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Bill

Now THEY want 20mph limits!

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Rod,

 

thank you for your swift and measured response.... suprisingly (some may think( I do agree with many of your points; however I cannot agree with your take on cyclists breaking the rules regarding traffic lights and we could argue the point all week.

 

Still in Bristol at the moment and further to what I mentioned earlier, the cyclists I was watching yesterday morning did indeed obey the traffic signals and waited patiently until it was their turn to cross the very busy main roads near the university up at Filton.

 

Whatever you may have heard about bikes in Bristol; I can certainly confirm that the ones I have seen certainly behave in a more responsible manner than those in Warrington!

 

Back to the German roads bit, we were in Dreseden to visit a friend and when he came out with me in my car, he was always very quick to point out the speed limits in the residential areas and I think it ius just a matter of education... yes there were signs, but there were no Stasi speed camera cops around the corner like you find over here and the big difference between the two places. Over here, plod seem to think it is a good revenue stream and so put more effort into speeding motorists than they do in burglary detection so maybe their education needs updating too!!

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As Paul says and I have said many times, it is more about stopping people exceeding the limits. The majority will suffer because of the few.

 

Whilst there is no deterrent to stop people speeding or deliberately going through a red light, reducing the speed limit anywhere will have no effect.

This is UK mentality we are talking about, NOT what they do in Germany. A bit like the drink culture over here. Naive to compare the UK with elsewhere.

 

I live in a 20 mph zone and was part of the team that brought it in along with across the road speed ramps. You would be amazed at the number of people who ignore both.

:shock::?

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Peter,

 

speed bumps are a menace and wreck cars regardless of the speed you go over them.... my Scorpio was always in the garage at least once a year having damaged drop links repaired (suspension and steering component to those what don't know) The sudden change in the height and angle of the road surface damages the rubber bushes and costs money to fix..... who can we sue?

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What rankles with me is the Council's willingness to go along with e 20 for all campaign and the majority have to suffer for the sake of the few.

 

We can witness good driving and bad cycling and vice versa- seems a a bit draconian to imose ridiculously sloww speed limits when other traffic control measures are so inadequte- witness the sequencing of the traffic lights at the Winwick Rd end of Long Lane.

 

Maybe we should all go back to horses and carts- oops think of the environmental damage that would cause,,

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Hi all

 

I would like to pick up on a recurring comment which I do not understand.

 

The comment was :-

 

The majority will suffer because of the few.

 

Can we agree that it is generally accepted that 20 mph is the correct speed limit for most residential streets?

 

If so, how can setting a speed limit of 20 mph cause the majority to suffer?

 

Journey times on residential streets would hardly change at all.

 

And by majority do we include the many people who are on our streets but not in a car at the time.

 

And even taking into account only car drivers 75% of those believe 20 mph is the correct for residential roads.

 

I can only assume that our point of difference is really about the particular roads which it is felt should be set higher than 20 mph for certain reasons.

 

For those roads it is perfectly reasonable for this to be left to the Traffic Authority for them, after due consultation, to decide the exceptions to the 20 mph default.

 

In that way everyone can have their input and that input can be specific to the roads in question and the use by all road users and the prevailing highway conditions (width, etc) as well as the existence of schools, hospitals, shops, etc.

 

In this manner we can deliver the correct speed limit to the vast majority of people for whom there is no question about 20 mph being correct, and at the same time take adequate measures to set speed limits on other arterial roads where special conditions exist.

 

This is exactly what the council is trying to pilot. I suspect that including Long Lane was entirely experimental. And it will be very interesting to see the results in terms of whether speeds have slowed. And as I have explained the results will also probably show that the time taken to travel from the Winwick Road Roundabout to the Hilden Roundabout has been unaffected by a lower speed limit.

 

Certainly it is my impression that vehicle speeds have reduced in all the 20 mph pilot areas and this is only likely to increase once the Police start enforcement. It is also evident from the results elsewhere that 20 mph speed limits without traffic calming over wide areas do reduce average vehicle speeds by about 3 mph.

