I have noticed that they have recently removed the railings on the pavements of London Road/St Georges Road. Does anyone know why? Is it for esthetics reasons?
That won't be very safe with all the school kids crossing these roads all over the place now.
Removing "street furniture" and making the road and the pavement the same height is said to reduce accidents by making drivers act more responsibly. Apparently when drivers feel segregated from pedestrians by fencing it encourages them to take more risks. Walworth Road had similar treatment about a year ago.
It's presumably part of TfL's ongoing London-wide project to remove street clutter including unnecessary railings. The theory is that drivers will drive more carefully if they see children on the pavements and crossing the road, so that counter-intuitively removing the railings will actually make the road safer or at least no more dangerous. I think it's a good idea, but obviously the consequences need to be monitored to see if the practice reflects the theory.
Oh please, how can removing railings make drivers more aware of pedestrians crossing the roads? I crossed a road today, with a red light and almost got run over by a cyclist telling me to move out the F*king way. Who's right of way is the crossing when theres a red light? Will cyclist mount the pavements in future because the railings will be removed to make it easier for them to get past? I can imagine some drivers mounting the pavements aswel!!
I much prefer the areas around Bricklayer's Arms roundabout where the railings have been taken out. That is as a pedestrian - I haven't driven through there much, but I can see how it should work to reduce the feeling of separation between the driver and pedestrians.
I'm in full agreement with BoroughBloke and ADT. The introduction of pedestrian cages and the replacement of zebra crossings with light controlled ones encourage drivers to regard the public space as largely their own, with incursions from everyone else merely 'permitted' at certain places and times.
The traditional solution to the risk of cars mounting pavements is bollards, rather than railings.
Railings prevent the free flow of pedestrian traffic, and prevent cyclists from getting off the road in extreme situations (such as being crushed by a left turning long vehicle, as I believe happened at the E&C recently) while inhibiting cars from mounting the pavement.
Bollards allow pedestrians free movement, are quite difficult to trap cyclists against, and provide an opportunity for leap-frogging (or, as I understand it's now called, "Free Running", although I prefer the term "Extreme rambling").
Admittedly, it is harder to lock a bicycle securely against a bollard than against railings.
Of course, the best ways to prevent cars from mounting pavements would be to keep them off the roads with higher taxes and strictly enforce 20mph speed limits in all roads with adjacent pavements for those that remain.
Just to add Balance (as a pedestrian, rider, and occasional driver), I think the urban planning theory behind removing railings (of which, in my pedestrian guise, I'm highly in favour), is that BOTH DRIVERS AND PEDESTRIANS will act with more thought, thus reducing "accidents".