Speed Limits

A12 Speed Limts

I see that the Council have dismissed proposals to introduce revised speed limits on the A12 between the A1214 roundabout and the Foxhall Road roundabout because they were not in a state to be approved. The speed limits which are 40 and 50 mph will also include traffic lights. The rejection by the council to the ‘ludicrous’ proposals was because the number of speed limit changes in such a short distance and the already busy road would mean that the changes would not have any effect.

I often read in articles on speed limits which state the reason for not having a speed limit is because they will not be effective. Is that a good reason? Is it not the failure of the drivers and the lack of policing which makes a speed limit ineffective? So the argument is fatuous. More than 50% of drivers ignore 30 mph speed limits so in effect they are not effective. Perhaps they should be removed! I know that our Police Forces are stretched manpower wise. It is also understood that the policing of speed limits can be devolved by local authorities. So why not devolve the policing of speed limits to the local authorities or other corporate bodies similar to the policing of parking.

Bath 20 mph Limits

It is amazing how you can be duped into believing something by reading newspaper articles and articles on the net. If you follow football and a particular team this is a ‘fabulous’ time for you. Looking at the web to see what players your team will buy to help you push for a Champions League place, keep you in the CL places or just keep you in the division is a very good past time. There is, however, more rubbish written about your team now than at any other time except at the next transfer window. To be sure there are enough pundits and websites who are happy to publish the rubbish to make sure that their pop-up advertising is read by you to keep them in business. It is not only about football that factually incorrect articles are written. Rubbish is also written in relation to 20 mph speed limits.

For example there were articles published about the introduction of the 20 mph limit in Bath with headlines like “Streets where more people died AFTER 20mph limit came in …but councillors say it’s too expensive to scrap it”. I have seen these articles, but the 20 mph website ’20 is Plenty’ website have an interesting article which I will paraphrase. The full article is on their website. Pop ’20 is Plenty’ into your search engine and you will find the site.

The papers had picked up on an article in the Bath Chronicle, about a report submitted by a Bath and North East Somerset Council officer to their Scrutiny Committee in July 2017, on the effectiveness of the 20 mph limits. The committee rejected the report and decided to take no action as a result. The report was flawed especially the comparisons that it was making. 20 is Plenty mention some statistics which did not have a wide enough sample statistically. They investigated the report further and found that;

  1. In Bath, in the 20mph limits, crashes had reduced by 28%
  2. Casualties also decreased in the 20mph limits by 23% in the same areas.
  3. The number roads with average speeds at or above 24mph had reduced by 43% when the 20mph limits were implemented.
  4. The number of roads with average speeds at or above 26mph had reduced by 78% when the 20mph limits were implemented

So there are plenty of publications that rubbish 20 mph limits even though their articles may not be factually correct. I expect papers to have opinions but their facts must be correct.

Personally I do not understand the arguments against 20 mph limits on residential roads. Reducing speeds by reducing speed limits must be good thing. The faster a car goes the more damage it can do if it hits something or somebody. If cars continue to speed when a lower speed limit is introduced then it is a control issue and a lack of monitoring. I often see cars which appear to be speeding through this village. It is very difficult to tell because I do not have a radar device and as far as I know there has not been one used in this village, either by a village speedwatch team or the local police force within recent history. It is a real pity because whilst drivers continue to drive at inappropriate speeds the more likely that the unthinkable can happen. I see young children who have to negotiate our quaint and pavementless streets to catch a school bus or go to the recreation ground. I fear for their safety with our current speed limit.

I continue to monitor the efficacy of phone apps which allow the recording the speed of a moving object. At the moment they lack the quality of hand held radar devices and the cost of one of these is prohibitive for the individual. I see that Hollesley had another speed watch recently which I believe was quite effective and which I also believe was arranged by their Parish Council.