/ 20mph limit on urban roads in Scotland?

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alibrightman on 18 Jan 2019

The Scottish Parliament is collecting views on a proposal to reduce the default speed limit on most urban and residential streets in Scotland from 30mph to 20mph.  They are running an online survey until 28th January.  You can find the survey here:

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/20mphBill/

Cheers

Alistair

Northern Star on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to alibrightman:

Really, in light of the evidence that they don't work?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/17/20mph-limit-dangerous-costly-reverse-council-admits/

Haven't the Scottish government got better things to be spending their money on at the moment?

10
DaveHK - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Northern Star:

> Really, in light of the evidence that they don't work?

Perhaps it takes more than a year to have an impact? I'd like to see a longer term study before I made that call.

The first set of stats on the A9 average speed cameras showed little change in accident rates but since then I believe they have declined.

girlymonkey - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Northern Star:

If you read the article to the end, it says they do work if traffic calming measures are also introduced. 

Northern Star on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to alibrightman:

Not convinced - it's the anti speed lobby in action again focusing on speed when the real elephant in the room that could so easily be tackled to improve road safety is improved driver training and increased traffic officers looking out for plain and simple 'bad driving'. 

With little positive evidence to support 20mph zones, and some negative evidence (i.e. the huge cost of implementation and substantially increased pollution due to vehicles constantly slowing down and accelerating up around chicanes, speed humps etc), perhaps building segregated cycle lanes so that people have a realistic option not to drive would be a much better use of the same money?

There is limited money in the pot and by choosing to waste money on such an unproven scheme you are depriving schools, hospitals, social care etc of much needed funding.  And who knows how many lives could be saved/improved if these vital services had a little bit more to go round.

6
gravy - on 18 Jan 2019

Anecdotally, I live in a 20mph zone and it is much appreciated by the residents - cars do drive more calmly and it is much more pleasant for bikes and peds, I can see the appeal.

1
DaveHK - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Northern Star:

> Not convinced - it's the anti speed lobby in action again focusing on speed

The article you posted looks a lot like the pro-car lobby to me.

1
Northern Star on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

>If you read the article to the end, it says they do work if traffic calming measures are also introduced. 

Yes but there is a HUGE cost and associated roadworks/disruption to install traffic calming measures.  That's not to mention the increased pollution levels on residential streets by traffic constantly braking or accelerating between speed humps.  Would you rather the government spent it's money on giving more to the NHS to save countless lives, or spent the same money covering the country is speed humps instead - because that's what it comes down to at the end of the day!

3
summo on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Northern Star:

> Really

Maybe they would work if it wasn't possible to get caught speeding in urban areas multiple times and still keep your licence.

Minimum 6 points and a 50% of your monthly salary fine. People will soon slow down. 

 

5
oldbloke - on 18 Jan 2019

 

I also live in a 20 zone and am surrounded by them.  Most cars ignore it, police ignore it (both driving and not enforcing).  It has probably made the 40 in a 30 drivers switch to 30 in a 20 which may be the real benefit.

Rod King - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Northern Star:

This Telegraph report has been widely debunked. See http://www.20splenty.org/freddie_star

 

Rod King - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Northern Star:

The proposal for a Scottish National 20mph default is without speed bumps. In fact NICE, NHS, Public Health Scotland, Clean Air UK, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, etc all call for a national 20mph default.

knighty - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to alibrightman:

I live in Bristol, where there are a lot of 20mph zones. The local council justify it by showing tenuous stats to single digit reductions in deaths of pedestrians per year.

Personally, I dislike them as a cyclist. It narrows the speed differential between traffic and bicycles, which I find increases the likelihood of unsafe overtaking of cyclists.

Though it does fit nicely with the anti car agenda that cities have at the moment - quite rightly too, given the traffic and pollution levels.

At which point I don't know what to think!!

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

> If you read the article to the end, it says they do work if traffic calming measures are also introduced.

