Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Honestjohn
It seems that the cyclists in some government think tank have come up with a new idea that could eventually bring traffic down to walking pace.

Under the new rules, issued in a government circular earlier this month, speed limits will in future be set on the basis of mean average vehicle speeds. This ignores research from around the world that shows the most respected and effective limits are set at a speed only 15 per cent of drivers would exceed if there were no limits at all. It has also been found that drivers travelling at around this speed have the lowest accident involvement.

Obviously, changing to average speeds on already speed limited roads will result in continually lower speed limits being set. For example, if in a 30 limit the average speed is 20mph and the limit is therefore set at 20, the average will then fall to a much lower speed for the next time the limit is set.

If the rules were applied in London where the average speed of traffic is now 6mph, it will be as fast to walk, and much faster to cycle than it will be to drive.

Needless to say, this ridiculous new idea is opposed by 11 of the 18 police forces whjo were "consulted".

HJ
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - artful dodger {P}
It seems as though this Government is truly anti car in its outlook. Or is it the potential of extra fine income that drives it?

Thank goodness the majority of police forces understand that it is stupid. For laws to work well then the majority must see them as fair and reasonable. No doubt the police can see this will cause them more agrivation with the general public, ultimately alienating them still further and loosing public support.

A few days ago I heard on the radio that there has been at least one new law brought in each day since 1997. No wonder the laws of the land are coming into such disrepute.


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Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Stuartli
>>at least one new law brought in each day since 1997.>>

Socialist, Communist and similar governments are, by nature, control freaks.
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Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Wally Zebon
it will be as fast to
walk, and much faster to cycle than it will be to
drive.


Doesn't the proposed speed limit apply to cyclists? Surely they would be required to stick to the new 6mph limit.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - cheddar
I agree that the principal is daft however they are also saying that limits could be raised, i.e if there is a 60 limit section of road with a mean average in excess of 60, perhaps a long straightish A road, and no significant accident stats then the limit could be raised.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - TheOilBurner
" It seems that the cyclists in some government think tank have come up with a new idea that could eventually bring traffic down to walking pace. "

HJ, as rubbish as this proposed new rules are, I think it's rather disingenuous to blame "cyclists" for it.

The think tank is simply another bunch of do-gooders who know nothing about the real world, so no need to fans the flames of hatred between cyclists and drivers any further, is there?

I cycle and drive and think the idea is barmy, no real benefit to cyclists and obviously detrimental to drivers.

I can't see it happening any time soon anyway.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Honestjohn
Oilburner, you haven't met these people. I have. If they made a driving licence a qualification to work in the Dft, they've have to sack most of the policy makers. And how Dft do you have to be be to come up with Dft ideas like the subject of this thread?

HJ
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - TheOilBurner
Yeah, but no need to imply all cyclists are crazies intent on making all drivers lives a misery, eh? ;) Some of those non-drivers in the DfT may just use public transport or walk?

The lot of them probably should be sacked and replaced with something more competent, like Chimpanzees?

Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - neil
HJ - You are SO right on this.

This issue - and the implications of it, because otherwise many will see it as stopping us kiling baybees and little old laydees and will therefore shrug a vague agreement with what they haven't understoods- needs to be a front-page issue. Can't you get it there? Can't ANY of us?

N
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - bignick
Politicians and Civil Servants rarely if ever understand simple maths - IIRC Richard Nixon campaigned on a promise to ensure that "all our citizens have above average incomes" so the solution is obvious - if we all consistently drive at above average speeds the limit will rise and rise and rise.

Warp Factor 9 Mr Sulu
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - daveyjp
Isn't this how variable limits on M25 and M42 work? Assess traffic flows and speeds and control limit accordingly? From my experience they are very good at reducing average speed and end up bunching traffic and slowing it further, reducing in lower limit, resulting in standstill!
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - neil
Why isn't this 100 posts long by now...? Read it - again if needs be... its a HUGE threat to your enjoyment of motoring - and maybe your livelihood. Please don't sleepwalk into it!

N
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - madf
I find it hard to be excited. Muppetry from the Gov't - see Home Sellers Pack for houses - is the norm.

I would get excited if it was a sensible idea because they are so rare.


madf
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - neil
Aye, but that only affects you if you're thinking about selling your house!

This will affect you if you're thinking about driving your car....?

Look at H-J's reasoning about ratcheting down limits - believe me this can well happen... and try to get excited!

N
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Xileno {P}
Pathetic and unworkable.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - neil
Yes, pathetic and unworkable - but since when has that stopped this government?