 

I accept that there are those who still want to maximise vehicle speeds on arterial roads. That's OK, and those people will have the ability to influence the council when it comes to set those speed limits as exceptions within a default 20 mph across the town.

 

Then will be the time to argue as to whether Long Lane or Park Road should be 20 mph or 30 mph. And there will need to be some convincing if roads such as Park Road have shown a high number of vulnerable road user casualties at 30 mph and less at 20 mph.

 

 

For my part, I would be happy that 20 mph speed limits should be set on so many of the residential roads throughout the town which deserve that speed setting for the sake of their residents. The debate about the likes of Long Lane and Park Road can be left for another day.

 

Best regards

 

 

Rod

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Amazing!!

You question the comment about penalising the majority, and then tell us it will (by making roads 20 mph) AND IF we want roads to be 30 mph, the council will listen to us.

 

Conveniently ignoring the comments of two of us, who want to know why the police are not doing something about the present problem that would eliminate the need for change if people got punished for driving in excess of the limit.

 

Another small point, is the increase in pollution from vehicles driving around in 2nd or 3rd gear for a prolonged amount of time. This neither good for the environment nor for pedestrians inhaling the fumes.

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To say most residential streets is a misnomer if we include the major arterial routes into town through Stockton Heath, Penketh, Winwick Road, Manchester Rd, Grappenhall etc, etc- all residential roads (ie where people live) and would be seriously affected by a 20 mph restriction- also many pedestrian and cycle casualties are not blameless in the accidents they suffer- what reliable research has been undertaken before the blanket ban was introduced.

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Peter

 

I was not conveniently ignoring anything. I did not realise your comment was directed at me.

 

You seem to want speed limits, so presumably you also want correct speed limits.

 

After all, make the speed limit in Warrington 100 mph and you would get near 100% compliance. But what use would that be!

 

And if you do want the correct speed limit then all I was stating was the fact that most drivers believe that the correct speed limit for residential roads is 20 mph.

 

If you want to know why the police are not doing something about the present problem then the best people to ask is the Police. What answer did you get when you asked them?

 

And of course getting people to observe a speed limit of 30 mph does not help that much if the correct and safe and civil speed is just 20 mph. This is where engineering and enforcement comes in on those drivers or roads where the limit is being exceeded.

 

Your comment about 2nd or 3rd gear is a very old and well used chestnut. Most cars will quite happily run at 20 mph in 4th gear. To be sure they will not be able to accelerate much from that speed, but if they are already travelling at the maximum allowed speed then they will not need to.

 

Plus of course lower speeds means more people walking and cycling and fewer people in cars. Everyone who decides to walk or cycle reduces their pollution by 100%.

 

In addition the fuel used at a constant 20 mph is no different from travelling at 20 mph and speeding up to 30 mph and back to 20 all the time.

 

Also be aware that the pollution inside cars is about 3 times that experienced by pedestrians outside of the car. Ref for those "amazed" by this is "The exposure of cyclist, car drivers and pedestrians to traffic-related air pollutants, Van Wijnen/Verhoeff/Henk/Van Bruggen, 1995 (Int Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 67; 187-193) see EU Publication "Kids on the Move".

 

Kevofaz

 

When I say most, I do not mean all. There is a subtle difference which takes account of the likes of Manchester Rd, etc.

 

I have also stated before that if we exclude the arterial roads and leave these at 30 mph then the maximum increase in journey time from 20 mph on most residential roads is just 40 seconds. And that assumes that all traffic is free flowing and no waiting at junctions. In the real world the increase in actual journey time is about 20 seconds. Now exactly who would suffer from their journey time being increased by 20 seconds?

 

 

 

Please understand that I am not trying to wind anyone up with these posts. But I have studied this issue for some 5 years now and do understand your concerns. But I can also put them in perspective and explain why they are unfounded.

