24 Aug 2011

'20 is Plenty' set to return

Well as the '20 is Plenty' signs look set to return to both Randwick and Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parishes for six months we are still lobbying the county to take action on our long term request for a mandatory limit. Click on the label below to see more but I did want to note that yet more evidence grows for mandatory 20 mph in residential areas - see below. Indeed to me, as I've said before, the evidence is overwhelming, why are the County failing to act??

Yes finances I hear you cry but some Parishes have already said they would pay and savings in accidents etc are well documented. Plus if you do whole areas the cost comes down dramatically. We need to change the culture and start making residential areas places to live not traffic sewers! Anyhow Brake say that the average motorist breaks the speed limit an astonishing 18,000 times during his or her lifetime. It also wants motorists to drive at 20mph or below in built-up areas to help reduce road deaths. Read the Daily Mail article here:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2018283/Fast-loose-law-Average-Briton-break-speed-limit-18-000-times-life.html

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where is your County Councillor on this. If like ours she's a waste of space then there's little hope. Do you know that if implemented only with 20mph signs the average speed of cars reduces by only 1mph? A 20mph zone without traffic calming measures is a waste of time and money ... get the County Council to implement effective measures. John Kay the Highway authority 'stake holder' recently said Vehicle Activated Signs are not permitted in 20 mph zones. Do a google 'vehicle activated signs 20 mph zone" and find out if this is true!

Philip Booth said...

Thanks - we are fortunate with our local County Councillor as he has taken an interest in this and is pushing for 20 mph - the impact of 20 mph signs varies considerably - you are right in some areas it is as little as 1mph but in others it can have a much larger impact - in Portsmouth in some areas speeds were cut much more. We do need to change the whole culture in my view and 20 mph signs are a place to start - traffic calming comes in many ways - I am against humps and bumps but some aspects of shared spaces can be hugely significant - gateways for example also slow traffic speeds...

Anonymous said...

I wish you well creating an effective 20mph zone but I fear you need to be a bit more robust ... rule nothing out at the start. You appear to be unaware that it has been necessary for police in Portsmouth to 'crack down' on speeding in the city wide 20mph zone. Regarding the reduction achieved by sign only zones I refer you to DfT Circular 01/2006 para 82. Even 'shared spaces' need entry featues to slow vehicles. Shared spaces or naked streets are an excellent idea but they work by putting pedestrians at risk and, although accidents aleady happen, I would not like to be the official who has to explain to parents why their child was injured, or even killed, in such a space. The most effective traffic calming measure is another vehicle heading for the same road space, followed by a virtical deflection in the road. It's all to do with how much damage could be inflicted on the vehicle. People are some way down this list and certainly after horses. I'm not sure if plateaus are included in your 'humps and bumps'. Properly engineered deflections have little effect on compliant vehicles, including public service vehicles.
I'm certainly a motorist, and not a cyclist, so what prompts me to be passionate about creating effective zones? I step out of my front door onto a 20mph road and few vehicles make any attempt to comply. Yes, I can tell when a vehicle is complying or not complying. And about 10 minutes ago 2 motor cyclist raced up the road and probably touched 70 before disappearing from sight ... about 200ms. Unfortunately excessive speeds are not uncommon. 20mph zones are not just about reducing accidents they are about improving the environment, particuarly for residents.
Your blog over to you.

Philip Booth said...

Thanks for comments. Totally agree that there are lots of reasons for 20mph - see my report to County at:
http://ruscombegreen.blogspot.com/2010/07/20-why-we-need-it.html

I have seen the research re Shared Spaces - indeed researched it some 5 or 6 years ago _ when done well all the evidence shows reduced accidents and casualties. However I agree the arguments over Stonehouse at the moment where there are some features of shared spaces show that more works is needed to improve understanding - having said that in Holland there was strong opposition initially then once installed public came around and casualties went down.

As for 20 mph in countries where shared spaces were introduced at very low cost with speed limit changes speeds were cut - of course we will still get the 'nutter' but even 'nutter's' have been reduced in those schemes....there is evidence that 20 mph can have an impact even without police enforcement but clearly much better when it has it.....of course ideally we should be looking at the whole lot of measures that slow traffic like narrower roads, removing middle white lines, gateways....