Speeds on Viaduct Road drop by 20mph in first week of planter experiment

Posted On 13 Feb 2015 at 7:51 pm

Cars driving along Viaduct Road after a controversial trial involving plant pot chicanes are travelling about 20mph slower than before.

Viaduct Road picThe pots were placed in the busy road, which forms part of one of the city’s main arterial routes, on Monday.

The trial followed a drive by the London Road Local Action Team to improve the feel of the residential road, where 80% of drivers exceed the speed limit.

And in the first week, average speeds have dropped from being in the early 40mphs to 23.5mph – which is still above the 20mph limit.

The scheme has drawn criticism from motorists who say it is only a matter of time before they cause an accident.

But the council says the planters are safe if motorists stick to the speed limit. It also says although the pots are adequately lit according to guidance, it will be adding further traffic signs to each one.

The council’s road safety team manager Martin Heath said today: “We are closely monitoring the effectiveness of the scheme along with any feedback from residents and other road users.

“These obstructions will not present a problem to compliant motorists travelling at reasonable speeds (20mph speed limit).

“Average off-peak speeds pre-planters was in early 40mphs. During Week one this has reduced to 23.54mph (highest speed recorded 56mph). Further measurements will be taken in week two.”


  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    I have been aghast at cllr Ken Norman’s remarks about this safety measure. He does not grasp that a millions people are killed on the roads each year.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      Yes – green party councillor of Hove and green candidate (no chance!) for Hove and Portslade MP – where are the statistics for the number of road deaths?

      Why didn’t the relevant green councillors and MP for this area make a comment?

      Didn’t the introduction of the ‘green cross code’ lead to a halving on the number of road deaths by children? Wouldn’t this be a more productive and effective way of improving road safety rather than the failed vanity schemes introduced by the greens under the ‘guidance’ of the anti-motorist bigot and cyclists friend – dozey Davey?

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      You should read over what you write and reflect upon what people will think of so hateful a tone. Who would wish to talk with you? You back yourself into a mister-lonely corner by such behaviour.

      My figure is correct – if anything, it’s more than a million.


      • Gerald Wiley Reply

        @Christopher Hawtree – very interesting report – but written 11 years ago based upon data from 2002. Has anything changed since this was produced?

        The report shows that the UK is twice as safe as the average of the EU in 2002 and makes a lot of recommendations as to how to improve road safety.

        The report talks about quantifiable targets for reducing fatalities (something, that we know green party councillors try to avoid) – in the case of the UK with a target for reducing accident levels in 2010 to as they were in 1994-1998. Did we achieve this? What is the current target?

        One of these recommendations is reducing average speeds in residential access roads (NOT major trunk roads!), and there are a whole raft of other changes suggested – such as increasing the number of roundabouts (just the opposite of your plans for the Aquarium) and removing roadside obstacles (planters!).

        It is very good for a councillor to raise issues that affect the whole country, but supporting potentially dangerous solutions that are against the WHOs report seems to be entirely irresponsible – however, as we know, this is typical of the way green party councillors, MPs and activists treat the residents of this city in pursuit of their ‘environmental’ goals.

        Perhaps you could, instead, concentrate on providing the core facilities that other councils in the area provide without wasting our money on your incompetently implemented vanity projects.

        • Christopher Hawtree Reply

          “Vanity projects” is a frightful cliché now. And I do not know what meaning it has. I do not see how it can be judged vain to want to prevent deaths and injuries minor or severe.

          The phrase should be “compassionate projects”!

          Anyway, the statistics available so far show that injuries have dropped. and these are not the proposals of a bunch of madcap revolutionaries. they are a part of general road-safety thinking which has been implemented in various parts of the country and welcomed by residents.

          The best answer in each spot within a place has to be judged according to the circumstances, as – for example – was recently discussed at Transport about a crossing on Portland Road. The “obvious’ one is not necessarily the right one.

          Preston Circus is one of the most perilous junctions – and creates an area which does not join together as it should. I have long thought that it needs re-thinking.

      • Gerald Wiley Reply

        @Christopher – for some reason I’m not able to respond to your previous comment.

        Firstly, I note that you can’t answer any of my questions but have to only respond to my ‘vanity’ statement. How about some answers to my other comments and questions as well?

        Secondly, I love your use of the term ‘compassionate’ instead of ‘vanity’ – this is what we really need with councillors who are charged with running the city on behalf of residents.

        Does being ‘compassionate’ mean you don’t have to answer questions?

        So was the over-engineered OSR cycle lane supporting one cyclist a minute in each direction just a ‘compassionate’ project?

        Similarly are the 20 mph zones that you want implemented across all the roads in the city, but you are only now looking at traffic calming another ‘compassionate’ project?

        What about ‘compassionate’ gender-neutral toilets?

        Perhaps a bit more common-sense and pragmatism and concentrating on core services instead of being ‘compassionate’ wouldn’t go amiss.

        BTW – I see you are giving up your position as a councillor and are standing as green candidate for the Hove and Portslade seat – I guess you hope to do better than Ian (compassionate) Davey did in 2010 when he lost his deposit. I guess the local party just want to get rid of you.

        So precisely why are you commenting on this story?

  2. feline1 Reply

    Chris, when consultations are carried out on whether 20mph zones should be introduced, people regularly tell you “it’s pointless cos they’re not enforced”, to which the Green mantra is to reply “they are self-enforced” (whatever that was supposed to mean).
    It is now revealed that that over 7000 vehicles a day have been regularly ignoring the 20mph speed limit there, most of them doing over 40!
    Will you now accept that 20mph are not working? That they’re not enforced? Will Sussex Police actually start enforcing them? (one speeding ticket issued in 2 years!)

  3. feline1 Reply

    To put it another way: why not just put up speed cameras and convict these maniac drivers who go at 56mph in a residential 20mph zone? Someone driving that recklessly is probably on drugs and should not be in charge of a vehicle. They need their license revoked. Sticking huge tubs of geraniums in the road is not the answer. It just pisses everyone off.

  4. Laura Reply

    I don’t care if the speeds have dropped, they have made the road more dangerous! Especially for cyclist! I worry about my husband who cycles up this road and feels incredibly unsafe now!

  5. feline1 Reply

    Three-car collision there this morning, with a pedestrian struck on the pavement as one of the cars careered into them. Good work everybody!

  6. Gerald Wiley Reply

    So, allegedly, average speed has dropped by 20 mph.

    1. Isn’t just one weeks data insufficient to confirm the success? Perhaps something else caused the reduction (such as the weather)? What is the normal variability in average speeds? Don’t we need several months of data (including analysing accident statistics)?

    2. What was the pre-defined success criteria for this project? Surely, if the speed LIMIT is 20 mph then the AVERAGE speed should be nearer to 15 mph?

  7. Pingback: 8,960 Crimes per day in one street. Police ignore them, Brighton Greens attacked for their reponse | Facing Reality

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