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An ineffective policy on city speed limits
9:28am Friday 1st June 2012 in Letters
ANDREW Hitchon raises some pertinent points about Labour’s decision to introduce a blanket 20mph limit in residential areas (Blanket speeds just suffocating, The Press, May 29).
The Liberal Democrat group supports targeted 20mph limits where they are needed, but not a blanket approach. At present the council follows this case-by-case approach and we have seen a gradual reduction in the numbers killed or seriously injured on our roads since 2001.
The evidence used to support blanket 20mph limits is mixed. In Portsmouth, the UK’s first city-wide scheme, the number of people killed or seriously injured went up after the limit was lowered.
There is little evidence that a blanket approach causes a shift away from the car. Police have consistently said that they don’t have the resources to routinely enforce such a limit. And it would be costly, with some estimates putting the final figure at £1 million.
Department for Transport statistics show a significant increase in fuel consumption of about 5.8 miles per gallon for motorists in 20mph zones and the AA estimate cutting the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph on the wrong roads can increase CO2 emissions by more than ten per cent.
All in all, this is an expensive, ineffective and potentially unenforceable policy.