20mph speed limit

20 mph Yes or No

Every household has received the Council’s initial document outlining its proposals for a 20mph speed limit on residential roads in North-East Croydon. The organisations, “Alliance of British Drivers” and “Say NO to 20mph in north Croydon”, have distributed their leaflets encouraging residents to oppose the Council’s proposals. As ECCO doesn’t have a position on this proposal, I thought it might be helpful to outline the arguments and encourage people to express their views.

NO

The “Alliance of British Drivers” put forward the following arguments;

  1. The Council is pre-empting a government study of the issues.
  2. Restricting speeds to 20 mph will increase journey times substantially.
  3. There is no proof that there are road safety benefits.
  4. Forcing people to slow down will cause greater air pollution, due to increased fuel consumption.
  5. Consultation in towns such as Worthing has been inadequate and not reflective of residents’ views and thus we should oppose this proposal as it would be an imposition against our wills.
  6. Do we want drivers fined and given points for exceeding the speed limit of 20mph?
  7. There are already speed humps to reduce traffic speeds and many injuries to pedestrians and cyclists occur at low speed.
  8. The cost of implementing the change will be £300,000, which is a waste of our money.

The “Say NO to 20mph in north Croydon” put forward the following arguments;

  1. There are better ways to spend money on improving road safety. 20mph may be right for some roads, but not all roads, except for main roads, in the area.
  2. The application of 20mph should be determined by individual road consultation and applied road by road according to local wishes.
  3. Why should drivers be fined for going at 24mph where this is safe and normal?
  4. The 20mph would put up costs and increase journey times for no good reason.
  5. Slowing traffic to 20mph means more vehicles on the road as it will take longer for vehicles to travel the length of the road.
  6. Slower traffic means worse fuel economy and worse air pollution.
  7. Why should we pay higher council tax to provide extra buses and higher prices in the shops
  8. due to the 20mph speed limit.
  9. Safety data shows more accidents in 20mph areas than in 30mph areas, and that the police have better things to do than operate speed traps.
  10. Most pedestrian and cyclist injuries occur in busy streets and at slow speeds.

They both have websites where you can find more details.

Alliance of British Drivers: http://www.abd.org.uk/

Alliance of British Drivers (London Region): http://www.freedomfordrivers.org/

ABD Croydon20 http://www.freedomfordrivers.org/Croydon20Details.htm

Say NO to 20mph in north Croydon: http://saynoto20.org.uk/

YES

The Council’s position is as follows;

  1. A pilot has been trialled in north Croydon and the majority of respodents to consultation were in agreement that the speed limit should be lowered to 20mph. On the basis of this, the Council is extending the proposal to North-East Croydon.
  2. Research and evidence has demonstrated clear benefits and the main aims are to;
    1. Improve road safety (in 2014 there were 1,114 recorded casualties on Croydon Roads)
    2. Encourage walking and cycling
    3. Improve the local environment

The Council’s information on the proposal can be found at; http://news.croydon.gov.uk/council-launches-new-20mph-limit-proposals/

The on-line consultation document can be found at: https://www.croydon.gov.uk/transportandstreets/roadsafety/20mph-proposal-for-residential-roads/north-east-croydon-area-2-proposal

ECCO specific Observations

  • The evidence of the Lebanon Rd One-Way proposals and implementation is that there has been a marked improvement in the environment due to a reduction in traffic flows; increased presence of cyclists; oddly increase in availability of parking bays.
    • However, it does appear that some traffic has been displaced on to Addiscombe Court Rd, and from my informal observations a notable minority show little regard for speed limits or the impact on residents as they use it as a rat-run.
    • Some motorcyclists do not recognise that the one-way system applies to them, and think the cycle-route signs allow them to drive in either direction.
    • A few drivers still seem oblivious to road signs, or simply do not recognise “No Entry” road signs.
  • Most ECCO area residents drive relatively slowly around the area, which suggests that a 20mph speed limit would have limited impact. It appears that it is primarily drivers from outside the restricted parking zone areas that tend to drive fast.
  • The ECCO area appears to be an area where residents do not own many cars and use them sparingly.
  • The level of car ownership is likely to fall as in the Menta-Redrow developments there are, due to the cost and limit of parking within the development, limits on how many residents can own cars. (The residents will not be eligible for Residents Parking Permits)
  • Cherry Orchard Rd and Lower Addiscombe Rd main roads are slow due to the very high volumes of people driving into Croydon at peak times, and there is a need to review how traffic lights and road layout can be improved to improve flow. The accessibility of the minor residential roads that enable drivers to avoid the key pinch points has encouraged the use of minor roads as rat-runs.
  • A 20mph speed limit will only be effective if it is enforced and that means speed cameras.
    • In my opinion, if it goes ahead the priority should be Addiscombe Court Rd in the first instance to dissuade anti-social drivers from using the road, particularly as some traffic has been displaced from Lebanon Rd and Tunstall Nursery School & Children’s Centre is in the area with all the risks associated with small children and traffic.

I would encourage everyone to consider the merits of the proposal; ask as many questions as you want of the Council; and then express your views. It is really important that if the 20mph speed limit is to be implemented, it is because ECCO residents support it.

The Deadline for local consultation & your views is 20 May 2016

Rod Davies

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