20mph limit is a safety measure which deserves your support

catherine-shelleyCROYDON COMMENTARY: The latest consultation about 20mph zones should seek comments from those in favour, as well as objectors, says CATHERINE SHELLEY, pictured

There is a strange dynamic whenever notices are published for planning and other publicly regulated work, which is that by law objections are invited, but there is no equivalent invitation to anyone who wants to support the plans.

20mph-zoneWhile it is right that there should be a place to express objections, the assumption that those who do not object therefore support the proposals means that there is no room for people to actively support them. Democracy might benefit if such an invitation was publicised alongside the invitation to object.

The further rounds of consultation, announced this month, about traffic regulation through limiting traffic speeds to 20mph on residential streets in the south of the borough can only be a positive thing which some may actively want to support.

The statistics are unanswerable – in Croydon during 2015 (the most recent published statistics) there were a total of 896 road traffic accidents which resulted in 1,047 casualties. These casualties involved 202 pedestrians, 104 cyclists, 176 on motorbikes/ scooters, 487 to cars and 78 with other vehicles such as taxis, buses and goods vehicles.

Across the country (according to RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) the majority of pedestrian and cycle accidents happen in built-up areas. That is, involving kids walking or cycling to school; older members of the community who do not drive or have a car. Although the number of households who do not own a car is about 25 per cent, the number of people who do not drive – that is children and older members of the community – is significantly higher. It is no wonder that these groups feature heavily in the pedestrian and cycle incident stats.

Yet this is where traffic calming helps. A mere 1mph speed reduction can reduce collisions by 6per cent; that would be 53 fewer collisions in Croydon based on the 2015 figures. The statistics suggest that a greater speed reduction, such as the 10mph difference between 20 and 30mph, can result in even greater reductions in accidents.

Surely, reducing speeds on most residential roads (the main roads are not affected) is worth the savings to life and limb, especially those in our communities most likely to be walking or cycling, such as our children and older members of our communities? Drivers benefit too; who wants to be the one that causes an accident and injury to a child? In addition, fewer and slower cars on the road will also have a beneficial impact on the environment and the level of pollution, another improvement that will benefit everyone.

And if you agree, why not say so? Don’t leave the argument to the objectors. You can email Parking.Design@croydon.gov.uk or write by post to Croydon Council, Order Making Section, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon CR0 1EA

  • Catherine Shelley is the  co-chair of Croydon Green Party

  • Inside Croydon is Croydon’s only independent news source, still based in the heart of the borough. In 2016, we averaged 17,000 page views every week
  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or a local event to publicise, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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6 Responses to 20mph limit is a safety measure which deserves your support

  1. As someone who lives in the first phase of the 20 MPH project I can confirm that there are 20 MPH signs on these roads. They mean nothing to the drivers who hurtle down them at twice that speed though. The best example is Dagnall Park. A long, straight road bordering two schools and part of a two road shortcut between Selhurst and Thornton Heath. Even with schoolchildren milling around (two of them are mine) I see drivers every day doing speeds that would send the average 5 year old around 25 meters through the air. It’s a pointless waste of money – speed bumps are needed if they’re serious about this.

  2. They’ve not invited people to support the proposal, as under the terms of this most undemocratic of moves, anyone who doesn’t object is assumed to approve. As the leaflets have been distributed on an incredibly haphazard basis, with many roads still not having received any, awareness of this ‘initiative’ is still low. Nor have the council indicated what number of ‘objections’ actually constitutes a successful ‘no’ vote. So, with moving goalposts and a cynical dependency on voter ignorance and apathy, this costly and unenforceable imposition will be almost certainly be railroaded through and see the south of the borough blighted with yet more signage on side roads with minimal/no accident statistics (see Crashmap), while the main roads which see the vast majority of ‘incidents’ are unaffected. Another glorious victory for pointless bureaucracy.

  3. My experience is that any consultation, by local or national governments, is nothing more than window-dressing. There’s no need to have an opportunity to support proposals, as they are always- but always- accepted. I’d take a bet that the 20mph road signs are already on order!

    • Nick Davies says:

      There is ‘consultation with” and “consultation to”. The latter is the default these days in most walks of life.

  4. croydonres says:

    Car rear window stickers such as the coy….. “Don’t get too close- I hardly know you” , or militant Mum on Duty…… “Keep back–give my Child a chance”, or dog show long-distance exhibitor …… “Keep your distance- Show Dogs in transit” will now be joined by “Don’t drive so close– I am a law-abiding south Croydon citizen trying to drive no faster than the 20 mph limit (not exceeding 24mph allowing for possible speedometer malfunction) in spite of the social pressure exerted on me and others like me to exceed the new speed limit by thoughtless and/or or pushy / bullying drivers driving intimidatingly close to the rear bumper of my vehicle.”

    Should Inside Croydon not be issuing such complementary stickers to Inside Croydon’s loyal reader, in the interest of calming a potential road rage wave that might soon engulf the South of the borough?

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