Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

kwackers
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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby kwackers » 3 Aug 2009, 5:14pm

EdinburghFixed wrote:As with many arguments against 20 zones, this is also an argument for 40mph limits (if cars are faster and roads more dangerous, people will be extra careful crossing them - so let's raise the limit).


I suspect care VS speed is a non-linear relationship.

The ideal safe speed (other than 0mph) is likely to vary enormously depending on the local conditions. Since the whole thing is complex and in many areas behaves counter intuitively I suspect experimentation is the only way to figure it out - but you have to accept that more people could potentially die as a result before you get it right...

wildnorthlands
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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby wildnorthlands » 3 Aug 2009, 5:18pm

It would be good to have chapter and verse on whether cyclists are bound by speed limits. Any lawyers on the group? I confess I haven't read the whole 21 pages of this thread, so apologies if the question has already been answered.

On the question of whether pedestrians will pay less attention in 20 mph zones, if you are struck by a vehicle doing 20mph it may not kill you, but it's still going to hurt!

thirdcrank
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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Aug 2009, 5:28pm

This has come up countless times.

The general speed limits apply only to motor vehicles, so they do not apply to pedal cycles, which aren't. There are other offences which can be used against cyclists riding at speed such as 'furiously driving a carriage' (Town Police Clauses Act 1847) There is an internet law site that says this is not the case but the last time it came up I linked to a couple of fairly recent prosecutions reported in the media.

There is a speed byelaw in London Parks and the Metropolitan Police prosecute cyclists for exceeding it.

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby EdinburghFixed » 3 Aug 2009, 6:38pm

There was a recent prosecution under S35 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1948 (c. 58), s. 1(2))

35. Drivers of carriages injuring persons by furious driving

Whosoever, having the charge of any carriage or vehicle, shall by wanton or furious driving or racing, or other wilful misconduct, or by wilful neglect, do or cause to be done any bodily harm to any person whatsoever, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable, at the discretion of the court, to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years.

As you can see, that only applies if you actually maim someone (irrespective of speed). There are bound to be loads of generic offences from a couple of centuries ago though.

sirmy
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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby sirmy » 3 Aug 2009, 6:58pm

There's also the Road Traffic Act 1991

Cycling
7 Cycling offences

For section 28 of the [1988 c. 52.] Road Traffic Act 1988 there shall be substituted—
“28 Dangerous cycling

(1) A person who rides a cycle on a road dangerously is guilty of an offence.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) above a person is to be regarded as riding dangerously if (and only if)—

(a) the way he rides falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful cyclist, and

(b) it would be obvious to a competent and careful cyclist that riding in that way would be dangerous.

(3) In subsection (2) above “dangerous” refers to danger either of injury to any person or of serious damage to property; and in determining for the purposes of that subsection what would be obvious to a competent and careful cyclist in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.”


which is wolly enough to be used for speeding, even blow the vehicle speed limit (don't know if it's ever been used)

rodk
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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby rodk » 3 Aug 2009, 7:24pm

I think that the question is rather belated because CTC has already joined the campaign for 20 mph speed limits in residential roads. If you look at its recent "Safety in Numbers" campaign then 20 speed limits for residential, urban and shopping areas is already a key component.

20's Plenty has been featured in most of the CTC and Cyclenation conferences for the past 4 years and is also a key strategy of Cyclenation.

It also featured strongly in CTC response to the DfT Consultation "A Safer Way". In fact the responses from many of the organisations that represent vulnerable road users may be found at the 20's Plenty for Us website which may be viewed at http://fp.rosebank.plus.com/20splentyforus/a_safer_way.htm.

In terms of the comments about 20 mph around schools, this is a false, half-measure, which does very little to protect children where they are most likely to be hit by cars. Statistically, this is nearer their home than their school. It is the shear presence of children around schools that alerts drivers to the dangers and they correspondingly slow down. The biggest danger around schools is from low speed crushing by someone in a 4x4 who is manoeuvring and fails to see a child.

An analysis of the excellent zoomable map of cycling KSIs at http://labs.timesonline.co.uk/2009/cycling_accidents/ shows that cycle casualties are very random and do not show a lot of clustering. Hence area wide initiatives such as 20's Plenty have a far greater benefit than merely chasing the last cycling accident with highway engineering.