 

To put it simply

 

20 mph on residential roads :-

 

makes little difference to journey times.

 

makes little difference to pollution other than those people who switch from cars to walking or cycling. For them it reduces it by 100%.

 

makes a large difference to noise levels.

 

reduces average speeds by 3 mph with a result of 15% fewer accidents.

 

makes for a safer use of the roads by cyclists and pedestrians.

 

enables more children to independently travel to school because fear of cars is lessened.

 

makes getting out of junctions easier.

 

reduces wear on the roads - and therefore potholes

 

 

 

 

An in the Netherlands they have found that if you have lower speeds of 20 mph then you can start to remove traffic lights and a lot of signage.

 

 

And all of these are very good reasons why Warrington and many other towns in the UK are adopting this initiative.

 

And the better we can share our roads, then the better we can live in our town.

 

 

Best regards

 

 

Rod

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Rod

 

Minority groups are usually at the root of all such changes because the general public in general tends to have no unified voice on the matter. My experience here in Paddington seemed to demonstrate that the council seem more inclined to support small pressure groups while ignoring the views of the majority and were prepared to go out of their way to ensure that stance.

 

Without people like you pushing for change, Long Lane would probably still have a realistic 30mph speed limit instead of a ridiculously low artificial one and to attempt to justify this by using the 80% in favour statistic is completely wrong and a misuse of public support. I?ve not heard a single good word said for what?s been done so it would be interesting to ask these same people if they?re happy for you to use their vote of support in this manner.

 

Bill :)

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Bill

 

I have never, ever pushed for 20 mph on Long lane.

 

My approach has been entirely consistent and is that arterial roads should be left to the discretion of the Traffic Authority.

 

I have many hundred of signatures captured in a couple of hours of members of the public who want 20 mph speed limits as the default (ie unless otherwise determined by exception) for residential roads.

 

There are many councillors who also know that this is what their constituents want.

 

My experience over several years dealing with the council is that if you are looking for change then you have to be determined, informed and most importantly be able to demonstrate the public benefit of your proposals. If you do not do that then you will get nowhere.

 

I am not justifying or trying to justify a 20 mph speed limit on Long Lane. I am merely pointing out that it probably makes little difference to actual journey times.

 

And if going faster on Long Lane does not reduce journey times then I cannot see ANY benefit that is to be gained from going faster.

 

I do accept that it is not ideal to have Long Lane at 20 mph and adjacent residential roads at 30 mph. But this can be resolved by making the residential roads 20 mph.

 

It would seem that the general consensus on this forum is that "true" residential roads should have a speed limit of 20 mph and that arterial and main roads should be subject to a separate assessment. This separate assessment is required by the Department of Transport anyway which requires all Traffic Authorities to review the speed limit on A and B roads by 2011. In doing so the must take into account the needs of vulnerable road users.

 

Now you may not like the fact that they need to take into account the needs of vulnerable road users, but the Traffic Authority has no alternative but to do this. Its a government directive.

 

And this is one of the reasons why I am happy to leave the likes of Long Lane outside the default.

 

So, by all means have a go at me and 20's Plenty For Us and those who cycle, and those who walk, and those in wheelchairs, and those who go shopping, and those who are too young to drive, and those who are too old to drive, and those who are unable to drive and those who don't want to drive.

 

But if you and anyone else objects to being slowed down to 20 mph on Long Lane and the effect on the quality of your life as a result of this "preposterous imposition" then you need to contact WBC and put your case to them.

 

In reality there is a great deal that many of us seem to have as common values and that does seem to include "true" residential roads being set to a 20 mph limit. Lets celebrate that and the fact that that is what the council is in the process of delivering.

 

Thank you for your support.

 

 

Rod

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Watched a woman (casual) cyclist today: rode off the pavement, across the road; through a red light, taking a left onto the pavement - that's how your average "cyclist" performs. :roll:

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I have problems with the Lycra gang every Sunday morning meandering along the A574 not a care in the world, three abreast, chatting, ignoring the drivers who would love to get upto 20mph.