20mph *zones* (mandatory traffic calming) do work, though they work because of the traffic calming, not because of the 20 limit - there are plenty of residential streets in the newer bits of MK with 30 limits where it is impossible to exceed 20mph.  20mph *limits* seem to be roundly ignored, except where camera-enforced (there's one in Bromham near Bedford which has SPECS cameras!)

However, 20mph limits on a blanket basis including thoroughfares that happen to have houses on them are just madness.  This is what London has done and all it does is slow the buses down which is not a benefit as it makes public transport even less attractive.

They'd probably save more lives by making the default on rural single carriageways 50.  This doesn't just slow people down and thus mean their reactions will be better fitted to the road, but also means there is no need for any overtaking (other than tractors and cyclists) as lorries are now also allowed 50 on these roads (for the same reason), and on single carriageways a good many accidents are due to overtaking.

Post edited at 09:23
Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to knighty:

> Personally, I dislike them as a cyclist. It narrows the speed differential between traffic and bicycles, which I find increases the likelihood of unsafe overtaking of cyclists.

> Though it does fit nicely with the anti car agenda that cities have at the moment - quite rightly too, given the traffic and pollution levels.

They are also anti-bus[1].  If you want to discourage cars, the best way is a combination of the carrot (good public transport, which 20 limits directly work *against*, not to mention the scariness of being overtaken by a bus doing 20mph which takes some time) and the stick (road pricing or congestion charging).

[1] Yes, buses also pollute at the point of use, but I reckon within 20 years most will be electric.

girlymonkey - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

So traffic going at 20mph does work then, it's just that people won't stick to it. This would change with time, I think. If all residential areas were 20mph, then new drivers would accept this as the norm and stick to it (mostly) and gradually driving habits change. Traffic calming enforces it in the mean time. 

I don't know about where you live, but around here you never see a full size bus used to capacity. Most could be replaced with minibusses and have no knock on effect, which would be much better suited to roads with traffic calming etc. 

Separate cycle lanes would also help. Where I live they have marked the pavement as shared use, so I use the road as I cycle too fast for a shared use (standard width) pavement. I'm not sure I ever see bikes on it. The road could be narrowed which would slow the traffic and a cycle lane built in the space, thus not costing any more than just building a cycle lane but having a traffic calming effect anyway. Obviously different areas have different issues, but I'm sure they can be worked around.

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

> I don't know about where you live, but around here you never see a full size bus used to capacity. Most could be replaced with minibusses and have no knock on effect, which would be much better suited to roads with traffic calming etc. 

 

Thus speaks a person who never used a Merc Vario derived minibus in the days they were common.  They very much *don't* deal with traffic calming better, they throw you in the air at every speedbump due to the limited suspension you can fit in such a vehicle.  When I first moved to MK I didn't have a car, and one reason I hurried to get one was back pain caused by being catapulted over about 40 of these on the winding way to work each day on the bus.

Full sized buses (even shorter ones) are *much* better in this regard.

There's also the issue that a low floor minibus is a difficult thing to make, and wheelchair access must be catered for.

> Separate cycle lanes would also help. Where I live they have marked the pavement as shared use, so I use the road as I cycle too fast for a shared use (standard width) pavement. I'm not sure I ever see bikes on it. The road could be narrowed which would slow the traffic and a cycle lane built in the space, thus not costing any more than just building a cycle lane but having a traffic calming effect anyway. Obviously different areas have different issues, but I'm sure they can be worked around.

I do agree with widespread provision of Dutch-style cycle facilities, and this could be provided by narrowing the traffic lanes or in some cases making them one way.

Post edited at 09:44
girlymonkey - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Thus speaks a person who never used a Merc Vario derived minibus in the days they were common.  They very much *don't* deal with traffic calming better, they throw you in the air at every speedbump due to the limited suspension you can fit in such a vehicle.  When I first moved to MK I didn't have a car, and one reason I hurried to get one was back pain caused by being catapulted over about 40 of these on the winding way to work each day on the bus.

But why would that be relevant when we are talking modern vehicles?! Bus companies could choose a suitable bus instead!!

> There's also the issue that a low floor minibus is a difficult thing to make, and wheelchair access must be catered for.