Have you noticed how the ends of 30 limits are getting closer together - because central government now lets councils end them where they like, not according to the old, sensible parameters? (Mean speeds go up incidentally, because drivers ignore the whole limit, not just the bit they instincively know is based on prejudice not science!)

Watch this space!

N
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Lud
Xileno is right. It won't work because they will get in a mess over the calculations, and if the speed limits are ridiculously low, as only some are now, drivers will ignore them mainly with impunity, as they do now.

I would point out however that it isn't only socialist and communist politicians who are control freaks. Most run-of-the-mill politicians are. But I have to admit the present government takes a bit of beating for pointless monkey-like fiddling around with things that are all right as they are.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Thommo
Just to add to the government bashing. The soon to be Prime Minister our mate Gordy.

Does not hold a driving licence.

Has never driven a car.

Has always had a car and driver provided for him at someone else's expense.

Finally whilst I do not claim to know anything about the Chancellors personal tax affairs, being provided with a car and driver is to most people a taxable benefit, however there is a get out if it can be shown that there provision is necessary for security reasons related to the job being undertaken. So what would your guess be on Gordy paying tax on these benefits?
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Stuartli
>>So what would your guess be on Gordy paying tax on these benefits?>>

Or indeed on Number 11 (or is it Number 10 as Blair uses Number 11 because it's roomier?)

The PM, along with his courtage, is even driven the short distance to the House of Commons for PMQs and the traffic is held up to allow him to do so - yet the exercise would probably do him the world of good if he walked.
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Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Phil I
>does not hold a licence
>has never driven a car
>always had a car and driver.

Very True Thommo - but the man has only one eye.

Better in the passenger compartment than another nut behind the wheel.

Happy Motoring Phil I
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - bignick
Unpopular laws tend to be ignored and the few who do get prosecuted are viewed with sympathy rather than as criminals. Just think of the portrayal of various criminals as "heroes" - Norman Stanley Fletcher, Derek Trotter, Private Walker, Robin Hood etc

What we need is to get some sort of system in place that goes like this :

1.We have enough laws already.

2.To enact a new law the govt. has to repeal an old one.

I'm sure the trivia nuts will have huge lists of ancient laws that are still on the statute books but once we work through all those maybe we will start to have a sensible set of laws that will be respected and not ignored.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Thommo
For the trivia nuts:

Blair lives at number 11 which is essentially still a house.

Gordy lives at number 10 which is essentially government offices with a flat included but as he has two rug rats now he is reportedly less than happy with this arrangement.

The celebration of Christmas in any way shape of form is illegal. Law passed by Cromwell. I believe the major London stores have already opened their Christmas displays, I wish this was not true but it is.

Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - bignick
OK so maybe some of those old laws ARE worth keeping
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - artful dodger {P}
>>It won't work because they will get in a mess over the calculations, and if the speed limits are ridiculously low, as only some are now, drivers will ignore them mainly with impunity, as they do now.

Thinking about this logically, we at present have 10mph increments between speed limits. This averaging lark might work for higher limits. But with a 30mph limit, this would automatically drop to 20mph and then 10mph - just as HJ said or walking speed. Do I here it might be a good idea for a man with a red flag to walk infront of every veichle. That would reduce the unemployment level in a stroke - good government move for publicity.

For this impractical measure to work we would have to change our increments between limits. But on the horizon is road pricing. Surely we can combine road pricing with speed control. As a government project this would be ideal. More money for a world beating IT solution, its bound to work first time.

Another bright idea! Why not combine road pricing, speed control with GPS. You punch in your destination and the car will drive you there in complete safety, never exceeding the speed limit and avoiding all traffic jams. Oh just forgot how do we program in pedestrians and cyclists. System bound to fail as cannot control them. Back to the drawing board.


--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - corblimeyguvnar
Too tired of reading so many new 'ideas' from this stupid dam 'government'.
Emigration is looking more and more like a good option, jeez I hoped I'd never think like that!!!
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Drink Lager, Talk Piffle,
Drink Cider, Talk Sense (maybe?)
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Baskerville
Until I see a copy of this "government circular" or a documented story with provenance in a proper grown-up broadsheet newspaper I am dismissing this as tabloid sensationalism. Even you admit this is a think tank thinking idea and then claim in that oblique tabloid-esque way that they are laying down rules. Can think tanks do that? No, they can't. They come up with ideas that are then discussed. Since as you admit 11 of 18 police forces oppose it, this will never see the light of day. It's beneath you HJ.

