13 June 2021

Harwood Terrace SW6 - a lot to take in

You are slowly making progress down the King's Road heading for Wandsworth Bridge and you think you will, as you have done for years, cut the corner off to avoid some of the traffic. Don't!

There is a new sign but you don't see it as a large lorry is in front of you

This is what you would have seen in 2019

but that sign has gone to be replaced by another 20m further on, 

much nearer to the junction, which I can't get a clear image of which tells you how hard it is for the motorist on the move rather than sat at a keyboard.

Whilst the sign has honourable intentions, it is misleading, it implies that both of the next two side turnings are closed when they aren't, you can go down one (Edith Row) and back up the other (Waterford Road); they do lead to a road you cannot go through though. You can't get through to Bagleys Lane or Wandsworth Bridge Road though without incurring a PCN. The weight restriction is no longer deemed worthy of advance warning.

This map is of some help

Having been unable to see the sign due to high sided vehicles blocking the view you are warned as you enter Edith Row except that, even without the roadworks, you get very little time to see it, you have to watch for pedestrians crossing the junction, the sign is too high, there needs to be one on the right that a driver of a RHD car can more easily see, it contains a lot of information to take in and rather assumes you know where Harwood Terrace is in the first place.

Edith Row is quite short, turn right at the end, it will probably be busy as there is a hire cycle station there and then you are on the roundabout, this was the view in 2019

You can see the lorry weight limit signs but at that time the road was open to all other traffic. Now, as you come round that roundabout, and one rather expects to be able to exit, you are faced with sign overload

It would help to remove the traffic camera signs as most adjudicators say that everyone knows cameras are common in London and it is sufficient for warnings to be located about the borough. There is already a warning, although hard to spot, as you enter Edith Road. The humps sign could also go, as long as the humps are clearly defined and easily spotted even in bad light, and SLOW could usefully be painted on the road in front of them instead.

If you happen to spot the signs prohibiting goods vehicles which exceed 7.5 tonnes (except for access e.g. to deliver to a property or reach your depot) you might, if you were in a small van, conclude you are allowed down this road, Harwood Terrace. You aren't as you are caught by the two other signs, the 'flying motorbike' signs. They prohibit all motor vehicles so it is not necessary to also prohibit 7.5T goods vehicles. In fact, they should be added to the exemptions list. That puts us in the bizarre situation whereby you can't deliver something in a tiny van but you can go down the road in your monster truck.

With the two blue directional arrows also in your eyeline, you are expect to take in and process 14 signs and/or information plates in 5 seconds or so. It can't be done and that is probably why Mr Mustard has a PCN on his desk to fight. Oversigning is a well known defence to a PCN but each case turns on its own particular facts and so a win at the tribunal isn't guaranteed.

Throw your SatNav away and start saying aloud every sign you see. If you don't know what they all mean then bone up here which as well as being free to consult will save you receiving lots of lovely £130 PCNs in the post. Also, whilst Mr Mustard has your attention, go and find your V5 registration document. Look at the name and address section, is it up to date and accurate? If not, amend it online or via the post. That way you will avoid bailiff hell when they find your new address as all documents went to the old address and you never saw them.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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