Friday, November 03, 2006

20 mph limits

Two discussions yesterday about speeding traffic, one with the district engineers, one with the Booths Farm Neighbourhood Watch.

The problem with speeding on residential roads is that invariably traffic is going at average speeds of 30mph. But 30 mph is too fast when you cannot see whether children are running out between park cars. And it also encourages bad drivers to accelerate fast up to 30mph or a little over it. So the authorities may say a road is safe when residents know it is not.

I want to pursue the idea of getting 20 mph limits again. Highways are concerned that they may be unenforcable but from our discussions yesterday three conditions emerged:

1/ the police need to be committed to enforcing them;
2/ there need to be physical measures to slow traffic also;
3/ a whole estate is unenforcable but a smaller area, say around a school, is easier.

Because of neighbourhood policing, the police have identified traffic safety as something they need to get involved in, so I would be more hopeful of support for enforcement.

In many of these areas, and the Booths Farm/Calshot School area is one, physical measures are in place, not always terribly successfully.

It was also pointed out that straight double yellow lines create straight routes for speeders. That's another reason to press on with the policy of removing yellow lines and we, as local councillors, must continue to press for the programme to come to our area. Many of the roads have changed enormously with the spread of drop kerbs and it is quite wrong that residents should be fined (as they are) for parking off-road and off-pavement on their own drop kerb.


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