Those wishing to find out more about 20 mph possibilities should have a look at the 20's Plenty for us website at http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk

Best regards

Rod

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CREPELLO
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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby CREPELLO » 3 Aug 2009, 9:33pm

kwackers wrote:
CREPELLO wrote:To address these hazards, better education for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers needs to go hand in hand with the lower limit enforcement.


Bearing in mind we don't seem that great at enforcing the current 30mph limit - how do you think we should enforce the 20mph one?

I was thinking about this yesterday morning - I was driving along and taking note of all the 30mph sections I travelled through on a local journey of around 8 miles. It turned out nearly the entire journey was on 30mph roads - and lots of them!

So if we did go with the OP and reduce the 30 limits to 20 - this presumably means any roads currently with no speed limit marked will automatically become a 20 limit. Now out of all the roads I drove down only 2 (mine and the destination) would imo benefit from a 20 limit. This then means that in order to exclude all the main roads I drove down will require work by the local council and the placing of lots of 30mph discs to bring those roads back up to speed.

Now being moderately cynical I'm prepared to bet that this just isn't going to happen for a lot of roads, in Warrington alone there would be many thousands of roads that would ideally need re-classifying and plating at a cost of millions and they're just not going to spend that sort of money.

So my prediction is that if the OP became law, all current 30 limits would become 20. Councils would probably exclude and re-classify an handful of main thoroughfares but would ignore a lot of fairly important roads that don't need the 20 limit but would cost too much to re-classify.
Since drivers have been shown to drive for the road conditions they'd continue at the original speeds on these roads anyway, that would either mean a speeding fine spree that would simply anger drivers and bring speed control into even more disrepute than currently or the police would be deliberately lenient to avoid them which would make the 20mph limit seem pretty pointless.
Given that without traffic calming the limit is pointless anyway it's difficult to see anything good about a global policy of reducing 30 limits to 20.

One final thought, a 20mph disc indicates something, does the lack of it do the same? I'm not convinced it does.

If a road requires a 20 limit then by all means, stick some discs up and if you actually want the speed to reduce add some traffic calming, but I see no sense in reducing all 30 limits to 20 and expecting local government to increase limits - something they're hardly renown for.


I really don't know what the optimum mix of measures would be to 'enforce' the 20 limit. I've stressed education in my point above. Traffic calming where funds permit is the other effective option. As yet I'm not sure how the limit will be adopted by councils, but many are now applying it to residential streets, as Portmouth and others in it's footsteps are now doing.

You're confusing the debate somewhat by suggesting that the OP called for a blanket reduction in the 30mph limit - SP certainly made it clear in his 2nd post that is not what he was suggesting. Anyway, it's what's up for consultation that is important, not what you believe the OP said. I feel there's a lot of conjecture in your post as to how councils will respond. Ok, I'm often cynical about the attitude of councils and I fear that many will get the planning for 20 limits wrong. That depends a lot on the guidance on best practise given by the DfT.

I'm not sure that signage is of prohibitive cost, so councils making bad decisions on selecting 20 zones is not really the problem. Wouldn't the basic formula be quite easy to work out? If it's an arterial route it would be a 30 zone, with exceptions, such as routes through high density housing areas and town centres roads. It's going to be the be traffic calming measures that will be the cost headache.

kwackers
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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby kwackers » 4 Aug 2009, 9:14am

CREPELLO wrote:I really don't know what the optimum mix of measures would be to 'enforce' the 20 limit. I've stressed education in my point above. Traffic calming where funds permit is the other effective option. As yet I'm not sure how the limit will be adopted by councils, but many are now applying it to residential streets, as Portmouth and others in it's footsteps are now doing.

Don't get me wrong - if the local council deems a road or network of roads to be worthy of a reduction then that's fine - I have no problems with it. (With the proviso the actual speed reduction only comes from traffic calming).

