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Now THEY want 20mph limits!

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Lower noise for those in the vicinity.


Now come on Rod, you know you are clutching at straws here..... a car will not produce more noise at 30 than 20; in fact it will probably produce less due to the engine operating at lower revs in higher gears

Lower road maintenance costs due to lower speeds.

Lower road maintenance: since when have WBC ever worried about that so again a none answer, plus the vehicles weight does not change when it goes slower so I don't quite understand that bit; especially as most cars have power steering which again operates more efficiently for the vehicle if it is moving as it does not scrub tyres etc

Speed limits are more constant therefore more understandable.

as for the last point, I would say quite the opposite; I would say you would get more support if the 20 limits were timed to run during the hours that were more likely to have pedestrians and kids about. I find it less understandable that I should have to crawl along Long Lane at 20mph at 1 o'clock in the morning when the only other people about will be another car or a typically sneaky copper waiting for someone doing 30 to boost his box ticking. It is like the traffic lights on roundabouts scenario; how many times have you driven up to say the roundabout near Crosfields at 2 o'clock in the morning, with not another vehicle in site, only to sit there for 5 minutes at the red light. When another car comes round the roundabout, the lights change to let you go and keep him stuck there for 10 minutes too!! :)




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


I don't have a clue where you get this one from!!


I put a lot of value on road safety Rod, unfortunately as has been said, I don't make it a crusade as I have other things in life such as working for a living which takes up a lot of my time. You do have an arrogant "listen to me I am always right" tone to your posts and I think this does annoy rather than endear you to most.


Most modern cars are not designed to run at 20 mph, regardless of what you may think and even those that do (and mine is one that does) suddenly stall and splutter if the road has any kind of incline to it; meaning that many will have to change down a gear which will increase noise and pollution output accordingly.


As I have said, I wholeheartedly agree with the 20mph limit outside schools and on roads in estates (as they tend to do abroad) and I feel that you will gain maximum support if this were the sole aim of the campaign. By trying to advocate speeds of 20mph across the board, you are at risk of turning some supporters agianst you.


At the moment, HGV's are banned down Long Lane too but could you imagine the chaos if a 20 limit were placed on a road where HGV's were expected to trundle along at 20? the gearing ratios and noise output would be incredible and to be honest, I think you are trying to pass the buck somewhat by trying to blame WBC for piloting such roads as Long Lane.

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Vehicle noise is directly related to speed. Take a look at the following website :-




Lower road maintenance. Lower speeds mean less impact at any road irregularities and therefore less deterioration in the road surface, causing fewer potholes.


You are correct. A vehicles weight does not change when it goes slower. But its kinetic energy does. This is proportional to the mass times the velocity squared. The dynamics involved when your wheel drops into pothole are very much proportional to the square of the speed. Hence travelling faster over potholes (and speed bumps ) cause more damage to both your car and the carriageway.


You may say that I do not know what I am talking about. That's OK. Its your prerogative. I am sure that someone who owns and drives a Scorpio knows more about automotive suspension than someone who worked for Ford Motor Company for 7 years as a design engineer!!!


With regard to speed limits I was suggesting that the more universal they are then the more understandable they are. Hence if it was a 20 mph speed limit on all residential roads then this would be far clearer than it constantly changing. Now it appears that you want to introduce a time element as well. Goodness, several posters say they do not have the wit or ability to regulate their speed and drive at the same time. Better not ask them to keep an eye on their watch as well!!!


And as for driving up to Crossfields roundabout at 2 am in the morning. I am afraid I have not yet added this to the list of things that I must do. I am interested in your idea that it takes 5 minutes for the lights to change. Are you sure you didn't fall asleep and not notice them changing?


Sorry to surprise you with the question about the "value" of driving faster and weighing this up against the value of slower speeds.


I note that you say your car was designed to run at 20 mph, but it splutters and stalls if there is any kind of incline. Hmmm.


With regard to 20 mph outside schools. Most accidents involving children happen nearer their home than their school.


You mention my campaign for 20 mph across the board. Well why not read my posts and accept that I have consistently said that 20 mph should be the default and that the Traffic Authority should be able to decide upon the exceptions.


