­day we car­ried out a brief and very un­sci­en­tific sur­vey of speeds be­ing reg­is­tered on the new so­lar-pow­ered ma­chine as cars passed by. We found that many driv­ers were trav­el­ling above the 20mph limit. Ash­ford’s scheme, based on a Dutch idea of traf­fic calm­ing, is the first large scale shared space project in the coun­try. Ap­par­ently oth­ers are now in the pipe­line. One of the ba­sic el­e­ments of shared space was that all un­nec­es­sary street clut­ter – such as signs and sig­nals – are re­moved, to al­low the bound­ary be­tween the driver’s space and the pedes­trian’s space to be­come blurred so they can share the same area. So isn’t it ironic that a sign is now be­ing used to tell driv­ers if they are com­ply­ing with the shared space speed limit and con­cept?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.