Sunday, 5 August 2012

20 MPH IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS ESSENTIAL FOR SAFETY

Both Kent County Council and the Association of British Drivers are opposing 20 mph limits in Kent’s residential areas. Kent Green Party research shows the safety benefits of reducing traffic speeds. Steve Dawe comments:

“Kent Green Party notes Kent County Council claiming 20 mph limits in residential areas will cause enforcement problems. In addition, the Association of British Drivers is claiming from very limited evidence that safety is not improved by 20 mph limits.

“Both of these claims are false.

“First, 20 local authorities in the UK have 20 mph limits in at least some residential areas, demonstrating to KCC that enforcement is not a problem(1). Lancashire is well on the way to becoming the first county to have 20 mph speed limits in all of its residential areas. In fact,  most motorists will quite reasonably observe the same speeds as others, which is what happens with 30 mph limits.

Secondly, on safety, massive reductions in casualties have been achieved. The first widespread evaluation of 20mph zones in the UK was carried out by in 1996. It found that injury accidents were reduced by 60%, and child injury accidents were reduced by 67%(2).  London road casualties are down 57% 2000-2010 with 20 mph zones a key feature of upgraded safety policies (3). Portsmouth’s more ambitious Total 20 scheme has already cut serious injuries and deaths by 22%(4).

“Kent County Council and the Association of British Drivers are both committed to maintaining easily avoidable casualties on our roads(5).

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FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe, Press Officer of Kent Green Party, on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe and published by Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. Monthly free ezine KENT GREEN NEWS available for subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org Thanks to Janet Alty, Alan Francis, Trish Marchant and Ian Wingrove for research advice.

Notes:
1. Kent Green Party has petitioned throughout Kent towns on 20 mph limits in residential areas, obtaining over 85% support in all areas. Keith Taylor, Green MEP, has also written to KCC about 20 mph limits: http://www.keithtaylormep.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Councillor-Bryan-Sweetland_Fant-Road-20mph-speed-limit_27-04-12.pdf For local authority data, see the 20 is plenty website: http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk/ See also the Living Streets website on this specific topic: http://www.livingstreets.org.uk/surely-it%E2%80%99s-impossible-to-enforce-20-mph-speed-limits See for examples of local authorities involved: http://ecclesallnews.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/20-mph-and-road-safety-council.html & http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/20mph-limits-round-2015/story-16603479-detail/story.html & http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/9675095.Brighton_and_Hove_to_become_20mph_city/ And Sustrans on the enforcement myth: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/assets/files/policy/0212_Summary_of_arguments%20_for_20mph.pdf
2.  http://www.rospa.com/roadsafety/advice/highway/info/20-mph-zone-factsheet.pdf
3. “Pedestrians Killed and Seriously Injured fell in London by 57% between 2000 and 2010 - despite a rapidly growing population. It didn't happen because people suddenly paid more attention when crossing the road. It happened because we tripled the road safety budget to £60m a year, brought in 20mph zones and a whole heap of other safety measures to tame the car.” Ian Wingrove, Transport specialist at the Greater London Authority, personal communication. See also evidence on the effects of speed reduction on impacts/injuries such as: http://www.brake.org.uk/facts/speedscience.htm
4.  Robert Lindsay How the Green Party created Britain’s first 20 mph county Green World 75, summer 2012.
5.   At 20mph, only 10% of crashes are fatal compare to 50% at 30mph: http://cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog/544/cycling/20mph-speed-limits/

2 comments:

james wishart said...

Well done the Greens,
Excellent article, the case for 20mph in residential areas is undeniable.

james wishart said...

Well done the Greens,
Excellent article, the case for 20mph in residential areas is undeniable.