Wednesday 3 October 2012 7.33pm
What terrible terrible news. My thoughts go first to the family and friends but then, leap to try and understand what happened. I am eager to know, to explain, to learn and am now impulsively jumping to conclusions to get some thoughts out there and concerns to prevent any repeat.
A potential accident on St George's Road
has been on my mind for a while now. I live by this road, cycle, walk and drive on it and have watched the road become more dangerous this year as TfL's new policy of removing fences led to the removal of all along on this route from St George's Cathedral
south towards to the roundabout at every junction including that with Garden Row
... it has made the road more elegant and hopefully earned TfL some money for their scrap metal but it has increased the propensity of pedestrians to wander across any point of what is a wide and quite empty road with bursts of traffic between the lights. Of course the driver who collided with this terribly vulnerable child may well be at fault here, perhaps they skipped a light or perhaps even careered onto the pavement, but at the risk of jumping to conclusions I fear this accident might highlight the naivety of the fashionable trend of 'naked streets' and shared space which is appropriate and an improvement for all road users in some places but just doesn't fit with red routes, especially not dual and triple carriageways as deceptively quiet as St George's Road
. TfL are learning from their mistakes quickly and have already reinstated fences along the centre of the link road by the Shopping Centre having removed them earlier this year. But incredibly TfL have mooted plans to put even more traffic on St George's road (supported by some Garden Row
residents who envisage their road becoming a cul-de-sac as a side effect) when St George's Road
would benefit most from are traffic calming measures to slow the bursts and make it a better corridor for all users of the space including motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, the many school children in the area and residents - narrow carriageway, wider pavements, cycle paths and then in that context perhaps shared space begins to make sense.