Agreed. I'd like to think it shouldn't be beyond the wit of modern designers to make them, but for there to be the demand the traffic calming measures would need to be widely adopted nationwide. 

> I do agree with widespread provision of Dutch-style cycle facilities, and this could be provided by narrowing the traffic lanes or in some cases making them one way.

 

nutme - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to oldbloke:

> I also live in a 20 zone and am surrounded by them.  Most cars ignore it, police ignore it (both driving and not enforcing).  It has probably made the 40 in a 30 drivers switch to 30 in a 20 which may be the real benefit.


Same expirience here in London. Police don't care about enforcing any rules on roads at all. In fact coppers love to park on bicycle lanes and jumps red lights themselfs. I would really expect them to set an example for a start.

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

> But why would that be relevant when we are talking modern vehicles?! Bus companies could choose a suitable bus instead!!

> Agreed. I'd like to think it shouldn't be beyond the wit of modern designers to make them, but for there to be the demand the traffic calming measures would need to be widely adopted nationwide. 

There isn't one on the market.  All minibuses are van-derived.  It isn't economic to make a dedicated one for the demand.  You also have limited space to do it - low floor buses are able to be low floor due to the long section between the axles which a minibus doesn't have.

Post edited at 10:01
girlymonkey - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Yes, that's why I said that designers could come up with one, I'm sure, but there would need to be demand. Which there wouldn't be unless traffic calming was nationwide. 

 

subtle on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to alibrightman:

I'm all for the reduction in urban speed to 20mph, although totally against traffic calming measures such as speed bumps.

If all urban roads were classified as 20mph then there would be no need for speed bumps and existing ones could be removed.

Mind you, to encourage more people to walk/cycle they could always introduce no parking zones round schools.

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to subtle:

> Mind you, to encourage more people to walk/cycle they could always introduce no parking zones round schools.

I would like to see a serious move towards kids *not* being dropped by car at schools, but that would require a fairly large shift (in particular in terms of the "Safeguarding industry" needing to accept that driving kids around in the car all the time and not letting them out to play and watching them get fat is not keeping them safe but is in fact a low-level form of abuse) and 20mph limits basically have nothing to do with it.

More Dutch style cycle lanes would certainly help that, though.  The Redways allow MK kids a high degree of independence because you don't need to cross or cycle on a main road to make most journeys, only small residential streets.

Post edited at 10:21
Mike Highbury - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to nutme:

> Same expirience here in London. Police don't care about enforcing any rules on roads at all. In fact coppers love to park on bicycle lanes and jumps red lights themselfs. I would really expect them to set an example for a start.

Not at all. Police officers need to be like other people, to talk like them, behave like them and not follow all of the rules (in a similarly low-level fashion), otherwise communication between them and us will be impossible.

5
subtle on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I would like to see a serious move towards kids *not* being dropped by car at schools, but that would require a fairly large shift (in particular in terms of the "Safeguarding industry" needing to accept that driving kids around in the car all the time and not letting them out to play and watching them get fat is not keeping them safe but is in fact a low-level form of abuse) 

I agree, too many kids driven to school who are easily within walkable / cycleable distances.

Covered bike park at my kids school converted to covered play area for kids use in wet weather - reason given - only ever max two bikes there (my kids) so better use for it - errrrr, what about encouraging other kids to cycle to school, make it easier for them by not having everyone park their over sized cars 5m away from the school entrance area, thus blocking the local roads leading to the school gates.

And the 20mph limit would certainly encourage slower driving than the current 30mph+ that happens in the roads leading to the school - perhaps not getting it to 20 but certainly 25mph which is better than the 35mph current speed  

MikeSP - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Mike Highbury:

> Not at all. Police officers need to be like other people, to talk like them, behave like them and not follow all of the rules (in a similarly low-level fashion), otherwise communication between them and us will be impossible.

I would say only when they're out of uniform. I know a few that will quite happily speed in a personal car, but know that they represent the force when in a panda car.

I've seen police cars without any blue light speeding in 20 zones and it makes you think why am I bothering.

Eric9Points - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to alibrightman:

Hi Al,

Nice troll.