You're confusing the debate somewhat by suggesting that the OP called for a blanket reduction in the 30mph limit - SP certainly made it clear in his 2nd post that is not what he was suggesting. Anyway, it's what's up for consultation that is important, not what you believe the OP said. I feel there's a lot of conjecture in your post as to how councils will respond. Ok, I'm often cynical about the attitude of councils and I fear that many will get the planning for 20 limits wrong. That depends a lot on the guidance on best practise given by the DfT.

I don't believe I am - the whole point of the OP and the groups that support is - IS a blanket reduction. At the moment non-signposted, street lamp lit roads automatically have a 30 limit, their idea is to reduce that to an automatic 20 limit. This requires nothing other than a change in the law since there is no signage to replace.
If this isn't the case there is actually nothing to discuss - all you have to do is lobby your local council to have the streets you believe to be a 20 limit reduced to that, there is no change to the law required.

My point about expense is that each road that the council wants to exclude from this automatic reduction requires consultation and signage putting up. This is expensive and covers a lot of main throughways, I reckon (and it is conjecture I admit) that many roads will be ignored due to the cost.

I'm not sure that signage is of prohibitive cost, so councils making bad decisions on selecting 20 zones is not really the problem. Wouldn't the basic formula be quite easy to work out? If it's an arterial route it would be a 30 zone, with exceptions, such as routes through high density housing areas and town centres roads. It's going to be the be traffic calming measures that will be the cost headache.

Does the proposed legislation automatically exclude arterial routes? (If so I probably skipped past that whilst trying to find anything pertinent in the diatribe of reasons as to why it was a good thing...)

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CREPELLO
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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby CREPELLO » 4 Aug 2009, 11:07pm

kwackers wrote:
CREPELLO wrote:You're confusing the debate somewhat by suggesting that the OP called for a blanket reduction in the 30mph limit - SP certainly made it clear in his 2nd post that is not what he was suggesting. Anyway, it's what's up for consultation that is important, not what you believe the OP said. I feel there's a lot of conjecture in your post as to how councils will respond. Ok, I'm often cynical about the attitude of councils and I fear that many will get the planning for 20 limits wrong. That depends a lot on the guidance on best practise given by the DfT.

I don't believe I am - the whole point of the OP and the groups that support is - IS a blanket reduction. At the moment non-signposted, street lamp lit roads automatically have a 30 limit, their idea is to reduce that to an automatic 20 limit. This requires nothing other than a change in the law since there is no signage to replace.
If this isn't the case there is actually nothing to discuss - all you have to do is lobby your local council to have the streets you believe to be a 20 limit reduced to that, there is no change to the law required.

Does the proposed legislation automatically exclude arterial routes? (If so I probably skipped past that whilst trying to find anything pertinent in the diatribe of reasons as to why it was a good thing...)


From the DfT consultation doc:
"In order to improve safety on the streets where people live, we are proposing to amend our guidance on speed limits, recommending that highway authorities, over time, introduce 20 mph zones or limits into streets that are primarily residential in nature, or other areas where pedestrian and cyclist movements are high (for example around schools or markets) and which are not part of any major through route."

kwackers
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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby kwackers » 5 Aug 2009, 9:20am

CREPELLO wrote:From the DfT consultation doc:
"In order to improve safety on the streets where people live, we are proposing to amend our guidance on speed limits, recommending that highway authorities, over time, introduce 20 mph zones or limits into streets that are primarily residential in nature, or other areas where pedestrian and cyclist movements are high (for example around schools or markets) and which are not part of any major through route."


I'm confused. That's not what the OP says - nor is it what the various organisations (20's plenty etc) say, nor is it what the petition the OP links to says:-

In fact from the petition:
petition wrote:We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Restore the balance between traffic and people by making 20mph the default speed limit in towns to remove traffic threats to pedestrians and cyclists, children and the elderly


Now the only way you can make 20mph the 'default' limit is to change the law such that non-signposted, street lit areas default to 20 rather than 30.
This would catch all areas - including thoroughfares.

Back to my original point - if all you want is to reduce areas (such as Warrington have done with it's town centre) to 20mph you need nothing but to persuade the council to put up 20mph signs, there is no need to sign a petition, join the various pressure groups or anything such like.
Those groups, the petition etc exist to pressure the government into a blanket 30 change, something I oppose.
Ignoring all else I think it's better when entering a 20 zone to see the huge plates they like to put up around them rather than to have 'nothing', in terms of safety I reckon the enormous plates are far superior to nothingness...