Got a link we can read? Or do you just expect us all to jump to attention?
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Pugugly {P}
Another gem. Total Bonkerism........what is going on in this beknoghted country.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - nortones2
Baskerville: it must make any form of discussion difficult when some political segments push the most pessimistic view, before reading the document. Its not even necaesarily a Gubment line! Shades of fundamentalist squeaking against books they don't like, but haven't read, feeble cartoons that are propagated to outrage the pious.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Micky
Usual gubment spin, paint the worst picture possible and then introduce something that appears much more reasonable. The answer is in the voting booths, get rid of NuLabour and vote in ........... who?
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Manatee
The DfT circular:

www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_rdsafety/docume...f

(OVERLONG LINK CUT BACK BECAUSE IT DESTROYED THE FORMAT OF THE PAGE. BUT DON'T WORRY. IT STILL WORKS. HJ.)

The ABD press release:

www.abd.org.uk/pr/498.htm
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Bromptonaut
The circular runs to 40+ pages and deals with setting speed limits in a wide variety of contexts. Sensationalist reporting, below HJ's usual standards I'm afraid.

I am a civil servant and I'm well aware of your views on my profession and those who share it. Pity that you allow those predjudices to colour your reporting.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Xileno {P}
Ouch!
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Manatee
I have nothing against civil servants, but they have been known to produce bureaucratic drivel and make-work from time to time(so have I, but I am not on the public payroll).

As to the charge of sensational reporting - the circular is unequivocal in stating that the mean rather than the 85th percentile speed should be used as a basis for setting 'local' speed limits (i.e. not 'restricted area' or 60/70 NSLs, which if followed will result in lower speed limits, so if you think local limits are already low enough or too low then this is something to be concerned about.

It is official guidance not unofficial think tank stuff, so I think HJ is justified in reporting it. His somewhat colourful coverage is his opinion rather than an exaggeration of what has been published, and it is clear that that is the case so no problem from me.

Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Stuartli
>>Pity that you allow those predjudices to colour your reporting.>>

But even you must admit that, in certain circumstances, it's completely justified.

There's no "d" in prejudices by the way and, being fair, I won't blame all those virtually 100 per cent A Level passes...:-)


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Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - teabelly
The only way to fight this government clap trap is to put support and money behind the Safespeed campaign. Safespeed uncovered the DFT's total lack of understanding of speed cameras and has been continually putting them under pressure to come up with a decent road safety policy other than 'stick to the speed limit and you won't crash'. www.safespeed.org.uk/join.html - you know it makes sense :-)

This nonsense is all about driving being dumbed down so far that the morons that crash on A & B roads are doing 60 even when it is clearly stupid to do so but they have been brainswashed into thinking whatever speed is on the signs is ok. Using the 50% marker will just lead to more people ignoring speed limits and treating them with contempt rather than treating them as useful information. Of course we could all start driving everywhere flat out to raise the average ;-) On roads with little traffic you'd only need one cretin in a milk float or loony in a rocket car to skew the average quite substantially. As usual badly thought out legislation is foisted upon us by those that don't drive, or get chauffered around above the speed limit because it never applies to them.

The 85% speed has always been the safest speed. If in doubt when driving, drive at whatever speed those around you are doing, lower speed differentials tend to be safer.

The biggest annoyance with all this is the ridiculous enforcement of the HGV40. This has put the mean speed down on rural roads down to 40mph, which is handy as they just want to make travelling around the country as difficult as possible unless you want to cough up for toll roads. The irony is the mean speed in 40 limits is also 40 but they're statistically safer than 30 mph limit roads where the average speed is now 31 or 32 mph! Speed kills, my pink fluffy dice

I've got so fed up with this nonsense I have joined the ABD too....
teabelly
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - cheddar
Traffic density as a factor in accident stats is constantly ignored, as average speeds fall, traffic density increases!

Also the fact that speeding convictions are simply a 1/1000th second snap-shot in time and dont relate to how safe the convicted driver may have been for the other 99.999999999% of his journey or how dangerous the other motorists who passed the same camera within the limit may have been for the other 99.9999999999% of their journeys!
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Stuartli
>>as average speeds fall, traffic density increases!>>

There's a very simple reason. The slower traffic is moving the more vehicles can be accommodated safely.

Hence the speed limits at certain times of the day on the M25.

The faster you drive the more the distance you have to maintain between you and the vehicle in front.

Simple really.
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Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Manatee
I think it's simpler than that Stuartli. Lower speeds = greater journey time = more cars on the road at the same time = greater density.