Cyclists are the most ignorant gobbins on our roads.

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Rod

 

Having debated the issue of 20mph limits with you for so long now, I would have thought you understood just where I stand on the issue and in view of that, I?m surprised you seem to have taken my last response as somewhat hostile.

 

I never said you were directly responsible for the farce on Long Lane, that?s wholly down to the ?planners? however if you wish to take any credit for moving forward the proposals on the 20mph limits then you cannot deny that your actions may have indeed contributed to the situation.

 

I mentioned Paddington in that last post because pretty much the same happened there. Many of the people that originally supported a move to take action against the roads being used as a short cut complained when the council proposed speed bumps, claiming that that?s not what they signed the petition for. In just the same way, I put it to you that had the people you surveyed known the outcome, then it?s extremely unlikely that you would have had any support at all.

 

So Rod, by all means use the 80% support figures while discussing residential roads but when responding to objections regarding main travel routes just remember that figure is meaningless.

 

Bill :)

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By the way Rod, I don?t particularly care for your assertion that I don?t care for vulnerable road users and your suggestion that I should have a go at old folk and wheelchair users does nothing to help your argument.

 

You?re putting yourself on a self-righteous pedestal with crap like that so just watch out that you don?t end up getting knocked off by someone who until now has been largely supportive of your cause.

 

Bill

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On the pollution aspects, I did ask for a survey to be done to see if pollution levels change, whether it was prior to the 20mph and will be done now we have the 20mph and results published, we'll wait and see.

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Paul

 

Not being funny Paul but aren?t figures regarding the levels of pollution caused by vehicles driving at 20mph verses 30mph already established or do you believe that Long Lane is a special case where the laws of physics don?t apply. :lol:

 

Bill :)

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The "true" resendential roads issue is something which I am struggling to comprehend. Obviously Rod thinks that Long lane is a true residential road whereas the majority of peop;le (myself included) would say it is a main arterial road and is also somewhat industrial in its makeup.

 

A true residential road in my eyes are the ones on the estates such as Dallam, Orford and the likes. Places where kids would play football etc. and as far as I know, even the kids from Longford are not daft enough to play football on Long Lane! :lol:

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Baz

 

In all fairness to Rod that?s not what he?s saying although I suspect he may well support the notion that 20mph is right for that road.

 

Most people don?t have any problems understanding the term residential road but there?s always going to be some that say ?AH BUT!? there?s a house on it so it?s residential and here lies the biggest problem.

 

It may sound harsh but to my way of thinking, people who choose to live on a main road should not have the right to expect to traffic speeds to match what?s generally accepted as being right for truly residential roads.

 

Bill :)

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I tend to find driving at 20 on a straight road dangerous, as my eyes tend to wander and depending on the view my mind can as well. :wink:

 

I am not sure that Rod understands my comment about policing the limits. Surely, when coming up with these ideas, that should be part of the discussion. :roll::?

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But I will not avoid your question. I guess that the reason that cyclists do not use the cycle lanes (I presume you mean the off-road cycle paths) on Cromwell Avenue are :-

 

1. They do not have to. Cycle paths are not mandatory, in exactly the same way that motorists do not have to use motorways, rather than parallel roads.

So a bloody waste of money then? For the record, whenever I cycle down Cromwell, I DO use the cycle lanes, becasue they are safer!

 

2. Cycle paths often increase the distance to be travelled. When all your motion comes from your own efforts then you will try an make your journey as direct as possible.
Diddums. So what you're saying is that cycling isn't quite as simple and easy a method of transportation as you make out, so perhaps car users stay in their cars for a reason?

 

Again, can I just state as a casual/occasional cyclist, I have no issue whatsoever with using the cycle paths. so why, when the cycle lobby make such a fuss about them, doi they then choose to ignore these specilist areas?

