Thursday, 28 January 2010

20 MPH AND PEDESTRIANISATION FOR TONBRIDGE

Kent Green Party is advocating 20 mph limits for all residential areas in Kent and Medway. On Saturday 30th January, this campaign comes to Tonbridge. Beginning from 12.15 at the Castle bus lay by, Green Party campaigners will be collecting signatures to get support for 20 mph from residents. In addition, the Party will be collecting signatures to support pedestrianisation of Tonbridge High Street.The Party argues that these measures will improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair of Kent Green Party, comments:

“A big plus in reducing speed limits in Tonbridge is that we could reduce speeds without having to put in expensive road humps (that damage vehicles and delay emergency vehicles). 20mph zones have reduced accidents and injuries. Over two-thirds of all road casualties happen on built-up roads. A survey of the introduction of 20mph zones across the UK and in other European countries found that child road accidents declined by 67%, cyclist accidents by 29% and traffic flow by 27%.

“The fear of dangerous roads keeps children indoors. 20 mph is the speed at which drivers can have eye contact with other users of the street, pedestrians feel safer crossing the road, children can play outside their homes and it is quiet enough to talk to neighbours. With more people out and about on foot and cycling there are more people present and so less crime.

“While the UK's roads are among the safest in Europe walkers and cyclists are still intimidated by high speeds. The leading cause of death to children over the age of five is road crashes. A child pedestrian is three times more likely to die on our roads than in Italy and twice as likely as in France. The number of cyclists killed has risen by 30% since 2003.

“A 20mph limit would encourage people to walk (especially on the school run) and cycle more. Changing short car trips into walking trips would help tackle the twin problems of obesity and climate change. The UK Commission for Integrated Transport has reported 20 mph area wide limits as ‘the one critical success factor underpinning best practice in promoting walking, cycling and public transport as alternatives to the private car.” Ends

FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair, Kent Green Party – 01732 355185 or 0845 257 4236 or mobile 079444 71083. Contact address as above.

Notes:
Islington and Portsmouth are committed to a 20 mph policy and other local authorities trialing the approach include Norwich, Oxford and Brighton. Sources include UK Commission for Integrated Transport, and http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Campaigns/0805_RG_Transcom-key-point www.iam.org.uk - Speed v Safety - The Eternal Balancing Act> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7046200.stm - 20mph Limit called for in town, Pete McAskie, Haringey Green Party, and the 20 is plenty campaign website: http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk/

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