CTC and 20mph urban speed limits
The CTC magazine for Feb/Mar 2012 page 10 records:
‘ CTC also highlighted recent evidence from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) showing that the most effective measures for improving cyclists’ safety are those that involve reducing vehicle speeds, via 20mph urban speed limits, traffic lights and new road features.’
The default speed limit for Dutch motorways (autosnelwegen) is 120 km/h (75 mph), although some urbans areas have a posted speed limit of 100 km/h (62 mph) and at least one has a 130 km/h (81 mph) limit. Regional roads (provinciale wegen) have a limit of 80 km/h (50 mph), while the default limit is 100 km/h (62 mph) on expressways (autowegen). However, on many regional roads the posted speed limit is 60 km/h (37 mph), which is among the lowest speed limits of the world (outside built-up areas). The default limit in built-up areas is 50 km/h (31 mph), but many residential areas have a posted limit of 30 km/h (19 mph). In some cities, some major arterial roads have a posted 70 km/h (44 mph) limit.
Since May 2002, the Netherlands has been experimenting with 80 km/h (50 mph) zones on motorways crossing suburban areas, also equipping them with an average speed check system, much like the British SPECS system. The first zone to be implemented was on the A13, which connects Rotterdam to the Hague, at the Rotterdam suburb of Overschie. This was generally accepted as a success, so in 2005, the experiment was expanded, with four new zones in Rotterdam (A20), the Hague (A12), Utrecht(A12) and Amsterdam (A10-west). The new zones have had mixed results, causing great controversy and calls for the removal of them.
September 2011 This week the European Parliament adopted a key slower road speeds resolution. It “strongly recommends the responsible authorities introduce speed limits of 30 km/h in all residential areas and on single-lane roads in urban areas which have no separate cycle lanes.”
The EU Parliament recommendation to introduce speeds of 30km/h (18.6 mph) is a critical endorsement of Britain’s 20’s Plenty for Us campaign. This top level call for action is in forceful terms – a strong recommendation as evidence for 20mph as a life-saving and better quality of life measure is so compelling.
Earlier this year Rod King, Founder of 20’s Plenty for Us, visited Brussels to lobby the EU Transport…….
© The AA Motoring Trust http://www.AAtrust.com
Where the hierarchy permits, lower speed limits can reduce casualties and improve the quality of life – but 20mph limits must be self-enforcing through investment in the streetscape.
|The rationale for 20 mph as the default speed limit for residential streets.In Britain ……More than half of road deaths and serious injuries occur on roads with 30 mph limits
(Transport Statistics for Great Britain).Britain has the highest percentage of pedestrian road fatalities in Europe 22.5%.
(EU European Road Safety Observatory)Britain has one of the lowest levels of children walking or cycling to school in Europe.Speed limits on Britain’s urban roads are 60% higher than Europe.
(30 mph compared to 18.6 mph)
British parents consistently cite traffic speed as the main reason why their children are not allowed to cycle or walk to school.
Lowering urban and residential speed limits to 20 mph has been found to increase urban journeys by just 40 seconds maximum. See www.20splentyforus.org.uk ”myth busting” page on “Slower Journeys“
Lowering urban and residential speed limits to 20 mph has been found to decrease child pedestrian accidents by up to 70%(Transport Research Laboratory). In Portsmouth the 20mph limit on all residential roads has reduced casualties by 22%.
In Hilden, Germany……
24% of in town trips are made by bicycle.
All residential streets have an 18.5 mph speed limit, with some reduced to 9 mph.
Road side cycle tracks are being removed as the road is an even safer place for cyclists to be and is more direct and more convenient.
In Portsmouth, and Newcastle, and Leicester and Oxford, and Hull, and Bristol, and Warrington, and Islington and many more towns, council officials are using the recent DfT Guidelines changes to introduce blanket 20 mph limits on residential streets.
80% of the public and 75% of drivers support 20 mph as a speed limit on residential streets.
It time for our residential roads to be equitably shared with all the users by setting an appropriate speed limit that protects the young and the vulnerable.
The time for 20 mph as a speed limit on residential roads in Britain has come.
|The Department of Transport reviewed and republished its guidance on Setting Local Speed Limits, Circular 01/06. This placed the responsibility for setting speed limits very clearly with the local authorities. The guidelines are not however rules and simply outline the aspects to take into account when setting speed limits. They also re-inforce the need to take account of vulnerable road users.This change was the trigger for the move towards 20mph limits being set as the default for residential roads when Portsmouth became the first city in 2008 to fully implement a city-wide scheme. For a cost of just £475,000 it changed the speed limit on 1,200 roads to 20mph. As a result of this in 2009 after the first year it was able to report a 7mph reduction in average speed on the roads where previously the average was between 24 and 29mph. A result which the Dept for Transport found “statistically significant”. This caused the department to rewrite its guidelines for urban speed limit in December 2009 when it encouraged all residential streets to be set at 20mph.You may often encounter people who are far more ready to explain “Why we can’t” rather than explore “How we can” when it comes to 20′s Plenty. Here are some false road blocks which may be put in your way :-Speed BumpsYou can’t put in 20 mph without physical traffic calming. That is both unpopular and expensive. No-one will want it. NOT CORRECTSlower journeys
If you slow traffic down to 20 mph then it is obvious that journeys will take 50% longer. This will cause delays and is not acceptable. NOT CORRECT
Police won’t enforce it.
The police will not enforce 20 mph. Therefore it will be ignored by motorists. NOT CORRECT
It increases Pollution
If you put in speed bumps and drivers accelerate between them, then this constant acceleration and braking does increase fuel usage. But where 20mph limits are put in place then this encourages steadier driving using less fuel with less pollution. It also encourages people to walk or cycle and therefore reducing their car-created pollution entirely. Hence it is NOT CORRECT that 20mph limits increase pollution.
All of these are myths which can be shown to be false.
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