27 Dec 2011

Next step to slow traffic

Slides from talk
Before Christmas I was at the Randwick Parish Council meeting - very nice it was to as after my feedback re District Council stuff and a shorter agenda we had a presentation from Highways about 20 mph (see details at bottom of how you can hear presentation), then a presentation of cheques to local groups and then wine and nibbles for any local residents present.

Long have we campaigned for a 20 mph in the two Parishes - see here demo last year in Whiteshill. See here why 20 mph is the way to go and on the 20 mph label for lots lots more about 20 mph. Well now Highways have finally sorted the direction they intend to go in the light of cuts of 30% to Highways.

The way forward came partly out of a County Scrutiny meeting which reported on actions needed. I can't do justice to the talk but basically there are three ways forward - see slide one.

The crucial question is with limited resources how best should the two Parishes reduce speed - an issue that gets a mention more than most other items on the doorstep. As the last slide on this blog post from recent speed tests shows it is partly a perception of speed rather than speed itself - but nevertheless speed is still above 20 mph and also looking at some of the sites shows that infact speed maybe higher at some other sites.....

So should we pursue a 20 mph mandatory speed limit? Many have wished for this and for me it is about changing our culture - 20 mph should be the norm in all residential areas - my report linked earlier has plenty of arguments why it is needed - reduced casualties, increased cycling and walking, more pleasant neighbourhoods etc.

However with limited resources should we pay for a TRO to get a 20 mph? Yes cheaper if we did the two parishes together - but still has a cost - and will just a speed limit reduce speeds? Certainly in some areas like Portsmouth where there is a city-wide 20 mph the evidence is that speeds are significantly reduced in some areas - but many areas only marginal speed reductions. Another factor is that speeds are reduced with new signs but then creep up again unless traffic calming measures are also done.

Would money be better spent on gateways that reduce speeds coming into the village and other traffic calming measures?

Ideally we need both in my view. Traffic engineers will likely recommend traffic calming over the mandatory speed limits but it is up to the community to decide - the next step is to establish another working party to look at all this - oh dear how slow all this moves - no wonder people get disillusioned with local government - it was back in 2006 it was reported to us by the then county councillor that the mandatory 20 mph was all but certain - since then we have had endless confusion and misinformation. Having said that now there is a clear process set out by the County and I am optimistic of at least finding a way forward.

Highways will be doing the same talk to Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parish Council meeting on Thursday 12th January 2012 at 7.30pm in Whiteshill Village Hall on Main Road. All welcomed - it is a public meeting.


Andy said...

Mandatory 20 please

20's Plenty for Us said...

In Portsmouth many roads only had minimal reductions because the speed was already low. It was on the faster roads that the largest reductions were achieved.

Lancashire is putting in 20mph limits on all its residential roads.

Maximising the area within a TRO minimises the cost per km.

Where is the evidence regarding speeds creeping back up and requiring calming measures? and why only calming rather than edcuation or community involvement?

A far simpler question is "How fit for purpose is a 30mph limit in your villages?".

Wide area implementation of 20mph limits shows benefits far beyond the costs. Focussing on particular villages misses the issue of consistency and appropriateness. It also means that small villages have too few casualties to make meaningful estimates of casualty reduction benefits. However a policy which is associated with all villages in a Traffic Authority makes far more sense.

Rod King - 20's Plenty for Us