This is my response to West Sussex County Council regarding the proposed 20mph zone for Worthing.
Has anyone actually thought this through?
First of all, we have a safety issue here. You are proposing that cars, motorbikes, buses
and cyclists will all be travell-ing at the same speed, with no separation? This is ludicrous and will no doubt cause more accidents and injuries and probably deaths.
Pollution – if anyone on the council understands anything about the internal combustion engine, you would realise that motor cars are at their most efficient in the highest gear with the lowest rpm. For most cars this would be 60-70 mph and for high performance cars 80mph+. At 20mph, you are looking at pushing almost every car into a lower gear than that used at 30mph. This will increase co2 emissions by a massive amount. Mind you, it will also increase fuel consumption to such an extent that Mr Osborne will be paying for the county council Christmas party – a tax increase all chancellors dream about and not of his making. Well done!.
We will also be looking at a total disruption of the bus services – of which I am a frequent user. How on earth do you expect the timetables to be maintained with this plan? It is going to be a nightmare.
What would be a good idea, instead of bringing motorists (I include buses) down to the lowest common denominator, viz. cyclists, we should be looking at other areas to improve road safety.
First of all, it would be most beneficial (especially to pedestrians) for drivers to use their headlights at lighting up times and in adverse weather. If anyone in the council is up and about at daybreak one would notice that 40 per cent plus of drivers break the law in this respect. Why not provide extra funding to the police to enforce current laws? This would apply to cyclists as well as motorists!
Bearing in mind cyclists pay no vehicle excise duty and for the large part are not insured (complete madness – this should now be compulsory), it is not unreasonable to insist, nay enforce, their legal obligations. There have been too many instances where cyclists have nearly run down people in Warwick Street alone and they do so with impunity, dodging between the pedestrians (in a pedestrianised precinct clearly marked ‘no cycling’) and the tables and chairs of the various cafés and restaurants. As a frequent bus passenger, I see the behaviour of cyclists and on the whole it is nothing short of deplorable; undertaking buses on the pavement while passengers are alighting is a regular occurrence. Riding through red lights, or the best one where they hop onto the pavements and cross the junction that way (pretending not to go through a red light). The list is endless.
Indeed, the Metropolitan Police recently carried out a purge following the deaths of several cyclists earlier in the year. Over the three-month period, it was noticeable that 70 per cent of the prosecutions were for cyclists and 30 per cent for motorists.
In short, you are going to allow the digressers more power by dictating the speed of the traffic, where no motor vehicle can avoid their path. They are the kings of the road already and would seem to be ‘above the law’. Your idea is nonsense and typical of out of touch politicians.
If we are going to have a 20mph zone, then I think most people would be happy to see it implemented around schools. There, it could be enforced together with those selfish parents who insist on parking on the yellow zigzag lines at the school gates. Please think again.
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