Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The labels are off and now it’s official: the speed limit in Haringey’s side roads is 20mph. There is no doubt that impacts at lower speeds greatly reduce the risk of serious injury. I have my doubts, however, whether this new limit with be observed. Driving regularly in the boroughs of Hackney and Islington, where the 20 mph limit is widespread, I am aware that 20mph speed limits are observed infrequently and then only 100 or so metres beyond the boroughs’ speed cameras. The speed limit through Alexandra Palace has been 20mph for a number of years and, despite this being a busy, public route, observance is extremely low. I wanted, therefore, to know how Haringey Council intended to enforce the new limit in our quiet side roads. In a response to an enquiry Cllr. Goldberg wrote:


“The council will be monitoring the speed limits in the borough... and consider the  introduction of additional measures, such as traffic calming,  where this was deemed necessary.  The council will also work with Metropolitan Police who will take appropriate action where speeding problems are raised.”  When the same limit was introduced in Islington, Scotland Yard’s traffic management unit wrote: “An unrealistically low speed limit in these roads will create an enforcement problem where one does not currently exist. We will not routinely enforce 20mph speed limits and zones”. (Islington Gazette.) Since then on the spot fines have been handed out but this form of enforcement is, by its nature, piecemeal. Cllr. Goldberg did not specify how the council will monitor the new limit.


The Transport Research Laboratory conducted a study for the DfT which brought together a series of findings from local authorities and international case studies of traffic calming measures. It found that the use of speed limit signs alone only had a small effect on the mean average speed, by around 1-2 mph, whereas more extensive traffic calming measures such as speed cameras produced greater speed reductions. Islington, Brighton and Bristol saw a decrease of only 1 mph the the year following the introduction of a 20mph limit.


So, in terms of reducing speed, signs have proven largely ineffective: but this is the preferred choice of Haringey Council. And the cost? A hefty £900,000. Given that the borough’s roads are in a parlous state, a patchwork quilt of repairs, I would have thought that this money could have been better spent protecting the safety of road users by repairing pavements and road surfaces: a view I imagine which would be shared by a colleague who required extensive dental reconstruction when his bike went into a pothole sending him over the handlebars.


At a time of government cuts, as Haringey representatives are constantly reminding us, it would be reassuring to think that funding was spent wisely: I fear our unsightly 20mph speed limit signs will prove, however, to be little more than a very expensive gesture.




Tags for Forum Posts: -, 000, 20, HARINGEY'S, MPH, SIGNS, SPEND., TRAFFIC, £900

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I note that one of them appeared at the Palace Gates entrance which has always had a 20mph limit, however I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted for speeding there. In the past, some drivers would speed thru and beep and swear and people doing 20....a lot better now

20 is a calmer speed to drive, let's face it you won't get about any faster, the average speed is twenty, and has been for a hundred years.

On enforcement, an extract from the minutes of the most recent Haringey Transport Forum last October:

1.1 Community Speed (Road) Watch update
Council officers are in discussions with Met Police regarding proposals to undertake a joint launch of Community Road Watch programme, in conjunction with the implementation of the 20 mph speed limit, in mid February.

Sat Nav companies have been contacted to update their network data bases.

Details of Community Speed watch set up requirements including speed gun calibration, volunteer recruitment and training, data collection criteria etc to be summarised in briefing. Enforcement will initially be a ‘stop and advised’ approach.

The next Transport Forum is next Tuesday, 8 March, 1600-1800, Civic Centre.

Item 6 is   20 mph: implementation phase update (15 mins)  for which there is a briefing note.

Holy guacamole! £900,000???? The £86,000 spent on branding looks like a bargain in comparison. Where does that figure come from btw?
Can I suggest you add the £900k price tag into the thread title. I think people need to be aware of this but aren't necessarily going to take that juicy fact in....

There are approximately 5000 repeater signs and 600 entry point signs in the borough for the 20 mph limit, according to the briefing note about the 20 mph limit. So: cost of signs, cost of fixing them beforehand then removing sticky tape, painting 20 mph roundels on roads, publicity costs, banners on lamp posts.....

Was there really a need for so many signs? The cost seems unbelievable to me. The number between Harringay Green Lanes station and Manor House is ridiculous. I didn't count them but they seemed to be every 50 yards or so. And where Green Lanes crosses the canal there is a large 30mph sign between two smaller 20mph signs which is just silly.

And another pair in the other direction so the deck of the bridge is 30 mph and Green Lanes either side is 20 - I hope those residual contradictions will be removed in time now that there's no 30/20 difference at the Haringey/Hackney borders (Islington and Camden too).

As for repeater signs, Wightman Road won't be getting any repeaters since it's already a 20 mph zone with humps that 'police' the speed so 'no need for repeater signs' - I asked some months ago.

Forgive my ignorance, Gordon, but what is a repeater sign? I do think it is better that the speed limits don't change at the borough boundaries.

There should be a speed limit sign as you enter a restricted area. Thereafter signs should be placed at regular intervals to remind road users of the limit. Those are repeater signs.

Gotcha. Is the distance set in law somewhere? Like I said previously they seem to repeated very often between H'gay Green Lanes and Manor House.

I can't find anything on spacing. It seems to be up to the local authority.

I think there is statutory spacing on speed limits outside towns. Certainly there seems to be far too many repeaters around here, particularly since they are pretty ineffective in reducing speeds.



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