 

3. Cycle paths often introduce points of conflict where you have to cross over the road at an inconvenient point and where there is no high engineering to assist. Such conflict points are where car drivers are not expecting to see cyclists. hence many cyclists prefer to keep on the road where they can see and be seen riding in a consistent and clear manner.
That is nonsense and you know it.

 

4. Many cyclists do not want to cause conflict with either motorists or pedestrians. On pavement shared cycle paths often cause such conflict, especially where the path narrows and has to cope with obstacles. Hence such cyclists will stick to the road.
So they are happy to ride off and on pavements at will, but not on specially created cycle lanes? Interesting theory.

 

5. Cycle paths are not routinely cleared, swept or de-iced in winter. Therefore many cyclists prefer to cycle on the road with a better surface.
In Warrington, iced up roads and paths are extremely rare, and cycling equally rare in bad weather in general. This is nothing more than a diversionary answer. What about the 360+ days a year when this issue wouldn't apply?

 

Your point about the majority of cyclists thinking that red lights and one way streets do not apply to them is rather a sweeping generalisation. I could equally say that at most points that traffic lights change to red then I will see one or two cars going through on red. This has everything to do with how we all respect the road, both cyclists and motorists. I am totally in support of the police taking firm action on anyone who goes through a red light.
You could say that, but of course you would be talking nonsense. A red light jumper in a car is pretty rare, however come to a set of lights behind (or indeed in front of) a cyclist, and you are odds on to see them take a gap in traffic as a sign to proceed. We've all seen it day in day out, to dent it does your other arguments no favours, as you cannot defend the indefensible. Again for the record, I am an occasional cyclist, and I will pavement hop at various points round town, but I can categorically state that I have never gone through a red light on my bike! Why are the serious cyclists so ignorant of traffic laws?

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Your comment about 2nd or 3rd gear is a very old and well used chestnut. Most cars will quite happily run at 20 mph in 4th gear. To be sure they will not be able to accelerate much from that speed, but if they are already travelling at the maximum allowed speed then they will not need to.

No they don't Rod, no matter how many times you trot out your trite response. Earlier your mate was able to drive a WRX Scooby at 20mph in 6th allegedly. I don't believe you for a minute, and most people will not be driving at 20mph in 4th gear either, they will in most cases be in 3rd gear.

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Hi all

 

Nice to see a lively debate.

 

Some comments :-

 

Bill

 

First an apology if you think that I was asserting that you don't care for vulnerable roads users. That was not my intention and I do recognise that you posts are measured and well tempered. And that makes for a better debate and a better consideration of your views.

 

By the way, I don't do "crap" as you referred to my post and I didn't think you did either!!!

 

But perhaps lets both of us leave that behind.

 

 

I will accept some credit for moving the 20 mph proposals forward, but have had no input into the details of the proposals other than condemn them for not being a good model of implementing 20 mph across the whole of Warrington. However I equally accept that the officers concerned may be experimenting with a contentious road like Long Lane to see what the result are.

 

 

Paul has a point about pollution. I understand that comparatively there is very little difference between steady 20 mph and steady 30 mph. However there is a great difference between sporadic 30 mph and constant 20 mph. And even greater difference between the driver at 30 mph and the same driver who has decided that with slower speed limits then it is safer for him to walk or cycle rather than drive. He makes a 100% reduction in emissions.

 

Baz J

 

The term "true" residential roads is something I picked up from either an earlier post or from a post in another place!!! Bill's correction is valid and you can replace "true" with "non-arterial".

 

Bill's point about the residents is a fair one, but on the other hand many vulnerable road users on a main road did not have a choice in where they live. And I am referring to children here. Is it not reasonable that if we can make a very small modification in our behaviour that will improve their quality of life then this should be seriously considered.

