Councillor makes call for 20mph speed limits

BLUR: Vehicles speeding along a road in Worcester. Picture by John Anyon. 0713247101

BLUR: Vehicles speeding along a road in Worcester. Picture by John Anyon. 0713247101

First published in News

CALLS are being made for 20mph speed limits to be introduced across Worcestershire – with drivers accused of treating roads like “their own personal race tracks”.

Councillor Tom Wells, a Liberal Democrat, has launched a stinging attack on “the culture” of the modern motorist and wants speeding “to be as socially unacceptable as drink-driving”.

He wants: l All new residential developments across Worcestershire to have blanket 20mph limits; l A phased programme of 30mph zones being turned into 20mph ones on unclassified roads, unless residents object; l Limits on rural roads to be reduced from 60mph to 50mph.

A motion, which was debated during a meeting of the county council yesterday, was rejected but the authority’s scrutiny board has been asked to investigate speeding.

Coun Wells said: “Some drivers regard our roads and residential areas as their own personal race tracks. We’ve all had bucketloads of letters over high speeds and it’s not acceptable.

“In many areas the only form of traffic calming is widespread potholes. We need a cultural change to make this as socially unacceptable as drink-driving.”

He said other parts of the country such as York, Bristol and Islington had all agreed 20mph limits.

Coun Wells also unearthed figures showing 33 people have been killed on rural roads in Worcestershire since 2009 and 174 were seriously injured.

During the debate all politicians agreed it was a major issue, but some insisted the proposal could cause more problems than it solved.

Coun John Smith, the cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “A blanket 20mph limit is not practical. Slower limits can cause drivers frustration, lead to drivers overtaking and can actually cause more accidents. The figures are never ideal. One death is too many, but speed limits are only one element in speed management.”

The council also said 50mph limits in rural areas would require more signs, which would lead to a cost to taxpayers and increase “clutter”. The overview and performance scrutiny board will be asked to look at the implications in more detail.

Coun Adrian Hardman, the leader, said: “We are all extremely passionate about road safety, but the question is, will this work?

“There is frustration people are ignoring 30mph limits, but by reducing it to 20mph, that won’t change – it’s a cultural change we need, and that’s a long process.”

COMMENT: PAGE 18

Comments (10)

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1:16pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Karl Hunderson says...

Tom Wells? haven't heard from him for a while. Is there an election coming up?
Tom Wells? haven't heard from him for a while. Is there an election coming up? Karl Hunderson
  • Score: 0

2:17pm Fri 15 Feb 13

one94 says...

Calls are being made for Councillor Tom Wells to shut up. Most motorists I know want to go faster, not slower!
Calls are being made for Councillor Tom Wells to shut up. Most motorists I know want to go faster, not slower! one94
  • Score: 0

4:08pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Samboy says...

We all want to go faster but only idiots consider the speed of the car to be the decider. Living in Callow End I see just how many near accidents ( and actual bumps) occur. We have a lot of exercising horses in our lanes and a fatat accident is a real possibility. When I was learning to drive I boasted to my instructor about having reached 60mph. His reply was " Any **** can drive at 60, 30 is much more difficult.
We all want to go faster but only idiots consider the speed of the car to be the decider. Living in Callow End I see just how many near accidents ( and actual bumps) occur. We have a lot of exercising horses in our lanes and a fatat accident is a real possibility. When I was learning to drive I boasted to my instructor about having reached 60mph. His reply was " Any **** can drive at 60, 30 is much more difficult. Samboy
  • Score: 0

1:54am Sat 16 Feb 13

Biggles says...

one94 wrote:
Calls are being made for Councillor Tom Wells to shut up. Most motorists I know want to go faster, not slower!
I suggest the councillor has a look at how much the KSI's have risen in the areas with blanket 20 mph speed limits !
.
It appears to have the opposite effect to what they imagine.
.
Nothing wrong with the 85th percentile, it worked for years, but of course doesn't appeal to the anti car brigade.
.
I'm with one94
[quote][p][bold]one94[/bold] wrote: Calls are being made for Councillor Tom Wells to shut up. Most motorists I know want to go faster, not slower![/p][/quote]I suggest the councillor has a look at how much the KSI's have risen in the areas with blanket 20 mph speed limits ! . It appears to have the opposite effect to what they imagine. . Nothing wrong with the 85th percentile, it worked for years, but of course doesn't appeal to the anti car brigade. . I'm with one94 Biggles
  • Score: 0

9:56am Sat 16 Feb 13

The Doosra says...

one94 wrote:
Calls are being made for Councillor Tom Wells to shut up. Most motorists I know want to go faster, not slower!
Most drivers are numpties then.
[quote][p][bold]one94[/bold] wrote: Calls are being made for Councillor Tom Wells to shut up. Most motorists I know want to go faster, not slower![/p][/quote]Most drivers are numpties then. The Doosra
  • Score: 0

6:46pm Sat 16 Feb 13

DarrenM says...