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CREPELLO
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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby CREPELLO » 5 Aug 2009, 10:04am

Mmm, well Kwackers, you right to highlight a slight discrepancy, if only because the petition does seem to call for a blanket 20 limit and we've all been arguing for 20 with signed exceptions. I myself have never argued for a blanket 20, believing that it would prove unworkable, politically and practically. But I think most people on this thread have argued for 20 limits in residential areas town centre areas or main roads where there is a high volume of cycle and pedestrian activity.

The CTC response to the DfT consultation is in line with this:

" How can we most effectively promote the implementation of 20 mph
zone schemes in residential areas? What other measures should be
encouraging to reduce pedestrian and cyclist casualties in towns?


Making 20 mph the speed limit in ‘town of city streets… where pedestrian and
cycle movements are high’ (p. 52) is a very encouraging step. However, there
has been a lack of consistency in the message that all urban streets where cycle
or pedestrian movements are high should be considered. As in the phrasing of
this question, this has too often been contracted to just ‘residential areas’.
We also suggest that restricting advice to streets ‘where pedestrian and cycle
movements are high’ may mean that streets where cycle and pedestrian traffic is
suppressed by high traffic volume/speed will be left out. Thus a key route may
have low cycle usage because of concerns about dangers on the route from fast
moving traffic. Lowering the speed limit may encourage more pedestrian and
cycle usage, but under the suggested policy would not be prioritised.
We believe this would be better undertaken by a wider move to making 20 mph
the default urban speed limit, with local authorities varying the speed up to 30
mph on roads which are predominantly used for traffic movement, and where
accessibility by physically active modes is not compromised. Such an approach
would be far less costly than that proposed and has been successfully trialled in
Portsmouth.

The Department should allow a relaxation of the requirements on local authorities
to implement both 20 limits and zones – both are over-prescriptive."

The full CTC response is here http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Campaigns/0907_CTC_A-safer-way-res_con.pdf

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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby George Riches » 5 Aug 2009, 10:31am

Is the debate clouded by the fact that areas built after the mid 1950's have generally been built with segregation of motor and pedestrian traffic as an objective, while pre-war there was an assumption of little motor traffic? Cars have been shoe-horned into areas which were not designed for them, pushing pedestrians and cyclists out.

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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby Sares » 5 Aug 2009, 11:44am

I agree that cars are now driven in many places that were never designed for them, which pushes other users out, but when cars are driven in places that are designed for them (eg. Coventry ring road) the results are even worse and other users are excluded even more effectively. So really, I'd rather be in the places that weren't designed for cars.

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CREPELLO
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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby CREPELLO » 5 Aug 2009, 12:27pm

Those roads that were designed for cars (I'm thinking more the wider arterial roads) where traffic may at present often be going at 40mph are less likely to become a 20 limit. In those cases, where it's possible I think high quality cycle tracks should become a more common part of the roadscape. So I'm thinking less the shared pavement tracks that are dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians (at the speeds I want to cycle anyway) and more of wide cycle tracks on the road that have minimal diversionary routing (onto pavements etc). I'm in favour of these as long as the arrangement at junctions allows safe continuous cycling along the main route. Perhaps the road markings could be improved by pushing back the give way markings by a foot or so, effectively increasing the width of the cycle lane at that point, so lessening the hazard of 'clutch creep' that drivers so often do at junctions, just as I'm passing :x .

This way councils may maintain a balance in road safety policy that can keep most people happy, excepting the libertarian Clarksonion petrolheads of course.

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Re: Should CTC join campaigns for 20mph?

Postby George Riches » 5 Aug 2009, 1:52pm

Some roads with a lot of 40 mph traffic are relatively cycle friendly; those which are wide enough for motorists to safely overtake cyclists without changing lanes and where the path of cyclists and motorists rarely cross.

It seems to me that the CTC's position is that the majority of roads in built up areas should have 20 mph speed limits, although that's unnecessary where there's a suitable alternative for cyclists.