Do you still live in Embra? As you may or may not be aware we've had them for a couple of years. They're universally ignored, quite rightly. On the odd occasion you do get stuck behind someone doing 18 mph on your way to work, the dentist, pick up offspring from child minder, it's something of a soul destroying experience. Most of us would prefer to get on with our lives rather than sit inside a car going slower than it needs to

No doubt I'll be accused of callous selfishness but there is a balance to be struck between small pain for the many against significant pain for the very very few.

Anyway in a few years time we won't be controlling our cars any more. Hopefully we can look forward to reductions in journey times, accidents and pollution.

10
Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to subtle:

> And the 20mph limit would certainly encourage slower driving than the current 30mph+ that happens in the roads leading to the school - perhaps not getting it to 20 but certainly 25mph which is better than the 35mph current speed  

 

That's a fair point.  There was long a culture of driving 10mph over the limit at all times - that's basically what my Dad always did - 40 in a 30, 50 in a 40, 80 on the motorway etc.  That has reduced with enforcement, but 5mph over is certainly common, and if a 20 limit reduces that from 35mph to 25mph that is significant.

People who are speeding even at low speeds are also often watching more carefully to look for Police, camera vans etc - which also means they may be more likely to see a hazard e.g. a child in the road.  Not dissimilar to the way pre-Managed Motorways people would see 40 or 50 on the matrix and not slow down substantially from 70 but be watching very carefully to see what the cause of it was.  So even if they still do 35mph they are probably doing it more attentively.

Post edited at 11:06
1
MonkeyPuzzle - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to knighty:

> I live in Bristol, where there are a lot of 20mph zones. The local council justify it by showing tenuous stats to single digit reductions in deaths of pedestrians per year.

> Personally, I dislike them as a cyclist. It narrows the speed differential between traffic and bicycles, which I find increases the likelihood of unsafe overtaking of cyclists.

I also live in Bristol and am also a cyclist. The 20mph zones seem out of place on the wider straighter stretches of road but in the narrow back streets I'm quite appreciative of the limit as it means more drivers seem to feel less held up by cyclists than when it was 30mph, and I'd prefer to be passed closely (many roads there's no choice but close passing) at a lower speed than higher.

> Though it does fit nicely with the anti car agenda that cities have at the moment - quite rightly too, given the traffic and pollution levels.

Bristol traffic is f*cked. If people aren't yet convinced to get on a bike or public transport then who knows what would convince them. I can't remember the last time I drove anywhere near the centre - it's slower than any other form of transport and then you have to take a mortgage out to park. F*ck that.

 

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to subtle:

> Covered bike park at my kids school converted to covered play area for kids use in wet weather - reason given - only ever max two bikes there (my kids) so better use for it - errrrr, what about encouraging other kids to cycle to school, make it easier for them by not having everyone park their over sized cars 5m away from the school entrance area, thus blocking the local roads leading to the school gates.

Well, quite.  Schools should be required to;

a. Promote cycling, walking and even running to school (perhaps allowing the PE showers to be used in the morning if kids want to do the latter - why not?);

b. Provide secure cycle storage (at minimum CCTV-covered Sheffield stands, but ideally something enclosed with an access card/key to stop petty vandalism by other kids) for any child wishing to cycle to school;

c. Not discourage cycling to school by imposing additional requirements over and above the law, for instance for Cycling Proficiency or whatever it's called now (much as it is to be encouraged and they should provide it and give it the hard sell) or helmets (which should be a matter between the parent and young person until such time as the law may change);

d. Provide enough lockers, again adequately secured and with CCTV, for every child to have one for storage of helmets (as most will wear them) and books/PE kits as cycling with a heavy bag is more difficult and dangerous.

Post edited at 11:10
MonkeyPuzzle - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> People who are speeding even at low speeds are also often watching more carefully to look for Police, camera vans etc - which also means they may be more likely to see a hazard e.g. a child in the road. 

I can kind of see the logic here but is there any evidence at all to back this up? I'd say that there are attentive drivers and passive or even oblivious drivers, but that speed is another thing entirely.

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> I can kind of see the logic here but is there any evidence at all to back this up? I'd say that there are attentive drivers and passive or even oblivious drivers, but that speed is another thing entirely.

From personal experience I used to treat an advisory 40 or 50 on the motorway as "traffic will definitely be stationary just out of view" rather than "reduce to 40 or 50 now".  Actually slowing to 40 or 50 immediately would have, pre cameras, been a good way to get rear-ended.

Post edited at 11:14
MonkeyPuzzle - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

And so would I but I bet a good quarter of people never even look up at the sign. The amount of ridiculously late braking I see seems to support that.

Post edited at 11:16
elsewhere on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> People who are speeding even at low speeds are also often watching more carefully to look for Police, camera vans etc - which also means they may be more likely to see a hazard e.g. a child in the road. 

Does the speeding driver make the child crossing the road more attentive or easier for the child to judge the driver's speed?

 

 

Post edited at 11:24
Jon Greengrass on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to alibrightman:

No need for speed bumps, if every new car is fitted with a location sensing speed restrictor as standard. 

MonkeyPuzzle - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

A friend of mine had a man try and get in her passenger door at the traffic lights late at night. She was pretty glad her car wasn't restricted to twenty when she floored it.

3
Max factor - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to gravy:

> Anecdotally, I live in a 20mph zone and it is much appreciated by the residents - cars do drive more calmly and it is much more pleasant for bikes and peds, I can see the appeal.

Also anecdotally, so do I. And it seems to make zip all difference to a minority of drivers who seem completely indifferent to the introduction of 20mph speed limits.

Mike Highbury - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to MikeSP:

> I would say only when they're out of uniform. I know a few that will quite happily speed in a personal car, but know that they represent the force when in a panda car. I've seen police cars without any blue light speeding in 20 zones and it makes you think why am I bothering.

I can't agree. One doesn't want to be policed by perfect people, they just don't understand the world, it makes no sense to them. Also, face-to-face encounters with officers presenting moral certainly is maddening and nonsense in all but a few instances.  

1
Dave B on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

Distressing situation and not nice. I've had similar.. He thought I was the Taxi... Quite drunk. I however  wasn't distressed by it. 

Gps errors are also an issue with parallel roads, where speed restrictions suddenly are imposed. 

 

As an aside

Most modern cars lock doors at 10 mph. A lot of older cars only opened drivers door on unlock. 

Usain bolt runs at just over 20 mph for 10 seconds. 

 

 

jkarran - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Northern Star:

> With little positive evidence to support 20mph zones, and some negative evidence (i.e. the huge cost of implementation and substantially increased pollution due to vehicles constantly slowing down and accelerating up around chicanes, speed humps etc), perhaps building segregated cycle lanes so that people have a realistic option not to drive would be a much better use of the same money?

They're nothing like comparable amounts of money to implement. Not that cycle paths are a bad idea but they're not cheap or easy. Speed limits are relatively.

> There is limited money in the pot and by choosing to waste money on such an unproven scheme you are depriving schools, hospitals, social care etc of much needed funding.  And who knows how many lives could be saved/improved if these vital services had a little bit more to go round.

Average speed in York crept up in the year after implementation and the additional signage is an eyesore. I suspect the increase had more to do with slightly smoother flow and coincidental changes than rebellious speeding. There is absolutely zero enforcement so 30 on the wider sections of 20 road is the norm anyway unless it's already 'calmed' by weaving through parked cars. The police prefer instead to site camera vans on the local national speed limit A/B roads or the A64, I guess they have their reasons.

jk

Northern Star on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to alibrightman:

Isn't it amazing when years ago traveling somewhere quickly was seen as a sign of progress.  Cars have got safer and more capable, road casualties are massively down due to modern vehicle design, yet we are being forced to drive at an ever more pedestrian pace by the 'speeding is worse than almost anything else' brigade. 

Driving has been turned from a pleasurable experience (making progress, driving to the conditions and keeping a good observational awareness for hazards) into an activity that caters for the lowest common denominator (having to look down at your speedometer all the time, fearful of a camera van around every corner, getting flashed by others for a perfectly legal overtake, the self righteous dash cam crowd, etc, etc). 

No wonder people use their phones in cars these days, firstly they can easily get away with it (so long as they are not speeding), and secondly it relieves the tedium that driving in the UK has often become.  Tongue in cheek comment by the way before someone takes it seriously.

How long are we before the re-introduction of a man walking with a red flag before any car journey that is made I wonder?

6
MonkeyPuzzle - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Northern Star:

The only lack of making of progress on the roads that bothers me is not being able to get anywhere near the speed limit due to the amount of single-occupant vehicles clogging the roads (says he of the single-occupant vehicle).

Bob Bennett - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Northern Star:

It makes more sense than having a 40mph limit for HGV`s on Scottish roads such as the A75.  50mph is ok for England so why?

toad on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to alibrightman:

I have a 20 limit outside my house. It runs for maybe 50yds as part of a cycle route. After this the speed limit increases to 30. At this point the road runs past a primary school and dead ends.

The contractors assumed theyd got the qrong instructions so turned the sign round to eeduce the speed on the school approach and then had to come back and change them. On an adjacent road the 20 limit also changes back to 30. Right by an older sign with an advisory 20 limit to protect the schools other gate.

There is of course, no enforcement and limits statutory or advisory are ignored. The cycle route is not promoted by the council and the road is so degraded its next to impossible to ride.

I appear to have paid for this.

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> Does the speeding driver make the child crossing the road more attentive or easier for the child to judge the driver's speed?

Eh?

If it's any help, I was referring specifically to the limit reduction - a driver doing 30 in a 20 will probably be doing so more attentively than a driver doing 30 in a 30.  This means there is a benefit of reducing the limit *even if the speed doesn't reduce*.

The child's judgement doesn't change as they are still looking out for a car doing 30mph in both cases.

Post edited at 15:12
gravy - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Max factor:

Ok - let's reverse this, would you like to increase the limit? 30mph? 40mph? 50mph?

Sure, drivers routinely speed but they usually routinely speed relative to the limit. 

There is no way the locals round where I am would support increasing the limit to 30mph simply because some drivers exceed the 20mph limit.

20mph is nice to live around.

Post edited at 15:14
Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Bob Bennett:

> It makes more sense than having a 40mph limit for HGV`s on Scottish roads such as the A75.  50mph is ok for England so why?


Didn't know it differed in Scotland.  The change in England was just to make what was going on practically and safely already legal, because previously it wasn't enforced, but now there is enforcement it needed to be brought in line.

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to gravy:

> 20mph is nice to live around.

Then live in an estate or off the main road.  The one I don't see any sense in (and it resulted in me opposing a consultation for a blanket 20 around by me) is of reducing thoroughfares to 20mph, like in London.  It was allegedly to help cyclists, but as noted above as a cyclist I'd rather a higher limit as an overtaking car gets out of the way quicker and so is a hazard for a shorter time, while you'd need to go as low as a 10mph/walking pace type limit to prevent cars overtaking cyclists entirely.

I think the London borough blanket 20 limits are nuts - 30 is perfectly fine for most of those roads, and some would even justify 40.

1
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

If you can average anywhere near 20mph within the M25 you're having a pretty quick journey.

Dave B on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Mike Highbury:

Are you saying, "It's always good when those in charge of policing laws break them, isn't it. Not just speeding, but maybe perjury, murder, intimidation etc"

Maybe we should let criminals enforce which laws they would like to...

 

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

Most Central London streets are relatively uncongested, and all the 20 limit does is causes the buses to be even more like walking pace.

I've driven in London a few times, and other than between 6-9am and 4-7pm it is nowhere near as bad as the reputation it gets.

Post edited at 15:53
summo on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Northern Star:

> Isn't it amazing when years ago traveling somewhere quickly was seen as a sign of progress.  Cars have got safer and more capable, road casualties are massively down due to modern vehicle design, yet we are being forced to drive at an ever more pedestrian pace by the 'speeding is worse than almost anything else' 

There in lies the problems, there are plenty reasons why cars need to be once again considered only as a means of transport. Not a pleasure, a status symbol etc.. apart from making the roads safer, it will be better for environment and tackle obesity. 

If it becomes quicker, safer and easier to cycle across a city than drive, isn't that progress in all respects.

Post edited at 16:11
Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to summo:

> If it becomes quicker, safer and easier to cycle across a city than drive, isn't that progress in all respects.

Certainly, and things like e-bikes should also be part of that.  Realistically it'd be great if everyone was fit enough to cycle 10 miles, but not everyone ever will be.  But it's better to gain that by things like quality dedicated infrastructure which might as a side effect take space from cars rather than by imposing speed limits that don't actually help cyclists.  (They may well reduce the severity of a collision, but personally I'd rather reduce the time period for which something like a bus or lorry is alongside me).

Max factor - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to gravy:

?? I don't doubt or dispute it, and I think 20mph is the right speed for residential streets. 

Eric9Points - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to summo:

 

> If it becomes quicker, safer and easier to cycle across a city than drive, isn't that progress in all respects.

Of course not. It is only progress if other means of transport become quicker than current methods.

summo on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Of course not. It is only progress if other means of transport become quicker than current methods.

Speed speed speed... is that the only measure of quality ? 

How about less car fumes, nicer safer cycle routes, secure bike parking at school or work etc.. 

elsewhere on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> People who are speeding even at low speeds are also often watching more carefully to look for Police, camera vans etc - which also means they may be more likely to see a hazard e.g. a child in the road. 

You suggest a speeding driver may be more attentive implying this might make things safer.

I suggest a speeding driver does not make a child more attentive and does not make it easier for the child to judge speed. It does make a collision fatal though (20mph - mostly non fatal, 30mph mostly fatal)

 

Mike Highbury - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Dave B:

> Are you saying, "It's always good when those in charge of policing laws break them, isn't it. Not just speeding, but maybe perjury, murder, intimidation etc"

> Maybe we should let criminals enforce which laws they would like to...

How about it takes a thief to catch a thief.

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> You suggest a speeding driver may be more attentive implying this might make things safer.

At the same speed, yes.  It's quite likely someone driving 30mph in an area that recently became a 20mph area is going to be paying more attention than someone driving 30mph in that same area when the limit was still 30mph.

> I suggest a speeding driver does not make a child more attentive and does not make it easier for the child to judge speed. It does make a collision fatal though (20mph - mostly non fatal, 30mph mostly fatal)

I think you slightly missed my point, as that isn't relevant to it.  The point considered only a driver doing 30mph, and was actually in favour of the lower limit (other than on thoroughfares where instead parents should be exercising more control of where their children are).

The point was that *even if dropping the limit to 20 doesn't actually slow cars down* it's still a potential benefit.

Post edited at 18:02
Dave B on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Mike Highbury:

I've found the students I have taught generally said the most useful skill is just being a suspicious person.. Actually they said something slightly different instead of person. These were serving law enforcement officers who had been doing the job for typically 10-15 years. Some worked in 'infernal affairs' type role.

 

Of course they might all have been fraudsters, blackmailers, obscene pornographers, etc  But I'm fairly sure they weren't  

 

Trangia on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to alibrightman:

I live on a 20 mph speed limit. Very few motorists appear to comply with it, and it's never enforced even though it's right outside a big primary school. I've never seen a police speed camera team operating here in the 8 years I've lived here. 

yesbutnobutyesbut - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Most Central London streets are relatively uncongested, and all the 20 limit does is causes the buses to be even more like walking pace.

> I've driven in London a few times, and other than between 6-9am and 4-7pm it is nowhere near as bad as the reputation it gets.

You might want to google Average driving speeds in London.  Your very limited experience is not representative at all.

 

 

keith-ratcliffe on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to alibrightman:

We moved to Scotland in 2006 and I was amazed to find that people generally observed urban speed limits (mainly 30mph). The behaviour has rubbed off and I am more law abiding than I was previously and now follow abiders without complaint through some of our new 20 limits. However, I have to admit that on occasions when I am in a hurry and on my own I have transgressed.

