Shaftesbury Park EstateFollowing on from the introduction of the local safety scheme on the Shaftesbury Park Estate the council is now looking at introducing a 20mph speed limit on the estate’s roads.

20mph zones are tricky, largely because they need to be enforced and are not (I would say quite rightly) a priority for the police at the moment. This means they only work where the average speed of the traffic has already been significantly reduced – and this is where the safety scheme has played a part.

Personally I think the current scheme has been incredibly successful. The raised beds are attractive and in keeping with the conservation area and, living close to one, don’t seem to create the noise problems so often associated with traffic calming – and the evidence shows they have slowed traffic, speeds on Elsley and Sabine Roads have been reduced by 6mph on average.

The 20mph zone will require some more roadworks – Grayshott and Tyneham Road will be getting the new raised beds (like those elsewhere in the area) at their junctions with Eversleigh and Ashbury Roads. Additionally there would be raised entries to the estate at the junctions of Heathwall Street and Sabine Road with Latchmere Road, and raised entries to Wickersley and Wycliffe Roads. Together these also have the benefit of providing traffic calming in the roads serving local schools.

The proposals are due to be considered at next week’s Planning and Tranportation Committee. You can get all the details from the (rather dry) committee report on the council’s website.

David Walden and I hog a piece of the new playground equipment
David Walden and I hog a piece of the new playground equipment

Yesterday I attended the official opening of the new ‘dual-use’ playground at John Burns School.

Pleasingly the playground looks interesting, with plenty of exciting features.  When I see the playground in which I spent many hours of my childhood it’s more like a graveyard of ‘dangerous’ playground equipment, tarmac scars marking each piece’s passing.

What makes the playground even better is the dual-use, not just for the school.  While the school will have exclusive use during the school day, in the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays the playground will be available for the local community to use.  Access will be through a new gate on Wickersley Road, meaning the main school site remains secure.

The playground, funded by Wandsworth Council to the tune of £105,000, is aimed at 5 to 12 year olds features a gyro, climbing wall, turbo slide, climbing rope net, spinning dish, balancing unit and a shelter with seats.