Figuring it all out

THE 20’s Plenty for Worthing campaign has raised a lot of passion.

Letters in the Herald tell us that the aim is to “drive us out of our cars” and it’s part of an “incessant vendetta against the motor car”.

These reactions seem to show a fear of the unfamiliar and a reluctance to contemplate change.

So, perhaps a reminder of the facts will relieve people’s worries.

In all surveys, people have supported 20mph limits after experiencing them. Averaging all data, casualties fall at 20mph compared with 30mph. There is no doubt about this. Car journeys do not take significantly longer – less than one minute extra over a mile at 20mph. Even the AA, staunch supporter of the motorist, says “20mph zones should become more commonplace in residential areas”.

From an environmental viewpoint, at 20mph noise is less and emissions are not increased. Quality of life gets better and, where data has been collected, house prices rise; people prefer to live where traffic is slower. In the only survey of businesses that I could find, two-thirds found that traffic calming improved trade – 20 mph makes areas more shopper-friendly.

The 20mph limit is enforceable – in practice, average speed does reduce and, for those speeding, the police are obliged to act. The financial cost of 20’s Plenty is much less than the alternative total cost of several smaller 20mph areas plus School Safety Zones plus the cost to society of more accidents at higher speeds.

So what is it that people so object to in 20mph limits? A vociferous few argue against 20’s Plenty with emotion and not much evidence; the rather quieter majority have facts to show the benefits of implementing 20’s Plenty in Worthing.

Do you wish to realise the vision of a happier and healthier town with a friendly mix of walkers, cyclists and watchful motorists? We need to act! Go to the 20splentyforworthing website, sign the 20’s Plenty petition, display a sticker, tell your county councillor, ask your friends and family to support 20’s Plenty. 20’s Plenty will happen if the majority show their support.

Steve Carleysmith

Bulkington Avenue