The first consultation to appear in Sutton Living Streets inbox in 2014 related to a proposal to construct a “raised table” outside St Dunstan’s Primary School in Cheam. Charles Martin thinks this a great idea, but asks whether the associated signage and clutter, that the traffic engineers propose to include with it, are really necessary.

Early in January 2014 Sutton Living Streets was asked to comment on plans to introduce a raised table in Anne Boleyn’s Walk, outside St Dunstan’s Primary School, in Cheam village. Here are links to the Notice and the Plan (both referenced as T28009), and below is our response.

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Sutton Living Streets believe that the proposed raised table crossing at Anne Boleyn’s Walk will be an improvement to the streetscape. Indeed, the Google Street View at this location (http://goo.gl/maps/4XqCH) clearly shows that the pedestrian desire-line currently cuts across the grass verge at the intended location of the raised table crossing. Furthermore, the existing build-out on the west side of the road has always been a contentious issue for some cyclists, given its proximity to the junction with Kingsway Road, so its removal will not be a disappointment.

However, we are not sure why the raised table needs to come with the additional clutter of posts and signage. Is it really necessary for a quiet residential street to have three “Hump 50 yds” signs installed? Is it likely that traffic will be travelling at such a speed on Anne Boleyn’s Walk or Kingsway Road that signs are required? Will anyone notice the signs? If they are necessary, why are there no “Hump 50 yds” signs on the approach to the other existing raised table further along Anne Boleyn’s Walk at the junction with Ewell Road? And near the school isn’t it the children, rather than humps, that we should be looking out for?

The proposed additional signage will just make Anne Boleyn’s walk and Kingsway Road look more like thoroughfares for traffic. If the maximum speed limit here were to be reduced to 20mph, as is Living Streets policy for residential roads, (and which here, given the alignment of the streets, is probably rarely exceeded anyway), then the proposed raised-table would sit quite nicely without the requirement of additional traffic signage. Put simply, the area would take on more of a sense of place without the signage. And surely a sense of place, somewhere for people to stop and talk and walk and cycle, is just what you need outside a village primary school.

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