Monday, 23 May 2011

Barnet Council kills road humps, and its people. Not here!

In 2003 the Telegraph posted an article entitled "be grateul that Barnet got the hump with bumps", which was a reference to that Council's decision to flatten all speed humps on roads in the borough. Writing in the Telegraph Tom Utley rejoiced that "as I write, contractors for Barnet council in north London are at work, flattening every one of the 1,000 speed bumps in the borough."

Well today the results of that scheme were laid bare by Transport for London - Barnet now has the highest road kill rate in London. While road deaths fell by 34% in outer London they soared in leafy Barnet, who have defended themselves by saying they have rather a lot of roads. I used to live in Barnet - it is not any more roady than anywhere else, that you'd notice by walking around.

And the relevance of this to Shepherd's Bush? Our Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh is a keen admirer of Barnet who, like H&F, are seen as Tory trendsetters. In fact Barnet coined the term "easyCouncil" in reference to their slashing of services to the bone and requiring residents to pay for what they saw as "extras". Ring any bells? In fact Cllr Greenhalgh is appearing at a conference sponsored by management consultants KPMG in June this year to discuss the "public services revolution" ...... with the Leader of Barnet Council.

So any whiff of our Council following Barnet down this path should be met with implacable opposition. It may play well with the Jeremy Clarkson 'political correctness gone mad' Righty brigade but the figures prove what it actually leads to - death and misery. I'd be the first on the barricades if they float something similar for our roads and I hope you'd join me!


  1. My parents live on a fairly straight 3 mile road between two main roads and the speed at which people tear down there is horrifying and I've seen first hand the accidents as a result. (On average five per year.) Local groups applications for speed bumps have been overturned many times due to drivers opposition.

    This is something I've always commended SB on. I'm not a massive motorist fan.

  2. Surely "Its" people.
    Yours pedantically...
    And of course it's a serious subject.

  3. Our road achieved some of the very first speed bumps in SB many years ago - but not until a child had been knocked down as he exited a playground. Sighs of relief all round as our hearts had been in our mouths every day watching infants vs. boy racers.

    Some still drive scarily fast over those (now) cushions in our 20mph zone... but of course this year thanks to our Council the playground and play centre no longer exist, the site having been sold off to a developer to be covered with pricey private houses - so no more children being ushered across the road. Any future residents under 16 liable to be transported in airtight Chelsea Tractors I'd say. Chiswick Chariots?

    Bumps are very annoying for drivers - but we perhaps all need saving from ourselves in this respect and the stats in this case speak for themselves. Better frustrated than become a killer.

  4. Thanks Anonymous (or Nick as I think you're otherwise known!) - corrected kind sir. Glad to have the BBC's beady eye keeping me on the straight n' narrer.

  5. Brian Coleman's got to go...

    (The rest of that article is rather telling, too).

  6. Chris,
    The good news is that there were 4% fewer traffic casualties in H&F last year than the year before.
    That still leaves us with two deaths in our borough - plus 72 "serious" and 616 "slight" casualties, so a total of 690.
    So far as Barnet is concerned I've looked at the figures from the year before Tom Utley's Telegraph article was written, 2002. There were 1,850 traffic casualties in Barnet. In 2010 it was 1,520.