 

Peter T

 

Policing limits is important. In the past the only 20 mph speed limits were in 20 mph zones with traffic calming. As more authorities put 20 mph speed limits in without calming then the police are seeing their role developing and will enforce these limits.

 

Fatshaft... Where do I start.

 

Some cycle lanes are found useful by some cyclist. Clearly you do. That's perfectly OK, Its a choice thing. But often they are compromised to the extent that they are more dangerous and less convenient than not having them.

 

Yep, when cycling I will make judgements about distance travelled and avoiding obstacles. The cycle lobby do make a fuss about cycle paths and lanes. They ask for them to be sufficiently wide and continuous so as to be useful and safe.

 

Here is a link to an article on cycle paths and safety. It was put together by John Franklin who is an "expert witness" on cycling and wrote the Cylecraft manual.

 

See :-

 

http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/digest/research.html

 

The section on Milton Keynes is interesting.

 

With regard to my contention that cycle paths introduce points of conflict which you say "is nonsense and you know it". Here is another link that you may find interesting :-

 

http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/digest/cfi_jaf.pdf

 

 

And whilst I do accept that some cyclists do cross on red lights, your assumption that "A red light jumper in a car is pretty rare" is rather extreme a view. Are you saying that to see a car go through the traffic lights after it has changed from orange to red is rare?

 

The debate about which gear you drive in at 20 mph is rather pointless. We have the same gearing on UK cars as in continental Europe where 18.5 mph speed limits exists in residential and urban roads. So lets agree that some cars can drive in 4th at 20 mph and some may need to change to 3rd. A Citroen C4 will do 94mpg at a steady 20 mph so maybe the debate about fuel economy at this speed is rather irrelevant.

 

 

But to you all I do accept that I have been challenging. I am challenging our perception of the value and effectiveness of travelling faster compared to the disadvantages.

 

I did ask for someone to point out what advantages come from going faster if its the time taken at congestion points which will ultimately determine your total journey times.

 

To date there seem to be many people telling me why they do not want to travel slower, but very few putting the case for the advantages of travelling faster. As I have said, the other day I travelled all the way down Long lane and Orford Green at 20 mph. Going faster would not have got me to the Hilden roundabout any quicker because I was caught in queues at both the traffic lights half way down and the roundabout. Maybe with a 20 mph limit the traffic lights would not be needed and the roundabout would be a lot easier to enter.

 

Best regards to you all and as ever thanks for taking the interest. We may differ in our views but I do appreciate you having them.

 

Rod

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Rod.

 

One question....

 

what is the point of having a 20 mph speed limit outside a school at 9 o'clock at night?

 

Or anywhere for that matter? Not many vulnerable road users out at that time of night so why not have timed speed limits? That way everyone is happy!! :D

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Well Baz

 

Here are some advantages :-

 

Lower noise for those in the vicinity.

Lower road maintenance costs due to lower speeds.

Speed limits are more constant therefore more understandable.

 

I accept that you may not put a value on these.

 

But whatever value is placed on these should be weighed against the value to the driver of going faster.

 

Regards

 

 

Rod

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My issue with this thread is not about speed limits- it is about one section of the community getting its voice heard by the Council above all the others- he who shouts loudest may get heard but not always correct way forward- I will cite the A562 through Penketh as a good example of reducing speed limits NOT working and then say no more.

 

The limit there was 40 mph- it was reduced to 30mph- traffic still travels along that dual carriageway at 40mph plus and whilst there are regular speed checks the reduced speed limit is still widely ignored and accidenbts on that road have reduced anyways.

 

Shall not respond to any replies- have enough rubbish in my life without getting my blood pressure up over this- when we all have a sustainable and practical alternative to the car (at any speed) then I will start to listen. I will not be walking/cycling/getting the bus to cross town at night. There is no alternative

 

20 may be plenty until 10 or 5 looks better. Why not go the whole hog and just ban cars from any road within the ring of Motorways around Warrington.

 

I'll get me sandals and Aran jumper out as well.....

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