Sensible councillor prevails!!! - cockle {P}
Local councillor on the radio this evening has publicly stated that the council have no intention of reducing a speed limit!

Near to where I live is an upper secondary school, pupils from 14 and above, it is sited on one side of a dual carriageway A-road, all the housing is on the other side of the road; and I mean ALL the housing. When the school was built a footbridge was provided right outside the gate to cross the road and barriers provided to prevent pupils crossing the road. Some persisted on jumping these barriers so the council put up additional fences in the wide central reservation to give further discouragement.

The headteacher has been waging a campaign to get the limit reduced from 40 to 30 on this 'dangerous stretch of road', the council responded by putting up signs which flash if you exceed the limit so reminding you to slow down plus lots of signs warning of the school entrances.

Not content with this the headteacher said that only a limit reduction will be good enough and carried on his campaign.

Tonight the local councillor in charge of Transport said that the council feel they have now done more than enough, the children should use the bridge provided, at great expense; that they could not justify lowering the limit on a main route across the town; there have been no injury accidents; and that the police have said that they would not police a lower limit as it would not be justified.
He also went on to say that perhaps the school would be spending its time better if it were to educate the children to behave safely on the roads as this would benefit them everywhere and not just outside their school.

A councillor talking some sense, at last! I nearly choked on my tea!

Sensible councillor prevails!!! - volvoman
Whilst I don't know the location you speak of and can't comment on it specifically, I'd be more interested to know what the average speed on the road in question is at school times. Limits are one thing but actual speeds are quite another and if the current 40mph limit is as widely abused as most are then I can understand why the school want it reduced.

So far as I understand it speed limit restrictions specifically sited outside schools apply only during school opening/closing times - about 1 hour per day - and only cover a distance of a few hundred yards. Such a restriction is hardly going to seriously inconvenience anyone.

The school near me has a 20mph limit outside it stretching no more than 200-300m and operating for less than 1 hour per day, 5 days per week. It simply asks drivers to observe a 10mph speed reduction to 20mph for
about 30 seconds but can they do it ? No, sadly most drivers just can't seem to slow down. Today, like every day, I saw a number of cars speeding towards, past and away from the school at quite frightening speeds. Why people feel the need to do this is quite beyond me.

So far as road safety is concerned I fully agree that children need to be taught the rules but at the end of the day kids are kids - they do take chances, they do make mistakes and they do act impulsively from time to time. Slowing the traffic outside a school means that any child hit by a car is less likely to be killed and I tend to support such measures for that reason. From the driver's point of view by the way, if a child crossing the road is involved in a high speed accident it won't just be the child who's killed or injured, other drivers may well be hurt/killed too so I believe everyone should be aware of the danger and act accordingly.
Sensible councillor prevails!!! - AlanGowdy
I used to live in a small village plagued by speeding vehicles and the locals petitioned for width restrictors or sleeping policemen to slow the traffic. A councillor told me that this would never happen as the road would then lose its A-road status and the downgrading would reduce the maintenance subsidy the council received from central government. May not apply in this case.....
Sensible councillor prevails!!! - volvoman
That rings true Alan - I seem to remember being told something like that when traffic calming measures were being considered in this area.
The truth is that 'A' roads are in many cases just as residential as any others and yet councils are reluctant to apply the same criteria and measures to them and the residents are left to suffer.
Sensible councillor prevails!!! - cockle {P}
Volvoman, I accept some of your points in general, I should have pointed out that this same councillor has reduced the limit on another stretch of dual carriageway because the two schools on it are served by pedestrian crossings. Whereas in the case of this school they have actually looked at the situation and come to what I consider to be a reasonable decision.
A survey was carried out on the road a little while back and IIRC 17% of vehicles exceeded the 40 limit, sadly it wasn't broken down into times of the day. After the flashing signs were put up this 17% was reduced to approx 7%, so they appear to have an effect. I use the road quite often around school times and I don't seem to be overtaken that often, and no, it not because I'm doing 70, either!! :-)

What I found interesting was that the police would not support nor would want to enforce a reduction, as you all probably know, Essex Police are not exactly backward in their use of cameras, etc. Therefore one must assume that they could see no logic for it.

I'm interested in the fact that in your area the 20 limits around schools only operate around school times, is this an experiment?
Here all the 20 limits are permanent 24/7, which is having an interesting effect. What tends to happen now is that the children congregate in these areas after school and play in the streets because they are now told that these roads are 'safe'. This has had two knock on effects, the locals around the schools are now not happy because the children are whizzing around their parked cars on skateboards and bikes; secondly, everyone has to be cautious all the time as they shoot out from the side roads and the pavements because they perceive no threat from the road. Unfortunately, although a child would more likely survive an impact at that speed it still won't improve their health.