I note your point about HGV's, but 20 mph really does not increase the noise. And it would hardly lead to chaos to have an HGV travelling at 20 mph.


Take care and watch out for those lights changing at Crossfields roundabout.


Best regards




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Oh boy..... You were a design engineer at Fords? Well it is obvious that I know more about suspension than you do.... the suspension on the Scorpio was crap as was most of the design features.... tthats why they never sold many of them!! Air suspension is the way!!


Rod, what would be wrong with time limits on the 20 mph areas? they have variable speed limits on the motorways on the M42 and on the M25 and they work quite well so why not in a back street in Orford?


I still stand by my belief that most cars will not run efficiently, quietly nor economically at 20mph and will produce more emissions because most people would not be able to attain top gear at such a low speed and would be over revving the engine


Now you may wish to skirt round the other points but why have a 20mph limit on a road near a school at 2 am? It doesn't make sense..... Surely if you follow a bit of common sense you will convince more people that your ideas are sound? If you just carry on about sticking these limits everywhere with no time discretion people will think it is yet another way to have a go at the motorist


Maybe you should get out of the ivory tower a bit more Rod and have a look at some of the daft ideas these road planners have in this town. If they really are serious about saving the planet and saving money, they would turn off the lights at roundabouts at 2 am because all the electricity they must use doesn't warrant them being on when there are no cars to manage


And at least we now know why you are so anti car if you worked for Fords :wink:

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simple answer make all cars automatic just two gear forwards and back, top speed of 69mph. that way there would me no problems about being in the right gear for the road speed, no problems with over revving and maybe even better fuel economy. :wink:

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Automatics are not as good on fuel economy as the manual cars, but so much easier to drive.


Mine is an auto diesel and I get a return of 45mpg or so on a run which is pretty good for a big car; better in fact than some cars of half the size

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In designing aircraft i understand when considerign safety features they consider the costs as opposed to lives saved i.e. each person has a value.


The same must be applied to roads. You could wipe out road deaths and injuries over night by driving with a man with a red flag in front, but the country would grind to a halt. Therefore there has to be a balnce i'm afriad to say.


I agree whole heatedly with 20mph on true residential roads. i judgement for this might be anything classified as a "c" road which is not subject to say regular bus routes.


The variable argument fails in that schools attract kids at all bar the dark hours and at night yoru senses are affected so this shoudlnt happen.


However the speed to injury / fatality argument is overated. As a Lawyer with 20 years specifically delaing with accident spped is only a factor when inappropriate. 20mph outside a schoold when a kid runs out is inappropriate but not when there is no one around.


Invariably stupidity or lack of concentration is the cause of vitually all accidents. Yes I accept that spped plays a factor in fatalioty rates but direction of impact, road surface, position of perosn in relation to vehicle and condition of the vehicle also amobngst others play a big part.

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I'd just like to say that I drove down the new 20mph speed limit on the road outside the town hall yesterday evening at approx 6.30pm and I felt like a complete prat. I suddenly went from a safe 30mph driver to a paranoid speedometer watcher :shock::?

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  • 2 weeks later...

From the Daily Telegraph:


Motorists driving on residential roads and near schools will be forced to obey a strict 20mph limit, under proposals to be unveiled next week.


Limits on roads which are known to be accident black spots could also be reduced.


The new guidance from the Department for Transport is part of a push to reduce road accidents and fatalities. Almost 3,000 people died on British roads in 2007, figures show.


Councils in Portsmouth, Newcastle, Oxford and Leicester are already introducing 20mph speed limits on residential roads. Although it is local authorities that ultimately decide speed limits, ministers expect their latest guidance to be acted upon.


A Department for Transport source said: "We are trying to get the balance right between motorists and everyone else and this is a way of reminding local authorities that they have got these powers and they should use them.


"It is proven that the 20mph limit does lower the number of accidents and we do not think that anyone should be up in arms about this as it is a sensible idea."


In a consultation document to be published on Tuesday, Jim Fitzpatrick, the Transport Minister, will say it is important that highway authorities look at bringing in 20mph limits on residential roads, including all those near schools.


