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Safety comes first
I FREQUENTLY visit York to visit my daughter and young grandchildren. I’ve always admired the levels of cycling and walking in York, and the quality of infrastructure for both, compared to most cities I’ve been to. For the same reason, I’m impressed that York is taking the plunge and reducing speeds to 20mph on residential roads.
With the best will in the world, you can’t completely prevent children doing silly things on roads. My eldest grandchild is usually very careful, and both his parents and I have taken great pains to educate him about road safety, but a few years ago he ran out between two cars and was hit by a 4-x4. Luckily it was only travelling at about 15 to 20mph, the driver braked sharply and he was more or less unharmed. At 25 or 30mph, it would have been a different story.
Congratulations York, for taking steps so that more collisions will have such happy endings.
Helen Elliott Belfast, Northern Ireland.
• I READ with interest the comment made by Tracey Simpson-Laing (Letters, September 5) about many Acomb residents requesting a 20mph in their streets. It never ceases to amaze me what councillors will tell people just to justify what they would like, especially if they are cyclists.
Maybe if street lights were reinstated to how they were, we would be able to see pedestrians and cyclists without having to reduce speed at all; maybe if Campbell Avenue had any street lights working at all this would be a bonus.
I think if an accident investigator is giving his professional opinion it should have more standing than the wishes of a cycle-riding councillor.
Beverley Foster, Campbell Avenue, Holgate , York.
• IN REPLY to Mike Natt who says he would like to see pedestrians sticking to the Green Cross Code and says that would save more lives than a 20mph zone (The Press, August 31), I and my colleagues as school crossing officers use the code while wearing fluorescent coats, hat and pole with a Stop Sign on it.
Unfortunately not all vehicles slow down and stop for us; some wave, some shout or give the finger salute. I have also witnessed children and adults waiting for up to 15 minutes and more standing at the curb side while vehicles make no attempt to slow down or stop, in all weathers.
I say again to all: switch on the brain before starting your car, think safety, the accident could be you.
PJ Markwick, North Moor Gardens, Huntington , York.
• I WOULD like to draw readers’ attention to a very obvious parallel between the fuss being made about the change to 20mph speed limits, and another change in council policy seven years ago.
In 2005, it was the advent of fortnightly black bin collections. From the sob stories of families amid overflowing bins, and the protesting letters in this column, you would have thought we were being asked to move back into Victorian London. In fact, it’s been an overwhelming success that has not only saved council taxpayers’ money, but also helped us learn to recycle more and waste less. It’s now standard practice in every local authority in England – or it was until Eric Pickles stuck his oar in.
In 2012, it’s a switch to driving at 20mph in residential areas. It seems like an affront to some only because it’s not what they’re used to. Within a few years most of us will be looking back and thinking, “Imagine we used to think 30 was the right speed for residential streets.”
To sum it up: previously it was about the environment versus personal convenience, the environment prevailed; now let the safety and health, particularly of our youngest citizens, prevail.
Andreas Heinemeyer Holly Bank Grove, York.