TO: News media covering Maidstone
FROM: Steve Dawe, Press Officer, KENT GREEN PARTY
Press Release - For Immediate Release
GREEN DAY OF ACTION FOR A 20 MPH SPEED LIMIT IN MAIDSTONE
Maidstone Greens will be launching a "20mph Maidstone" campaign on the Day of Green Action in Maidstone on 25th April. The campaign is for all residential roads to have a 20mph speed limit. The campaign has the backing of the national "20's Plenty For Us" campaign and follows successes in places like Norwich, Portsmouth and Oxford. The launch will be outside County Hall at 10am and will feature Kent's two Green Euro candidates, Hazel and Steve Dawe, and Maidstone's Green general election candidate, Stuart Jeffery, and many of the County Council candidates plus some large 20mph signs.
Stuart Jeffery, Green Party general election candidate for Maidstone says:
"The vast majority of people want cars travelling past their homes to go slower and the public backing for 20mph speed limits is overwhelming. Hard evidence shows that cars travelling at 20mph are much safer than those going at 30mph, yet most residential streets in Maidstone allow cars to travel too quickly. This, coupled with the continued rise in deaths on Maidstone's roads over the past few years, shows the real need to sort out this unacceptable problem - yet little action is being taken by local government.
"The proportion of children walking to school has declined dramatically over the past 20 years and parents' most quoted reason for not letting them walk is road safety. With half of all fatal and serious accidents happening on 30mph roads, evidence that reducing speeds to 20mph reduces accidents by 60% and with fatal road accidents in Maidstone tripling between 2005 and 2007, the need for a 20mph Maidstone has never been greater."
"We will be collecting signatures petitioning local government to follow the leads of more progressive councils around the country and we will be handing our stickers for people to display in their cars and windows showing their support. We are also urging people to sign our petition online at www.20mphmaidstone.org.uk"
Further information/interviews from Stuart Jeffery 0797 0436 029 or 01622 808370. Contact address: 60 Boxley Road, Maidstone ME14 2TW.
* More than half of road deaths and serious injuries occur on roads with 30 mph limits (Ref: RoSPA)
* Britain has the third highest rate of pedestrian road fatalities out of 10 Western European countries surveyed by the AA (Ref: The AA)
* The proportion of children (aged 5-10) walking to school has fallen by 27% in the last 20 years (Ref: DfT 67% in 1985 to 49% in 2005)
* British parents consistently cite traffic danger as the main reason why their children are not allowed to cycle or walk to school (Ref: National Travel Survey)
* Lowering urban and residential speed limits to 20 mph has been found to decrease accidents by 60% (Ref: Transport Research Laboratory)
* Fatal accidents on Maidstone's roads: 2005 - 3; 2006 - 5; 2007 - 9 (Kent County Council)