Work is finally getting underway on the long awaited 20mph zone in West Street. Construction was due to start on 26th February to build virtual traffic calming.

This isn’t quite as space-age as it might sound at first. You may remember that this proposal has been knocking around for some years but was fraught with problems. The narrow pavements and the shallow foundations of the buildings along the road prevented the use of speed humps so another solution was sought.

Three sets of speed cushions will be placed along the northern part of West Street starting just before the Colston Avenue roundabout and a flat-topped hump will be positioned near the Water Tower.

Four “virtual” flat-topped humps will be positioned at the entrances to Carshalton Station, Sycamore Close, West Street Lane and Old Swan Yard. Lines and markings will be painted on the road to give the impression to a speeding motorist that they are approaching a speed hump. The idea is that it slows down traffic without the associated vibrations and noise that come from normal speed humps. Signs including speed-activated digital signs will show the beginning and end of the zone.

Eric and Paul welcome the innovation in the scheme. The Council so often look to speed humps as their first and only choice. This scheme may or may not work but a little more imagination can help protect our Borough from the overzealous use of speed humps whilst still making our roads safer.

What do you think? When the system starts, do let us know if it has had any effect on the speed of the traffic. Leave a comment below or you can write to Paul and Eric at London Borough of Sutton, Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA.