LETTER: Lower speed limit is flawed

In reply to Duncan Kay’s letter in last week’s Herald, where he states all kinds of statistics supporting the introduction of a 20mph limit in residential areas, there are also plenty of other statistics that claim the opposite.

Google “BBC news, every single road death in the UK 1999-2010” and it will show that, in that 11-year period, there were 29 deaths in the Worthing area, but only three of these were on residential roads that would be affected by this scheme. The rest were on main trunk roads.

Yet again, there is an argument over possible further speed limit reductions to 20mph in towns and 40mph in the country. I imagine local councillors will be bombarded by requests for lower limits.

There’s just one hitch, though. Most of the arguments in favour of returning drivers to little short of a pre-1930 situation centre on safety and accident, death and injury reduction.

It is now two years since several towns and cities started introducing blanket 20mph speed limits – so we now have two years of accident statistics to study.

Much has been made of the increase in accidents last year – but these figures deserve detailed study.

Warrington introduced an 18-month 20mph pilot from February, 2009. Serious injuries increased by 66 per cent, minor injuries by 48 per cent. I could go on – but the trend is clear.

The continuous reduction of speed limits is a demonstrably flawed and failed road safety policy that has been brought about by emotional and woolly wishful thinking.

So, Mr Kay, please don’t assume we are all in favour of this scheme, you haven’t asked us all, and as usual, the silent majority get these things imposed upon them by the vocal, hand-wringing minority.

Steve Woods

Strathmore Road, Worthing