Missing the point

IN his criticism of my letter “Figuring it all out”, the writer of “Pollution Problem” claims to correct the fact that a 20mph limit will increase journey times over a mile by less than a minute.

The writer misses the point that in residential areas, speed is not constant at 20mph or 30mph, but is lower or zero for part of the journey because of traffic lights, junctions, pedestrian crossings, queues and other delays. The 20mph limit only affects the parts of the journey that could be 30mph and so the effect on travel times is small (and in surveys is considered acceptable by most people for the road safety benefit of a 20mph limit).

As with the writer, many of us are concerned with pollution, but on the claim of increased pollution with 20’s Plenty, the writer is again incorrect. The major effect on fuel consumption in residential areas is frequent acceleration and braking which uses much more fuel than travelling at a constant speed.

Accelerating to 30mph then braking during an urban journey uses more fuel than a similar journey in a 20mph limit where the car travels at a more constant speed. This has been proven and data is available. People will not “choke to death” with 20’s Plenty!

The writer says: “comments on improved trade and quality of life... I find these utter rubbish”. That is the writer’s opinion and prejudice. Where is his data? In my letter I was reporting facts from surveys of existing traffic calming schemes across Europe and the USA.

The writer challenges the 20’s Plenty campaign to get 40 000 signatures in Worthing. That would be an infeasible amount of work for any campaign organisation. However, in all surveys elsewhere of people’s attitude to 20mph limits on residential roads, around three-quarters are in favour. There is no reason to think that Worthing will be different. 20’s Plenty is supported by Worthing Borough Council (unanimously), local schools, residents’ associations and by letters and emails from individuals. Residents of 63 roads so far have said they wish for traffic speed reduction.

Yet again, the anti-20’s Plenty lobby provides no information, and resorts to emotion. Implementation of 20’s Plenty will lead to a healthier and happier town. It’s been proved elsewhere and can happen in Worthing.

Steve Carleysmith

Bulkington Avenue