Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Forest Road: another lethal location

Forest Road at the junction with Fernhill Court. In the distance is the junction with Hale End Road. You can see the problem, can't you? Drivers come on to Forest Road from the North Circular or the M11 motorway, where many of them will have been belting along at 80 mph. They then abruptly enter a built up residential area with a school, housing and a 30 mph zone. And they are going down a hill. Naturally, virtually no driver stays within the speed limit. At the junction with Fernhill Court there's a solar powered speed sign. It flashes at just about every driver who passes. And naturally many drivers couldn't give a toss, as the sign is purely advisory. If there was a speed camera here they would slow down, but where there is no enforcement drivers opt out of road traffic law.

The problem for cyclists is that at this junction the road suddenly narrows and there's a traffic island. The result is that high speed drivers drift into the cycle lane, as can be seen in all these pictures. It is not pleasant cycling at this spot, when a moron in a ton of metal races past about an inch from your right handlebar.

And, yes, even London Borough of Waltham Forest refuse trucks break the speed limit here (see last picture). Don't be surprised if in the future a cyclist gets killed here. But if will, of course, be "an accident". Even though deaths on Forest Road resulting from excessive speed over the past decade now exceed those in the average rail crash.

Recent legislation gives the Council the power to install speed cameras at more or less any location it chooses. This spot ought to be top of the list.