Research has found that pedestrians hit by a vehicle at 20mph have a greater chance of survival. Only one in 40 dies at 20mph, compared with one in five at 30mph.


Robert Gifford, of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, welcomed the plans. "The 20mph zones are proven to save lives and that is especially important when thinking about children and the elderly," he said.


But the proposals were condemned by Claire Armstrong, who runs the anti-camera group Safespeed. She said: "I find this extremely disturbing. If you make drivers go at a speed where they are not comfortable, they will be distracted and inattentive and that is what causes accidents. This Government seems obsessed with speed as a prime factor for causing accidents."


In an attempt to mollify motorists, however, new guidance will be issued on the use of speed cameras.


Geoff Hoon, the Transport Secretary, believes speed cameras should not be placed "in a blanket way". Instead, camera operators will be expected to put new devices in areas that are accident black spots.


The Government has been criticised for allowing police forces and local authorities to use cameras as little more than revenue making devices. But Mr Hoon has let officials know that the Government cannot be seen as anti-motorist, after damaging rows over issues such as the proposed rise in green car taxes.


The total number of people killed on Britain's roads has fallen to its lowest level since records began in 1926, the latest Department for Transport figures show. In 2007, 2,940 people died, a drop of seven per cent on the previous year.


Of those, 644 were pedestrians, 22 per cent of the total. The number of children killed fell to a record low of 121.


However, Mr Fitzpatrick will argue next week that more can still be done

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This won't of course apply to Police cars; especially the ones who obviously think that traffic queues are for them. We were heading into Manchester tonight to the Lowry and there was an accident where a car had rolled and the Bill had closed the nearside lane to allow recovery. Traffic was building up and the low and behold, a plain black Focus estate Police car came up the hard shoulder passed all the standing traffic with all blue lights flashing; came into the middle lane, past the accident blockage, turned off his lights and carried on as normal! Oh I wish I had got his number!

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Methinks Mr FitzPatrick want's to be noticed! :roll: It's fairly obvious that the lower a vehicle's speed, the less likely a collision with a pedestrian will prove fatal; thus on that basis, they could argue for 5mph - or we could all leave our cars at home! :wink:

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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 accidents on that road have reduced anyways.

I suggest that if accidents have reduced it's not "anyway", it is because of the reduced speed limit, and most drivers sticking to it - or doing 35 rather than 45/50.


The only thing that annoys me is (e.g. at Edge Lane off the M62) is that there are drivers who drive at 25 in 30 zones (especially near speed cameras), and if they start driving at 15 in 20 zones, that will be a pain.

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If anyone does want to read the consultation that Paul Kennedy is referring to then it is available for download from :-




The executive summary is available from :-




Most road safety and transport professionals seem to think that it is a balanced and progressive document.


Best regards




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surely if some one is a road safety and transport professional and traffic is their job, it is in their interests to change things or to go on and on about changining things... otherwise they would be unemployed road safety and transport professionals :lol:

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I doubt many people are going to bother reading a 120-page report. Even the separate 11-page summary was 10 pages too long.


Interesting point though what Baz said and it does make you wonder. If all the proposals being recommended were to be adopted and all achieved their goals what where would we go from there?


The way I see it is that there will always be accidents and there will always be those who say there?s too many and things need to be done but where do you draw the line?


Is there some point where we can say that our roads are as safe as we can practically make them short of banning motorised transport? Ten years ago were these very same questions not being asked?


Seems to me we?re on a never ending roundabout with this one


Bill :)

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Ten years ago were these very same questions not being asked?


Indeed they were. And if people had been satisfied with the safety on our roads at that time and stopped trying to make them safer then thousands more would have been killed on our roads in those 10 years.




Best regards




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That question can only be answered for the current time. This therefore reflects the current public opinion and the current road safety statistics.


Any consideration of what these may be at some future point in time is pure conjecture.


For my part I would far prefer to deal with the problems of too much death and injury on our roads today rather than consider whether we will be satisfied when these have been reduced in the future.



But coming back to the consultation report, apart from the number of pages, what did you think about the proposals?


Best regards




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