Archive by Author

Junior Speed Watch

22 Jun

Children from Perry Beeches Junior School in Birmingham have joined forces with  the members from the West Midlands Police to monitor the speed of traffic outside their school and to catch speeding motorists.

They found that the 30mph was being broken by some motorists even though the approach is clearly marked as a ‘school zone’. Using speed cameras they caught six vehicles speeding the fastest of which was clocked at 40 mph. Check out a video of the event published by the police on their facebook page.

The statistics are compelling – a pedestrian hit by a car at 40 mph has a 90% fatality rate which drops 2.5% at 20 mph.

The same approach was previously used outside Southmead School in Bristol where school children working with the local police using speed cameras caught 25 speeding motorists who were then given a choice to take a survey presented by the pupils or receive a fine and three points on their licence!

This is a great example of how to empower pedestrians to challenge the ‘rights’ some motorists think they have to drive where they like, at a speed of their choosing and then park all over the place! Let’s have more of these junior speed watch events around the country.

“You can’t park on that!”

22 Jun

Oh dear! This car seems to have been parked on a pedestrian who is now is now stuck and in terrible pain! Ok, so of course it is really just a set-up dreamed up by those fine Pedestrian Liberation folk in Woodbridge to draw attention to pavement parking and have some fun at the same time!

As always there is of course a serious message, which is that cars on pavements often force pedestrians onto the road with all the inherent dangers of getting knocked down or whatever.

We like this idea and are now planning some follow up sessions with a broader cast of characters who get into difficulty when trying to negotiate or cluttered pavements – stay tuned for more fun!

On the Verge of destruction

10 Jun

Pavements are not the only area affected by bad parking, grass verges also fall victim and suffer irreversible damage. Drivers may think that they are doing the right thing in not blocking the road but there are few grassy areas left in towns due to roads and paths so they should be looked after.

We sent the Pedestrian Liberation Parking Warden out to investigate an affected area by Ravens-wood primary school. He was not impressed! The entire area had been turned to dust/mud depending on the weather.

He was also very unhappy at dropped kerbs which had been installed to help parents with buggies being used by vehicles to get onto the grass – not the idea.

Most verges are owned by the council who are expected to repair the damage with all of us local ratepayers covering the cost. Strangely it is not currently illegal to park a vehicle on the verge (unless there are parking restrictions on the associated road).

A waterfront garden?

10 Jun

A virtually empty car park right up against an ancient church!

The waterfront in Ipswich is separated from the town center by a pair of major roads (the Star Lane Gyratory) and a number of ugly surface-level waste-ground car parks which have been crudely flung together from very rough and unattractive materials.

Rough hoardings which have been there for years

They were created in response to the familiar cry ‘there is not enough parking’ which became hysterical just before Christmas 2009 when the Crown St car park was closed following structural problems. However… these waterfront car parks are very poorly used with most drivers preferring to queue for the car parks in the town center.

Another virtually empty car park

They are close to a number of significant historical structures, including Wolsey’s Gate and also to St Peter’s church and to St Mary’s church and could form attractive areas linking the town and the waterfront.


Runner beans doing well!

So… we decided to brighten them up and make them a little more attractive. For starters we have been doing some planting and have more plans for the near future. The beans that we planted a couple of weeks ago to attract the attention of the public have started to grow. There are about 6 inches tall already thanks to the rain and it wont be long before they are climbing up the bars of the fence.

We are choosing the perfect spot for a next veggie patch. The waterfront is ideal because amongst all the construction, finished developments and car parks there is very little plant life which we are going to try to change. 

First gardening project

1 Jun

The growing number of naff car parks in Ipswich town center, mainly around the waterfront are now starting to cover large area. The waterfront has seen considerable development in that past few years with new businesses setting up within walking distance of the town center. So why should so much land be dedicated to cars and why are the owners of these eyesores allowed to take from the community without giving anything back.

We are taking it upon ourselves to brighten up these areas and give something back. We have started planting in this area, our first action is a trench of peas and runner beans on the waterfront. We are hoping that passing pedestrians and motorists will be able to see these clearly and appreciate a nicer use of public spaces. We feel the Car parks in this area are a problem and need more of our attention which it will receive.


We got plenty of beans planted in a great spot. Some were unfortunately ‘strimmed’ during the course of the year but others bloomed and produced a crop!

The fields of the Champs-Elysees

28 May

The Jeunes Agriculteurs (Young Farmers) union attracted 2 million people to the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France during a weekend in May 2010 by transforming it into lush fields bursting with crops. They did it to raise awareness of the agriculture sector but it also demonstrated that we can used our city centres in a different way when we evict the cars. These following pictures are taken from in the middle of the road looking towards the Arc de Triomphe.

Photographs courtesy of Perry Tak

Photographs courtesy of Perry Tak

This is the normal view of the road as a dual 5 lane road full of polluting traffic – notice how inefficiently it is being used – there are actually only a relatively small number of vehicles, and therefor people, dominating a huge area.

The Champs-Elysees on a normal day. copyright image

The organisers are hoping to take the concept around the world so hopefully we will see them in Trafalgar Square soon!

Coalition Forces

20 May

P.L is growing already and have established troops in Woodbridge. We welcome; Ant, Katy and George to Pedestrian Liberation, we look forward to the first report from Woodbridge.