Somebody (LJKS?) observed that the capacity of any road assuming 2 second gaps and ignoring the vehicle length is 1800 cars per hour regardless of the speed they travel at. I think the point was supposed to be that capacity is independent of speeds but I'm not sure how the variable speed limits on the M25 sit with that, though they seem to work - I think that might be more to do with getting everybody going at a similar speed rather than the reduction per se.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Stuartli
>>I think that might be more to do with getting everybody going at a similar speed rather than the reduction per se.>>

Precisely.
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Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Stuartli
>>Lower speeds = greater journey time = more cars on the road at the same time = greater density.>>

It's better to be moving at a consistent speed, no matter what the density, than slowing down and speeding up. The journey will prove just as quick and more relaxing in the end.

How many times have you been overtaken by someone determined to get to wherever they want in the shortest possible time and caught up with them at the next set of traffic lights?

I used to drive 18 miles each way into Preston to work and used to put my foot down on the dual carriageways.

Eventually I worked out by trial and error that if I maintained an average of approximately 50 mph as and where possible my journey times were very similar, but without the stress levels.
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Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - Stuartli
>>I used to drive 18 miles each way into Preston>>

I used to drive 18 miles into Preston and back daily was my intended comment...:-)
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Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - cheddar
There's a very simple reason. The slower traffic is moving the
more vehicles can be accommodated safely.


Actually Stuart my point was to the contrary, I was not very clear.

Increased traffic density is a contributory factor in accident rates so reducing average speeds increases traffic density so is therefore counter productive.

The success of variable speed limits on the M25 is a matter of optimising the amount of vehicles that can be accomodated safely taking into account the transition of vehicles on and off the m/way via closely spaced junctions etc.

However some more open stretches of motorway could clearly benefit from a higher average speed, a 10% increase in average speed will reduce journey times between junctions by 10% and accordingly reduce traffic density by 10%. Likewise there are numerous urban routes, dual carriageways with pedestrian barriers etc, that have ludicrously low 30 or 40 limits, raising the average speed on these roads, particularly in the PM rush hour would help unlock the smaller slower town centre capilliary roads more quickly, reducing traffic density, pollution, driver frustration and improving the quality of life for drivers and local residents alike.

So rather than seeing the M25 variable limits as a succesful reduction in speed limits a very worthwhile exercise would be to look at applying, say, a variable 30 to 60 limit on a barriered dual 40 limit commuter route and see what effect has.
Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - dieselhead
www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_rdsafety/docume...f

The report is the usual rubbish, I will try to explain...

"Balancing the need to travel with the need to improve quality of life is a key objective of the Department of transport"

What this really means..
We know this will be deeply unpopular and patronising to most motorists but if we make a statement pretending it's all about improving "quality of life" nobody should notice what we are up to... and anyway if it just saves just one life...

"It is also reflected in our, and wider government policies aimed at overcoming social exclusion and strengthening rural communities".

what this really means...
We couldn't give a stuff about rural communities (why should we care, rural people don't vote for the government?) and we actually despise the freedom given by the use of the private car (why can't these selfish fox murdering people travel on our excellent trains or cycle). But we welcome the opportunity to further regulate and control the lives of mostly law abiding people and generally show them who's boss.
We like to talk about " social exclusion" because it's trendy and PC and allows us to hire lots more social workers and penpushers and increase our budget. Anyone who disagrees with our PC values is either deranged or racist.. and anyway if it all saves one life....


"Effective speed management involves many components designed to work together to encourage, help and require road users to adopt appropriate and safe speeds".

what this really means...
We generally despise the people of England and their values and freedoms and we will seize any opportunity to erode them. Most have no common sense and need to be told what to think and do by nanny state. No way could they be trusted to make an important decision like how fast to drive a car safely. If it saves just one life it will all be justified...

"The guidance has been compiled with the help of a number of organisations both within and outside governmenr"

what this really means...
We have blown some serious taxpayers cash on this report so we will have to sack more nurses this year unless something is done about the underfunding crisis. Many cushy jobs have been justified, budgets increased (we like this because we measure our success on the amount of money we can spend/waste). The best bit is that everyone on this gravy train knows how to vote at the next election if they want to keep their job. and anyway if it saves one life it will be worth it....

Red Flag Rule From the Control Freaks - tedstryker
My guess is that this proposed legislation will be passed with barely any murmur of protest from the majority of British people who do not realise they are sleepwalking into an elected dictatorship imho.... just like they accepted other attacks on our country in handing over our powers of governance to unelected EU powers and others that are too numerous to mention ..Everyday new laws are passed and with them a little bit more of our freedom is lost forever.
We are supposed to be a patriotic nation but this only seems to extend to adorning cars with tacky flags to support a bunch of overpaid oafs on a foorball field - why don't these people ever speak out on matters that are important
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car