You may be aware that Lancashire County Council has decided to implement a 20mph speed limit on all residential streets (but not arterial routes) and outside schools throughout the county. This is a bold decision, aimed at reducing the county’s toll of road traffic deaths and injuries.
Following the experiences of Portsmouth, the new speed limit will involve 20mph signs, but no traffic calming or speed bumps. This will be much cheaper than the current 20mph zones (for which there is a long waiting list) and is intended to create a county wide culture among drivers that 20mph is the right speed when on residential roads.
Of course, the council is encountering resistance to the initiative. This is partly because the people who don’t like the idea are shouting more loudly than those that do! We believe they are in the minority. A recent survey of 133 households on Lancaster’s West Road found that 77% would like to see the speed limit reduced to 20 mph without the use of speed bumps, with just 9% disagreeing.
If you would be great if you would send an email or letter to your county councillor in support of lower speeds and safer streets. There’s more information below to help you.
Please also forward this message within your own networks – the more the merrier!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Please send a letter or email to your county councillor [see http://www3.lancashire.gov.uk/council/councillors/index.asp to find your councillor] and also copy your letter or email to
Cllr Tim Ashton firstname.lastname@example.org
Cabinet Member for Highways & Transport
Lancashire County Council
PO Box 78
Sample letter (please feel free to add your own personal thoughts/experience):
Dear County Councillor
I am writing in support of Lancashire’s decision to implement a 20mph limit on all residential roads in the county. This is great news for road safety and will save lives. Neighbourhoods will be pleasanter places to live with a decrease in speeding vehicles, and hopefully it will remove parents’ fear of letting their children walk or cycle to school. Vulnerable people will also find this a boost.
Making this a county-wide scheme is a good idea, as it will come to be seen as the norm throughout Lancashire and speeding will become the exception rather than the rule.
I look forward to seeing the scheme implemented in my own area.
cc: County Councillor Tim Ashton
Benefits of a blanket 20mph limit:
- · reductions in deaths and serious injuries, particularly among children and the elderly. In Hull 20mph limits have led to child pedestrian casualties dropping by 74%. Incidents in which anyone (in a car or not) is killed or serious injured are down by 90%. In Portsmouth the number of casualties from road crashes fell by 22% in 2 years.
- · people feel safer to walk and cycle – leading to health benefits e.g. fighting obesity and heart disease
- · communities are quieter and more pleasant
- · lower pollution levels
- · much cheaper and quicker to implement than piecemeal 20mph zones, which only benefit a small proportion of neighbourhoods
- · leading to change in general driving practice rather than people only slowing when forced to by speed bumps
Of course some drivers object to reducing their speed, but interestingly, the impact of a 20mph limit on journey times by car is not great. Average speeds in built up areas tend to be much below 30mph, so a 20mph limit typically adds only one minute to a 15 minute journey.