Hayes – We need to start somewhere!

Updated: Mar 4

“The last straw for me was seeing a car transporter going down our narrow country lane – no pavements – which has a major school at the end – purely to avoid a set of lights in Hayes.”

We decided that something needed to be done about speeding drivers who are a danger to walkers especially children going to school.

Traffic noise has also affected residents ability to sleep and their health. Some have resorted to moving to their back bedrooms to lessen the noise at night.

We met with our local councillors who were very interested in what we had to say.

We devised a questionnaire and printed a map showing our proposed Low Traffic Neighbourhood. We went door to door and so far we have spoken to 60 residents who completed the questionnaires.

Over 90% want something done about the ‘rat run’.

One resident commented: “my son was knocked off his bike by a speeding van driver who didn’t even stop to see how he was”

Others have said “ drivers use this road like a race track” and “it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed”

Many drivers ignore speed limits and traffic regulations especially around the school causing congestion and pollution.

The next step is to complete the surveys and meet with our local councillors again to press for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Hayes.

Norman & Carole Wells

If you are interested in establishing a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in your area, use the Contact Us page.

Shortlands – Starting conversations about streets

Updated: 29 May 2020

Shortlands – Bromley

A few years ago, when my wife and I came to Shortlands for the first time to view the property that is now our home, the very first thing we noticed when we walked out of the train station was that there was no pedestrian crossing at what appeared to be a very busy road junction. I got in touch with Bromley Council and started to learn about the challenges involved in addressing this. This got us thinking more generally about our experience as pedestrians, and encouraged me to seek out other Bromley residents interested in finding ways to make our streets better for walking.

What I didn’t know when we moved here is that our councillors, the councillors for Bromley Town ward, were already thinking about these issues and figuring out what they could do. I was delighted to find out our councillors had successfully applied for funding for the Shortlands Friendly Village Scheme(funded under TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhood programme). I was even more delighted to find out they were partnering with Sustrans, one of the country’s leading organisations for community participation. I am a firm believer in people getting involved in decisions that affect them. I have been involved in the Shortlands Friendly Village Project at every stage, representing both Bromley Living Streets in most stakeholder consultations and, at the most recent one, representing Ravensbourne Valley Residents(one of the two Residents Associations in my area, with nearly 500 members).

Right before the COVID-19 lockdown began, I was preparing to launch a survey on the street where I live, to find out how my neighbours feel about the road and whether they feel any improvements are needed. My plan was to share the survey results with our elected representatives, to help them make informed decisions balancing the needs of different parts of the community.

My main motivation for doing this work is concern about my daughter’s safety and her future. Making it easier for people to get around on foot and bicycle makes sense for all sorts of reasons, but for me the major reasons are to improve people’s health and the health of the world we all live in. My paid employment focuses on climate change, and I personally know the damage a car can do to a human body (I was hit by a car as a teenager, both my legs were broken, and full recovery took a year). Years from now, I need to be able to look my daughter in the eye and say I did what I could to look after her and safeguard her future.

Brendan Donegan


Downe Village – Road safety plan

Updated: 29 May 2020

In response to issues raised at the Downe Residents’ Association AGM in March 2017, a plan has been put together to propose improvements in road safety in the village.    Road safety is a big subject, and could include – traffic speeds, unsuitable vehicles, gridlock and passing difficulties, road signs, effects of Shire Lane closures, fly tipping, parking ( lack of, or inappropriate), footways and footpaths, street lighting, danger to pedestrians, danger to or from cyclists, danger to horses etc.

However, it has been decided to focus on two priorities:

1   Reduce traffic speeds through the village –  this would be in the form of a 20mph limit (from 30mph) in the central areas (mainly High Street) and a 30mph limit (from 40mph) elsewhere.   The narrow country lanes are dangerous for walkers, horses and cyclists, with frequent near-misses, and there are no pavements apart from the High Street.

2   Reduce the number of HGVs with no legitimate business in the village.   Every approach road has been considered – along with existing signage – and five extra “unsuitable for HGVs” signs have been put forward to Bromley Council.    Two of these have been installed as a result of the Downe report, and discussions continue on the remaining three requested

Additionally,  an on-line survey of residents was conducted in late 2019 on their views of traffic speeds – this showed 89% of respondents were in favour of slower traffic speeds (129 responses).  These results have been shared with Bromley Council, and discussions on potential solutions are ongoing.

Steve Barnes