Wednesday, 31 August 2011

20 is plenty

I had an email this morning from the local 20 is plent campaign which I have copied below. I know Lib Dem colleagues in Portsmouth have been enthusiastic about this campaign and Fred Weavers and the Kew Lib Dems have been very keen to introduce a 20mile an hour limit around the Porttland St / Duke St area in Southport

The 20s Plenty campaign will be hosting a public meeting on Monday 5th September, 7pm in the Grace Baptist Church Hall,to further explain the benefits of widespread 20 mph limits, see attached flyer. The key speaker at the meeting will be Rod King the national leader of the campaign and I would like to personally invite you to this meeting.

I understand that a report on 20mph limits is going to the Southport Area Committee on 28th September. At this stage I am not aware of the contents of the report, but I believe it will be regarding extension of 20mph zones rather than widespread adoption of 20 mph limits in all residential areas, which is the aim of the 20s Plenty for Us Campaign (see I should point out that the 20sPlenty for Us Campaign advocates 20mph limits without physical calming, so relative costs are very much less than those associated with 20mph zones. The success of the limits rely on community commitment and the sort of cultural shift, which has made drink driving a taboo, moving us away from speed.

I hope you may have seen the article in the Visiter of 16th June calling for 20mph speed limits in all residential areas of Sefton. A growing number of towns and cities across the UK have implemented these limits and, in the case of Portsmouth, this has resulted in a reduction of accidents by 22% over 2 years according to an independent study on behalf of the Department of Transport (DfT). This is not only a significant success for the many injuries which have been avoided, but represents a real financial saving to the local authority, emergency services and health service, given that a serious accident leads to major costs for all those bodies.

At the beginning of the year the North West Directors for Public Health called for the adoption of 20mph limits in residential areas as a public health measure and what would be a major step in reducing serious injury and death, particularly to children.

It is worth remembering that a child hit at 40 mph has a 90% chance of being killed, at 30 mph it is 50% and at 20 mph it is 10%.

Recently the DfT revised regulations allowing for simpler signing for 20mph limits, and also simplified the process for adopting blanket limits across a local authority area.

In June the EU Committee on Transport and Tourism recommended 20mph (30kph) limits in all residential areas as a key element of improving road safety in Europe.

Locally we have recently carried out two short street surveys of 100 people in each of Southport and Crosby. Support for 20mph limits was 87% in Southport and 85% in Crosby.

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