11 Sep 2012

Whiteshill, Ruscombe and Randwick 20 mph consultation begins: my letter to press

Headline years ago when we called for 20
Here's a copy of letter to local press sent last week and hopefully in some of local papers tomorrow. The Parish Councils want to ensure everyone has a chance to be involved and have their say. Details of the proposals will be published in the Randwick Runner and the Whiteshill Warbler newsletters. In addition, there will be two information events to give residents the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback on the proposals; on the 18th of September in Randwick and the 2nd October in Whiteshill. Parish councillors and a representative from the Gloucestershire Highways will be on hand to talk through the details of the proposal and answer questions. Residents may also send comments to: Randwick Parish at: clerk.randwick(at)btinternet.com and Whiteshill & Ruscombe Parish at: clerk(at)wrpc.org.uk

Anyway here is the letter:

Whiteshill, Ruscombe and Randwick have long sought lower traffic speeds, indeed one ex-councillor started campaigning more than 33 years ago! Well now after some serious disappointments over previous years, the Parish Councils are at the first stage of the County’s Big Community Offer scheme to introduce a 20 mph on most roads in the two Parishes. A consultation process with residents is being launched this month to determine if the scheme goes forward.

Reducing speeds is repeatedly high on residents list of concerns. In 2009 over 400 local residents signed a petition requesting lower speeds and both the Parish Plans call for 20 mph limits. Indeed locally we have cross-party support for the move. 30mph is just too fast for the mix of narrow roads, parked cars and limited or non-existent footpaths, especially for children, dog walkers and cyclists.

We all know that 20 mph is safer. If you are driving at 30 mph and someone run's out three car lengths in front of you, you will hit them at 27mph; that is the equivalent to falling from the third floor of a building. At 20 mph you will stop just in time. On average five people lose their lives on roads in England and Wales every day, 63 sustain serious injuries and hundreds of others suffer other injuries. Why take the risk?

20 mph is also about reinforcing positive aspects of our villages, reducing noise, discouraging through traffic and it has also been shown to lead to more people feeling safer to walk and cycle. In urban areas 20 has been shown to lengthen average journey times by only 30 seconds.

The idea of 20 limits over a wider area is about getting the message across that it is unacceptable to drive more than 20 mph in a residential area. Lancashire have adopted countywide 20 mph, while Portsmouth's 20 scheme has cut serious injuries and deaths by 22%. As one of those who has long worked for 20 mph locally and over all residential areas, I fully support this latest move by our Parish Councils.

Cllr Philip Booth, Stroud District councillor for Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe ward 

See my report to County re why we need 20 mph:


Adam said...

I hope the 20 mph limit gets brought in, as it will serve as an exemplar for lots of other localities. How anyone can do much over 20 mph through Ruscombe anyway is beyond me - it's just too narrow.

My question is how this will be enforced? Where I live, no speed limits are enforced and I'm routinely overtaken at 30 mph through residential streets by impatient people. If people are using this as a 60 mph shortcut as it is - will reducing the limit to 20 mph work without heavily enforced cameras and speed traps? And if this is to happen, hasn't the enforcement on 30 mph already failed? So how will people's speed be brought down even lower to 20 mph?

Philip Booth said...

You are right enforcement is the key issue.....for me changing the speed limit is only one aspect of traffic calming. It is a start in changing perceptions about speed in residential areas....personally would prefer to see over wider areas.

Evidence from many other places shows you can get speed reductions by signage alone but that often some of the reductions are lost after a while without enforcement....

In this area we will be installing 'gateways' that also lead cars to slow as they see more clearly they are entering a different zone.....and also hope this will be a start to other measures that calm traffic like making roads seem narrower with white lines along edges and the middle white lines removed....this again slows traffic...making a village more like a village also helps...flowers etc....see a book called Mental Speed Bumps for more on all that....

This limit is a start but agree we wont stop all speeding....!!