Peace in Rugby Road Brighton

 dedicated to efforts to bring peace to a road that suffers much noise.

HGV petition    Demo July 19th 2005    In-Car-Entertainment       light aircraft noise 


Recent issues

Solar panel failures - water ingress:
Southern Solar installations from  around 2012 are failing, in some cases. The symptom is 'isolation resistance' (error 35 on a SMA invertor) in  wet weather or in early morning dew. MC4 connectors are sometimes blamed. The fault is intertmittent and therefore very hard to trace. Southdown Solar may be able to diagnose and treat the problem. Caplor energy, the company which took over Southern Solar in December 2015, will not honour agreements from Southern Solar. If you have a similar problem, please contact me: southsolxx   AT  xxpaul-tofts.org.uk   (remove the x's).

Southdown Rise Residents Association has a presence on some local issues.

Historical information :  Rugby Road Parking - a problem in 2011

From Autumn 2010 vehicles displaced from the controlled parking zones in neighbouring streets have appeared, causing distress to people living in Rugby Road. High sided vehicles may block the light in front rooms. Corner parking is now very common, causing obstruction to pedestrians, and constituting a hazard for drivers emerging from side roads. Some vehicles are from commuters, some are from residents in  streets South of the railway line who decline to buy a perking permit; some are dumped for long periods of time. A campaign is under way to address the problem.

What can you do?  Report the vehicle to the police; leave a polite note on the windscreen asking them to move; plant plants around and on the offending vehicle; sign up for the campaign.

The following information relates to the situation in 2005; since then, following a petition, dustcarts have stopped using Rugby Road as a through route:
 
Road Traffic noise - the Rat Run


The road has been Traffic Calmed; this includes speed kerbs, a 20 mph speed limit, and constrictions at both ends of the road.          map

History: This was carried about 10 years ago in response to the volume and speed of through traffic at the time, after a considerable amount of campaigning by residents of Rugby Road. The scheme nearly implemented consisted of blockages at the cross-roads with Southdown Avenue. At the 23rd hour this was withdrawn in response to complaints from residents in Hollingbury Road (who at the time had no traffic calming of their own), who appealed for 'community spirit', and feared that through traffic diverted from Rugby Road would use their road instead. Now that a right turn from Hollingdean Road, at the traffic lights, is allowed, this objection is less strong.

In spite of the calming, there is still a considerable amount of disturbance from through traffic. Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV's - principly refuse carts), builders vans with loose loads that rattle as they go over the bumps, commuters in cars providing a free sample of their In Car Entertainment (sub-woofers for those males with poor self- image, and in summer we also hear the music through open car windows).

The constrictions were intended to discourage or prevent the entry of HGV's; this has not succeeded in stopping the refuse vehicles. A width limitation, as used in Ringmer, would be more effective than the current pinch point, which the HGV's deal with quite easily. Of course special provision would be needed for emergency vehicles. The refuse vehicles are (supposedly) under public control, and to allow them to pass through a traffic-calmed area cannot be acceptable.

There are two schools near the top of Rugby Road (Downs Junior and Downs Infants), and the Play Scheme near the bottom of Florence Road. Thus a large number of young children are often in the area, crossing the paths of these vehicles. Pollution from small particulates produced by diesel engines are bad for everyone, especially children. Violent bumps to the ground from heavy vehicles subject the Victorian foundations of our houses to more stress than was ever envisaged when they were built. By using uncalmed roads the vehicles would generate less disturbance, since they would not be passing over the calming speed bumps. Many residents who sleep in the front of their houses are woken by the sound of lorries going over the speed bumps, from about 5:30 am. A demonstration was held at the top of Rugby Road on July 19th 2005.

CityClean claim that no other route is possible for their (large) vehicles; Magpie recycling (with their small silent electric floats) wouldn't have this problem! If they insist on using such large vehicles, they will have to use an alternative route that can accomodate them. This might be longer, using existing through routes, but cannot use a traffic calmed area. The arguement that large vehicles produce less overall pollution is flawed, since they produce a quality of pollution completely absent with some smaller vehicles. Appropriate vehicles for a residental part of a city are needed; Cityclean's apparent operating imperatives cannot over-ride the obligations of  the Council to preserve and enhancethe overall environment.

A recent plan to upgrade the Hollingdean depot (the old abbatoir site - planning application no. BH2005/0304/FP Construction of Materials Recovery Facility and Wasste transfer station, Hollingdean Lane, Brighton. Applicant: Onyx South Downs Ltd) threatens to increase the amount of traffic dramatically.
Supporters of the depot say that if you are in favour of recycling you have to support this depot! There must be more suitable places to put it (not in the middle of so many houses), and it is possible to use smaller, quieter vehicles to collect (as Magpie do). There is now a large campaign against this plan www.refuse-refuse.org.uk.
This has a chilling 8-minute video of the recycling trucks ('Because We Love Our City') emerging at 7:10am on a misty April morning from the depot (turn up the sound for maximum terror!).  Many of these are seen to turn left, ready to wake up the innocents of  Rugby Road once again.

Wheelie-bins are also causing much concern, and disfiguring the conservation area.   see www.brightonbeautiful.com  and email nowheeliebins@hotmail.co.uk

HGV ban is possibleban 7.5T 
download ban7.5T for A4 printing  cutout
Hollingbury Road is nearby and is an example of a road that is traffic calmed and has a HGV ban. It is hard to see why this is not possible in Rugby Road. (It has been rumoured this was something to do with the the chair of the transport committee that approved it being the councillor for the Hollingbury Road, but I'm sure this couldn't be true!).
A recent discussion with a council officer (December 2004) produced the opinion that an HGV ban would not be possible because the police would oppose it on the grounds of it being unenforceable! Well: 1)  the police are politically acountable and 2) even an unenforced ban would be better than none.
A written request (in January 2005) to the chief of the Hollingbury Depot to stop the current through traffic produced a (polite) refusal.

A petition for a HGV ban has been presented to the Council meeting  April 28th by Councillors Richard Mallender and Juliet Mccaffery. A deputation went from Rugby Road. It was considered at the Environment Committee on May 26th..     petition wordingmeeting of March 16th 2005. meeting of April 6th 

Light Aircraft noise

This is annoying mostly in the summer, when at times constant stream of light aircraft can make sitting in the garden an unrelaxing experience. (This seems to annoy those without children most!). They come particularly on sunny weekends and bank holidays. They originate from Shoreham Airport (jointly owned by Brighton and Hove and Worthing Councils). Pleasure rides are advertised  ("you can take a pleasure flight in one of the many smaller aircraft for a bird's eye view of the local area")  and undoubtably contribute to this 'joyriding' activity that appears to have no social value and whereby a single individual can cause annoyance to more people than ever would be allowed by a car driver. It's unclear whether tax is paid on the fuel used, or whether an environmental audit of the activity has ever been carried out. With the planned expansion of the airport this can only get worse (unless restraints on the noise pollution are brought in). Since the Airport is under public control it ought to be able to control the activity; however the main aim of those running it seems to be to avoid losing money.

contacts:

local councillors:

MP for Brighton Pavilion
Caroline Lucas

Noise Abatement Society

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last updated February 24th 2016 by Paul Tofts