As an aside I was doing 20 in the 20 limit past my son's school last week and I was overtaken by three boys on bikes.... they were on the pavement! I don't think we'll ever win!!
Sensible councillor prevails!!! - volvoman
Hi Cockle - no the speed limit outside my son's school is permanent and does help reduce a serious problem even if it doesn't solve it. It's sad but I think we all need to remember that people routinely travel at least 10mph above the limit prescribed limit. I doubt, therefore, whether a 30 limit in a 40 zone would reduce average speeds to less than 30.

In the final analysis it's rather like all English football fans being branded hooligans due to the activities of a minority. The crazy activities of some motorists mean that we all suffer in the end due to more traffic calming measures, lower speed limits etc. most of which wouldn't be necessary if only all motorists acted responsibly.

I can't help feeling that a single person being killed just because someone's late for a meeting or believes they're above the law and can drive as fast as they like is a real tragedy. To all those out there who speed - ask yourself how you'd feel if your partner and/or child was mown down and killed by someone who was late for a meeting or just in a hurry. It doesn't bear thinking about does it but it happens every single day!
Sensible councillor prevails!!! - Stargazer {P}
I would advocate the Australian system where EVERY school has a reduced limit (40kph IIRC) in the mornings and afternoons for about 90min when the children are exiting. This is regularly enforced and everybody obeys it. Outside these times the standard speed limits for the road apply (usually 50 or 60kph).

Works very well, just a few signs around each school zone.

Ian L.
Sensible councillor prevails!!! - matt35 {P}
Slightly off topic, but a child cyclist was killed some years ago at the end of the A12 as it enters Chelmsford from Colchester - there are flowers still on the dual carriageway island.
There is a footbridge about 100 yards beyond the roundabout where the accident happened.
Police accident investigators found that apparently some parents had made concrete ramps on the outside lanes so that kids could cycle through the gap in the central barrier.
There was no sign that the car was speeding - no comfort to the parents of the dead child or the driver of the car whose lifes changed forever.

Sensible councillor prevails!!! - tunacat
I can see how councils might be reluctant to put speed bumps or chicanes on a through route and risk losing a maintenance subsidy due to it having to be downgraded.
So why not put Gatsos on it?

I remember seeing some TV programme about the plight of a village, in Norfolk I think (but not that one near Thetford) bisected by a major trunk road where they'd tried all sorts of signs, humps and chicanes to get the traffic to adhere to the 30 limit, without much success. While the programme was being made one car hit the chicane, went out of control and crashed through a garden wall and only stopped when it was up against the wall of the house.
Why not put a Gatso there, I wondered?

The A57 at Todwick, S.Yorks: A nasty bend, and a few hundred yards later a traffic-lights crossroads. BOTH have been notorious for decades. Probably since the roads were built!
Are there any Gatsos or Red Light Cameras there? Still none when I last passed through, a few months ago.

Infant and junior school in local village: Front gate slap bang next to narrow road connecting dual-carriageway trunk road to affluent farmhouse-conversion district where many families run e.g. a Jeep Cherokee and Mitsubishi Evo. Only by God's grace has a child not been injured thus far. What finally happens recently? They put '20' signs up and paint a red strip (not even humped) and white '20' across the tarmac. Ooooh big deal! I've never seen ANY policemen in that area, let alone ones monitoring vehicle speeds.
Why not put a Gatso on it?

'Whoever' seem to be able to afford to liberally sprinkle these cameras on wide, unpopulated, straight, flat, open 'A' roads, yet appear very reluctant to put one at a place where, for years, it's been obvious to every man and his dog that there is a real use for one instead of faffing about with signs and humps.

WHY don't they do it?
Sensible councillor prevails!!! - pdc {P}
How many years is it since The Green Cross Code man was last seen on TV? Do kids these days know of "Stop, Look, Listen" ?

Yes there are some idiots out there, but is it fair to put all of the blame onto the motorist?
Sensible councillor prevails!!! - AlanGowdy
The issue of speed limits is always a contentious one. People tend to obey laws they respect - likewise speed limits. Unfortunately so many of the limits seem to be arbitrarily applied.

On a weekend morning on a rural motorway, dry road, light traffic, 100 MPH can be as safe as the limit of 70MPH.
In a town or village, busy street, it's raining, 20 MPH might be the fastest you could safely go even though the limit may be 30MPH.

Probably we need a thorough revision of all the limits nationwide. Of course when GPS speed limiters make the decisions for us this will be pretty academic......
Sensible councillor prevails!!! - peterb
I fear we're going off topic....


Value my car