15 Jul 2010

Success: 20 mph inquiry launched

My blog has covered lots on 20 mph over the last few days like the 500 words in The Citizen here (pics left and below from yesterdays Citizen and Stroud Life), the report I wrote here and the letter to GCC councillors here.

Well yesterday success - GCC's scrutiny committee recommended - with cross-party support - Green councillor Sarah Lunnon's request inquiry into 20 mph zones - this is great and allows them the opportunity to consider the real benefits to our communities - but of course the reduction in casualties alone should be reason enough to support 20mph. Anyhow this is a great positive step forward as there were indications that we would not get this inquiry.

Many of us have campaigned for a long time on this so it is great to see things finally moving in the right direction - we've had a number of false starts over the years - the Stroud Road Safety Liaison Safety Committee agreed to press GCC for 20mph limit in residential areas, and we were all awaiting a statement from GCC when the Committee was disbanded about a year ago!

Anyhow I am much more hopeful but still work to do. It was good to see Gloucester Green party's support for our campaign locally - here is their letter to local press below but also the supportive editors comment in The citizen a wee while ago:

I'm writing in response to your article, 20mph limit signs taken down, 21 June 2010. What a shame – here’s a community that has shown initiative to make their villages safer by reducing the speed limit to 20mph. Obviously believing this would be a long standing campaign they paid £1000 for road signs made to last and got approval from Highways for the signs. At no time were they told the signs were to be temporary yet now they have been told by Gloucestershire Highway authority to take them down with the exception of two.

The signs and the speed limit may not be legally binding, but what’s worse? A speed limit that is too low? Or injury or worse for locals of that community?

20mph not only cuts casualties but also leads to more people feeling safe enough to walk and cycle. Mandatory 20mph may not always be enforceable and most drivers will possibly go slightly faster than the speed limit anyway, but we have to change the culture: 30mph and more is too fast in residential areas, which is the case here.

I wouldn’t be surprised if many more citizens are left feeling disillusioned and that they don’t matter to politicians and authorities.

On a similar vain, good luck to Newent which is the first town centre in the Forest to become a 20mph zone. Town councilor Eddie Wood is reported in your paper to have said the Speed limit is pointless (25/06/10) “unless it was enforced by the authorities”. I really wish that the authorities will demonstrate that their citizens’ health and safety matter more than speeding motorists.

Eva Langrock, Gloucester Green Party


Anonymous said...

20mph just a joke. Lets ban parking on the street to the lights first, queues, road rage regularly happens there. Oh just a min, a councilor lives on that road & parks his car... No point discussing this then is there..........

Philip Booth said...

Parking on streets is usually a great traffic calming measure but not sure where you are referring to?

Also not sure which councillor you refer to?

As for 20 mph - the evidence is clear in terms of drops in casualties - Hull have seen massive drops of 70% in child casualties. How can anyone want to not reduce risks and improve their neighbourhoods?

Of course there will always be speed nuts but it is about changing that culture - in Norway and Germany their 30 kmph speed limits for town and village centres work - they are consistent and roads are increasingly designed to slow the traffic in residential areas.