Traffic calming scheme for “death trap” road welcomed

Fiyaz Mughal and Lynne Featherstone - Westbury AvenueA road that was branded a “death trap” by a local councillor will now receive funding to make it safer after a sustained campaign by local Liberal Democrats. In February this year Cllr Fiyaz Mughal revealed that Westbury Avenue, in Noel Park ward, had been the scene of 14 serious accidents. He demanded that Haringey Council investigated speed restrictions and measures that would improve safety for local residents.

Last week Haringey Council announced that new crossings for pedestrians, slow road markings, vehicle activated slow down signs and raised entries to roads off Westbury Avenue will be installed. Local Liberal Democrats welcomed the progress but said that a 20mph speed limit still needed to be introduced in the area.

Cllr Fiyaz Mughal, Noel Park, comments:

“Looking at the evidence showing how many accidents had occurred on this road and after speaking to local residents it was clear we needed to campaign to make this road safer for pedestrians.

“I am glad that the pressure that local Lib Dems and residents have put on the Council has provided results. But we will not stop there – we still believe that to ensure safety we need to reduce the speed limit to 20mph on this road.”

Lynne Featherstone MP, adds:

“Hopefully now that plans are afoot to reduce the speed of vehicles on this road the accident rate will fall.”

YouTube – what's your verdict?

Over the last few weeks I’ve been experimenting with doing YouTube films – partly driven by necessity (broken hand makes talking to camera much easier than typing!).

If you’ve not seen the films previously, you can see them on YouTube here. So the question now is – should I carry on with them?

I’ve been surprised at the viewership patterns. With blog posts, most of the traffic usually comes shortly after the post has gone up. With the films, the traffic is more slow and steady. There hasn’t been that much of an initial burst, perhaps because people see a blog post or tweet about them whilst at work and don’t have speakers – or have speakers but don’t want the office to hear and don’t have headphones with them. However, the views carry on steadily moving up.

Given how very local the content of some of them has been (e.g. about the service at Muswell Hill Post Office), I wouldn’t expect that large an audience in the end anyway. So – viewership figures promising, particularly if they continue to grow and an audience gets established.

Anecdotal feedback from people has been positive too, though comments and ratings on YouTube itself though have been very thin on the ground.

If you are interested in the technical details, it’s all been filmed on a Canon Ixus 70, using the inbuilt microphone and with minimal editing via Windows Movie Maker. In other words – pretty basic equipment but it seems to do the job with only one or two technical hitches. The built-in mike isn’t great in noisy locations, but the traffic noise in my Westbury Avenue film actually probably added to the point about the dangers from speeding traffic.

Anyway, those are my views on the films so far. What are yours?