22 Feb 2009

Meetings: 20 is Plenty, group to look at cutting carbon and more

Well the last week or so has seen various meetings that haven't made it into this blog - here's some of them:

- '20 is Plenty' - as folk will know this is moving ahead desperately slowly - but it is moving again - see recent Parish meeting here - well I met with Karon Cross who is hoping to see more 20 is Plenty in Cainscross ward and John Taylor re the moves we are making in Randwick.

The next steps are planned - wont go into them here - but wanted to note that Cashes Green now has some '20 is Plenty' sections - the signs are the usual boards - now as you will see in the photos some have been vandalised already - I am hoping we can have something more robust and legal looking.

We'll see but I am concerned that otherwise they will be ignored and the signs will just add to the street clutter. The hope is as noted previously that this will be the first step to getting a blanket 20 mph in all residential areas.

Scrutiny meeting - well it was our shortest yet on Thursday night - started at 6pm and finished by 9pm - a couple of reports from the Council's auditors - I am sorry not time here to cover in detail - you really need to read them and view the meeting on the webcast to get to grips with them but several points picked out like the failure three years running to score better than 'below minimum requirements' on 'a sound system of internal control' - things are set in place to improve now but have to note concerns that this was allowed to go on.

Another good bit of news is an enquiry has been launched by our Scrutiny Committee into how monies can be gained from outside agencies to help tackle climate change. I will be sitting n that Sub-Committee - I have been seeking improvements in this area for a long time - for example engaging with utilities would hopefully bring benefits like the scheme in Kirklees which was negoitiated by the Council there with the power companies - it has brought free insulation to every home in that District. Another scheme in Kirklees is a £3m (or is it £7m now?) revolving renewable energy fund whereby people wanting renewables get them 'free' and only pay back when they sell their homes. The money then goes back into the pot for others. This has been significant in boosting local green businesses.

- Glos Uni Students - well I was interviewed this week by a History student about the Green party and other green stuff and today have more for another student regarding Clone Towns after they picked up one of my old news releases.

- Other stuff - have been covering a variety of stories in last weeks and so had a meeting in Star Anise cafe with other Greens to see how we can still do better - stories this last week not already mentioned by this blog include the rail fares, a couple of local talks, nuke stuff - but have also been out meeting two sets of residents re planning issues locally. Not unusual but both cases are quite complex - infact poss another one to see today but look I'm for a coffee now and a read of next week's Council papers - oh the joys of being a councillor.....hey that sounded not so good but have to be honest there is too much nonsense to read but if you don't you could miss a crucial bit that could allow for real change.....


Russ said...

'20 is Plenty' - as folk will know this is moving ahead desperately slowly


Anonymous said...

A report by the AA suggests that by decreasing speed limits to 20mph can increase emissions.

# Steady 30mph (4th gear):
60.7 mpg (small petrol car), 55.6 mpg (medium petrol car)
= 58.15 mpg (average)

# Steady 20mph (3rd gear):
55.5 mpg (small petrol car), 49.1 mpg (medium petrol car)
= 52.3 mpg (average)

Change 30 mph zone to 20 mph:
increases fuel consumption by 5.85 miles per gallon, or 10.1 per cent.

Generally, for a small or medium petrol car the most fuel efficient speed is around 60mph.

Experiments in the Netherlands have suggested that one of the best ways to make roads safer is to remove the majority of road signs and markings.

Philip Booth said...

The claim that emissions arehigher at lower speeds due to more gear changes is mostly true in terms of the car but not overall. In fact there is evidence that 20 mph can lead to better flows of traffic, less congestion, less noise and less emissions. Research shows 20 mph are a critical success factor in promoting walking, cycling and public transport as alternatives to the private car.

If we are to tackle climate change on our roads then 20 mph is crucial. 20 mph help create 'living streets' as is the speed at which pedestrians feel more confident about crossing roads, children play more outside and it is quiet enough to hold a conversation.

Of course we also know the statistics showing a pedestrian hit by a car at 40 mph only has a 15% chance of surviving, at 30mph, 55%, but at 20mph the chance of survival increases to 95%. How can we justify anything other than 20 mph on these grounds alone?

Britain's record for child safety is the worst in Europe. Hull and Portsmouth are leading the way on 20 mph. We are long overdue the time when all our all towns and villages are automatically 20 mph.

As some blog readers will know I authored an acclaimed report re the Shared Spaces approach to traffic like that in Holland. See here:
and see summary here of ideas:

Russ said...

I'm not sure that arguing low emissions is a good idea.

I think maybe a car going at 20mph has the save revs as a car going at 30mph, but is covering less ground in the same time(or number of revolutions). And as there is friction in running an engine(try pushing a car, with its engine off, while it is in gear), then it is less efficient at 20mph, than 30mph and so will release more carbon gases, for the same journey.

Andy said...

Yes but if more people walk and cycle in 20 mph zones that means less emissions overall...and potentially many more less emissions if people really start to do that as happens in some areas on the continent where there are 30km zones.