Based on the proposals presented at the meeting of the Worthing County Local Committee on September 3, it seems that far from applying a 20mph limit to residential roads throughout the town the options to be put out for public consultation on the 20mph speed limits include only those roads which already have low average speeds.
Other residential roads which include ‘distributor roads’ (i.e. rat runs) and those which have higher mean speeds are to be excluded.
The report in support of the proposals included statements such as: “Successful 20mph speed limits are generally self-enforcing. i.e the existing conditions of the road together with measures such as traffic calming or signing lead to a mean traffic speed compliant with the speed limit” and “Signed only 20mph speed limits are therefore most appropriate for areas where vehicle speeds are already low. If the mean speed is already at or below 24mph on a road, introducing a 20mph speed limit through signing alone is likely to lead to general compliance with the new speed limit.”
All this suggests that the introduction of 20mph limits to Worthing in it’s proposed form will do little or nothing to reduce speeds.
The introduction to the proposals includes the following breathtaking paragraph:
“The majority of roads likely to be treated are in residential neighbourhoods where the difference in speed may not be readily noticeable. Omitting the through routes where speeds are higher may therefore lead to disappointment for those wishing to see lower speeds on these roads.
“Also, most of the reported injury-accidents generally do not occur in the residential roads where 20mph limits tend to apply more readily.”
As a resident of one of the residential roads which experience excessive speed I have previously been perfectly content to see a town wide 20mph limit introduced on all but major roads in the expectation that speeds would be reduced. However, these proposals do nothing to address the issue and a public consultation on the proposals as they stand is simply a waste of time and money.
There needs to be a radical rethink to produce sensible proposals which actually address the need to reduce excessive speed throughout the town.