20 Apr 2009

Government must go further on 20 mph

At the weekend I responded to the reports (see Telegraph here) that the government will be reducing speed limits in residential areas and around schools by saying the Government needs to go further.

Photos; taken on our recent assessment for '20 is Plenty' signs which we have now been told we might not be allowed! More of that soon when I get clarification from Highways who seemed to have told us different things. See my blog on The Citizen site for background to 20 mph. I've also heard that Highways have removed the '20 is Plenty' signs from Cashes Green.

This is an issue I've covered many times on this blog - in this latest news release I said: "Green councillors around the country have long been pushing hard for this. However if the government is serious it should go further. Greens are calling for full-blown Safe Routes to School programmes everywhere. This involves a more comprehensive approach to keeping school children safe like assessing the most appropriate measures for a given school, like rearranging junctions and crossings to ensuring the best possible provision for cycling and walking."

Transport consultant and Lancaster Green Party councillor professor John Whitelegg today said: "You can implement a package like this for as little as £60,000 per school. If you do it for several neighbouring schools at once, the benefits reinforce one another. If we did this everywhere we'd make school travel safer and we'd cut morning peak-hour traffic by 10%."

I also noted about the efforts to reduce dangerous traffic speeds in the villages of Whiteshill, Ruscombe and Randwick, commenting: "The County have so far refused to implement a 20 mph zone despite support for this from residents and Parish Councils. At times the main roads through our villages like Whiteshill are little better than traffic sewers that make the roads too dangerous for children to cross alone to use the excellent playground. 20mph is largely accepted as a way of saving lives, preventing injuries, encouraging more walking and cycling and making our streets more pleasant to live on. In Whiteshill, Ruscombe and Randwick we are now seeking a voluntary '20 is Plenty' scheme as a step towards encouraging the County to take the actions necessary. Let us hope this Government move will encourage more support for safer communities."

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