Road Safety News
 

20mph plans move forward in Chester and Edinburgh

Friday 8th January 2016

Chester and Cheshire West Council has approved plans to roll out mandatory 20mph limits for most residential roads throughout the borough.

Discussed at a cabinet meeting on 6 January, the approval means that the council can implement 20mph limits on residential roads where mean speeds are currently less than 24mph and around schools where the mean speed is currently less than 30mph.

Last September, road safety charity Brake issued a call for the removal of “unnecessary barriers” faced by local councils in implementing 20mph speed limits.

The Chester and Cheshire West Council meeting also commissioned a report detailing which areas would benefit the most from the revised speed limit while also approving a change to consultation requirements in a bid to streamline the process for introduction of 20mph limits.

Rod King MBE, founder of 20’s plenty, who attended the meeting, said: “The decision waived the previous red tape and administrative overhead which had historically been imposed on communities and now the council is taking direct responsibility for the setting of 20mph limits.

“This decision adds Chester and Cheshire West to the growing number of traffic authorities with distributed communities that are seeing wide-area 20mph limits as a cost-effective and important measure to increase liveability, access, active travel and air quality in communities.”

On 7 January it was also announced that the first stage of a plan to introduce 20mph speed limits across roads in Edinburgh will begin in July.

The £2.2m project covers much of the city centre, from Queen Street to the Meadows and when completed, will eventually cover 80% of the Scottish capital's roads.

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Unfortunately the only thing being 'imposed', in many instances, is 20mph limits where the majority of residents don't actually want them. First and foremost a genuine democratic consultation process should be required where 51% of those eligible to be consulted have to be in favour. The claimed and illogical benefits must surely depend on speeds being significantly reduced - difficult with signed only limits - the worst example of which is probably Oxford with a 0.85mph reduction. In times of supposed austerity, £2.2 million seems a lot of money with no guarantee or likelihood that it will be cost effective. Most schemes seem to cost around £500,000. I'm personally not opposed to 20mph where it is appropriate for the road layout, such as the one pictured above.
Paul Biggs, Tamworth

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Iain

I think you have misinterpreted my comment. For me "liveability" certainly includes the ability to walk to the shops, school, work or neighbours without the fear of becoming a road casualty.

It is widely recognised by so many authorities and organisations at local, national and world level that a 20mph or 30km/h speed limit is appropriate for community streets on many aspects, including reducing road danger and casualties.

It may well be that you have values and other issues which "cloud" the issue over whether 20mph limits should be set for community streets or that you continue to maintain and endorse 30mph vehcile speeds on such streets. Indeed, even the term "blanket" seems to infer every street having a 20mph limit rather than what is almost universally being adopted whereby exceptions are made.

I note that within Norwich City the Highways Agency Committee report dated 24th July 2014 it noted "It has been proven in many studies there are less confrontations and when accidents occur the resulting injuries are less serious when traffic is moving at slower speeds."
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

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As a resident of the said borough, I will be particularly interested in this being implemented. A one-off 20 was recently implemented in my neighbourhood, but unfortunately was so poorly signed initially that it had little or no effect - roundels have now been marked on the c/way which realistically is the only way the motorist would know. Wide-area 20 zones seem to be easier for the motorist to grasp.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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It is interesting to see that Rod has not used casualty reduction as a reason for the introduction of these limits. This reflects my local experience, where we had to prove to councillors that they could not justify a blanket urban 20mph in road safety terms. We seem to be at a point where it is generally accepted that this issue is more about the perception of the environment rather than the safety concerns, which is a more honest approach.
Iain Temperton - Norfolk

Agree (19) | Disagree (7)
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