Is this the same guy that wanted to put 20mph in Samsome Walk a few months ago?
Is this the same guy that wanted to put 20mph in Samsome Walk a few months ago? DarrenM
  • Score: 0

9:45pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Biggles says...

DarrenM wrote:
Is this the same guy that wanted to put 20mph in Samsome Walk a few months ago?
No, he was a greenie I think, so natuarally anticar
[quote][p][bold]DarrenM[/bold] wrote: Is this the same guy that wanted to put 20mph in Samsome Walk a few months ago?[/p][/quote]No, he was a greenie I think, so natuarally anticar Biggles
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Sun 17 Feb 13

i-cycle says...

As a car driver and cyclist I see major advantages of introducing 20mph zones in our residential areas and in ways that will make little difference to the time taken by responsible motorists in getting from A to B. Indeed independent surveys have demonstrated a remarkable 70% support from motorists for 20mph being introduced in the streets around where they live.

There are also a whole host of other reasons why 20 mph zones make sense - more cycling and walking, healthier communities, less traffic, less pollution, less noise, safer roads to cross for children and the elderly etc.

More details can be found at:

www.20splentyforus.o
rg.uk
As a car driver and cyclist I see major advantages of introducing 20mph zones in our residential areas and in ways that will make little difference to the time taken by responsible motorists in getting from A to B. Indeed independent surveys have demonstrated a remarkable 70% support from motorists for 20mph being introduced in the streets around where they live. There are also a whole host of other reasons why 20 mph zones make sense - more cycling and walking, healthier communities, less traffic, less pollution, less noise, safer roads to cross for children and the elderly etc. More details can be found at: www.20splentyforus.o rg.uk i-cycle
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Matthew Jenkins says...

Couldn't agree more, i-cycle. And DarrenM and Biggles, I'm the "greenie" who was advocating 20mph in the Arboretum.

There is a local 20s Plenty group that are aiming to promote 20mph limits on all residential roads in Worcester. To sign up or to find out more, go to www.worcester.20sple
ntyforus.org.uk.
Couldn't agree more, i-cycle. And DarrenM and Biggles, I'm the "greenie" who was advocating 20mph in the Arboretum. There is a local 20s Plenty group that are aiming to promote 20mph limits on all residential roads in Worcester. To sign up or to find out more, go to www.worcester.20sple ntyforus.org.uk. Matthew Jenkins
  • Score: 0

11:39pm Sun 17 Feb 13

i-cycle says...

Hi Matthew

Great to hear a campaign is starting in Worcester.

I understand Conservative controlled Gloucestershire looked at this in detail through their scrutiny committee. Like many other councils up and down the country they're following the Government's lead in making it easier and cheaper to introduce 20mph zones in our residential areas.

Council's covering 10.5 million electors are already signed up to introducing 20mph in their residential areas.

I simply can't understand why Cllr Hardman and Cllr Smith can be so adamant that it won't work when there's such clear evidence that it does.

Still it'll be their loss in the May elections when they realise how popular a measure it is with the voters.

I'm not sure which way I'll vote, but I'm certainly not going to vote for any candidate or party that doesn't put a commitment to 20mph in their manifesto.

Good luck to Cllr Wells and the Worcester campaign.
Hi Matthew Great to hear a campaign is starting in Worcester. I understand Conservative controlled Gloucestershire looked at this in detail through their scrutiny committee. Like many other councils up and down the country they're following the Government's lead in making it easier and cheaper to introduce 20mph zones in our residential areas. Council's covering 10.5 million electors are already signed up to introducing 20mph in their residential areas. I simply can't understand why Cllr Hardman and Cllr Smith can be so adamant that it won't work when there's such clear evidence that it does. Still it'll be their loss in the May elections when they realise how popular a measure it is with the voters. I'm not sure which way I'll vote, but I'm certainly not going to vote for any candidate or party that doesn't put a commitment to 20mph in their manifesto. Good luck to Cllr Wells and the Worcester campaign. i-cycle
  • Score: 0

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