Safer for everyone

I FEEL I have to reply to yet another factually incorrect and misleading letter from Chris Gould regarding the 20’s Plenty campaign (August 27).

20’s Plenty for Worthing has never suggested the scheme would eliminate all collisions. In fact, it is precisely because people will always make mistakes that we need 20mph limits.

Research shows that children cannot accurately judge vehicle speeds above 20mph and a child hit at 30mph is seven times more likely to be killed than at 20mph. For the over 60s who sometimes struggle to cross roads due to fast moving traffic, a 30mph impact is ten times more likely to be fatal than 20mph.

If Chris had taken the time to actually read the presentation I give regarding 20’s Plenty (available on the campaign website), he’d know it is not just Portsmouth that has demonstrated that slower speeds on residential roads save lives. Hull first started introducing 20mph zones 15 years ago and reports a 90 per cent reduction in deaths and serious injuries and 75 per cent fewer injuries to children.

London has also been introducing 20mph zones for at least 15 years and now has almost four hundred 20mph zones. A recent study showed they achieved 42 per cent casualty reductions over and above any background reductions.

Chris goes on to claim bicycles are “impractical for carrying goods of any size” and “dangerous and unpleasant in wet weather”. I’m sure the many cyclists in Worthing would be surprised at these claims as they regularly load their shopping, work bags and children on to their bikes in all weathers.

If he came to Big Bike Sunday he would have seen a tricycle capable of carrying four children and with weather protection.

However 20’s Plenty is aimed at making the streets safer for everyone – not just cyclists but motorists, too.

I am well aware that some people may be unable to cycle and are dependent on a car – all the more reason why we should provide conditions where those that don’t need to use their cars feel safe enough to try alternatives, freeing up the roads and parking for those who don’t have an option.

The 20’s Plenty campaign believes that we need to balance the needs of all road users and that a few seconds increase in car journey times is a price worth paying for safer roads for everyone.

I encourage all your Worthing readers to show their support for 20’s Plenty and the cost savings it could achieve in their replies to the “Your Chance to be Chancellor” leaflets the council is currently distributing to all households.

Duncan Kay

Boundary Road