Monday 16 January 2017

Barnet Council dumps the Brian Coleman dangerous roads legacy

 When the Tories got elected to run Barnet Council in 2002, the council embarled on a frenzied program of ripping up road humps, removing traffic calming measures and generally turning Barnets roads into something resembling a race track. As a result moggies disappeared as they were squashed by speeding cars, Barnet slid down the table of safe London boroughs and parents became even more paranoid about letting their children walk to school. My own children had the horrific sight of the air ambulance attending an incident at St Vincents school, as a child fell victim to a speeding motorist.

The man who drove this policy was Brian Coleman, who was later convicted of assaulting a woman on Finchley High Road. During his time in power, before he was kicked out of his GLA and council seats by the electorate and thrown out of Conservative Party, he proudly stated that his policy was "roads, roads, roads". He was even banned from driving for speeding, although this didn't bother his colleagues, who clealry thought he was wonderful.

Since his departure, the Conservative Party in Barnet has slowly started to come to its senses. They have realised that in a modern suburb, it is good for no one but the very selfish driver, to have such a policy. The Barnet Eye is therefore most pleased to see that at last, Dean Cohen, who seems to have a bit more sense than his predecessor as roads supremo, is taking road safety seriously. Barnet Council has a press release on its website detailing a whole raft of changes, designed to role back the legacy of Brian Coleman and his championing of  awful, inconsiderate drivers.

We are also seeing proposals for 20mph areas in front of the Boroughs schools. Unlike Mr Coleman, we welcome any move which keeps children safe. We offer our heart congratuulations to Dean Cohen for his initiative.

The full text of the council press release is detailed below. It is just a shame that it has taken 15 years and the demise of Coleman for such sensible measures to be adopted.
Barnet Council has approved plans to extend Moving Traffic Contraventions enforcement to 14 additional sites in the borough where traffic restrictions exist. The council will also be introducing more schools into the programme throughout 2017.
The plans form part of the council’s Parking Policy, implemented in January 2015, to make Barnet’s roads safer, keep traffic moving and reduce air pollution. The new locations follow the success of recent enforcement actions which has seen a two-thirds increase in the number of people complying with parking regulations around schools.
From April 2016, the council has been using CCTV traffic enforcement to monitor nearly 60 locations in a bid to improve road safety. The latest roll-out includes tackling areas where offenders ignore no entry signs, park on school zigzags, block yellow box junctions or exceed weight or width restrictions.
Barnet forms part of the transport network into and out of central London, with a number of significant roads running through the borough including the M1, M25 and A406.
Councillor Dean Cohen, Chairman of the Environment Committee, said: “Protecting children is one of our biggest priorities, and ensuring the roads around schools are kept safe is absolutely vital to achieving that. Already, we’ve seen an improvement in people’s driving habits with the number of motorists complying by not parking on yellow zig zags around schools increase by 67%.
“Increasing the number of sites allows us to target specific areas where we know there is a particular problem around road safety and congestion, and then move on once people start complying with the law.
“By improving road safety, traffic congestion and air pollution in this way we know we are making a real impact on residents’ lives.”
For more information on parking controls and moving traffic contraventions in Barnet, visit

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