Hugo First - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

I'd also be massively in support of increased Dutch style segregated cycle lanes. But there is a slight misnomer that the Dutch have segregated routes on all roads. They absolutely don't. A large proportion of their strategic road network is really well segregated, but there's neither money not space to segregate all roads.

So how do they maintain safety and large modal share of cyclists where segregation isn't available: slower speed limits. 

a large proportion of the Dutch local road network, i.e. what's being proposed in Scotland, are termed cycle streets, where vehicles are meant to behave as 'guests'. And it works. The only real difference, and crux of why we (the UK) struggle to really increase cycling levels, is that if you want to drive across town in Holland, from A to B, you need to do this via C, D & E; vehicles are forced, by design, onto the strategic road network (where you can do 30/40/60 mph). This allows two things: it becomes particularly pointless to rat run across town as it will inevitably take longer, and therefore frees up space (hello bikes). 

Problem with our UK transport strategies, is that very few, with the possible exception of Edinburgh, speak to different modes of transport and thus all operate in silos. The moment we start joining up transport strategies, and accept it's not really feasible, or pleasant, to allow cars free reign across our towns and cities, we may end up with better places to live. And places where you can move around more pleasantly, not stuck in a jam our fearing for your life on a bike! 

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

> You might want to google Average driving speeds in London.  Your very limited experience is not representative at all.


My experience is not limited, thank you.

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Hugo First:

> So how do they maintain safety and large modal share of cyclists where segregation isn't available: slower speed limits. 

> a large proportion of the Dutch local road network, i.e. what's being proposed in Scotland, are termed cycle streets, where vehicles are meant to behave as 'guests'.

Unless there have been big changes in the last 10-15 years this is mainly proper local roads i.e. not thoroughfares.  Most of the Councils have put 20 limits on thoroughfares, which make no sense.

I'd also note that as I said a 20 limit is fast enough that most cyclists need overtaking, while the Dutch streets you describe have traffic running much more slowly.

Going for a *10mph* limit would maintain that safety and modal share, but 20 would not.  I am not the only one saying this - there is at least one other cyclist on this thread who does not like 20 limits because they mean vehicles overtaking are alongside them for longer.

I don't care if they reduce speed limits on *residential* streets to whatever - these are the kinds of street where, if well designed with natural traffic calming (i.e. using parked cars and planters), you can barely exceed that anyway.  However, on *urban* streets i.e. thoroughfares 30mph makes more sense.

Post edited at 21:56
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> My experience is not limited, thank you.

 

You obviously have very little experience of driving in London. 

 

Neil Williams - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

That is true, though I have plenty of experience of being in London, walking around it, cycling around it and being a bus passenger in it.  Buses are affected worse than other traffic by 20 limits because they get more of a free run in the bus lanes.

yesbutnobutyesbut - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

A free run for 200 metres until the next bus stop, crossing or junction. 20 mph is far safer for the thousands of pedestrians crossing roads and makes no difference to overall journey times in city centres.

Neil Williams - on 19 Jan 2019
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

But on a 10 mile journey from the suburbs that's an extra quarter or so on the journey time.  We are talking blanket limits here.

Post edited at 07:50
galpinos on 19 Jan 2019
In reply to Hugo First:

Up here in Manchester, the “Beelines” initiative is starting to work along those lines. The main road through where I live I’d the first area they are implementing but there are a few issues. There will be protected cycle lanes, re designed junctions, cycle lanes behind bus stops (Manchester precious plan was to force bikes and buses together in the same lane,  it exactly happy bedfellows) and have generally been inspired by the Dutch system.

However, they do seem to have got rid of every right turn along the thoroughfare. I’ve no idea is this is part of the Dutch philosophy but looking at it, it does just look like it will drive a lot of traffic (pretty much anyone who wants to get to the north/east side of the the road) onto local residential streets, past schools and off the thoughfare. 

It’s a start I guess. There is a lot of local opposition to it, complaining about it making it less desirable to drive showing there’s not a lot of appetite for change. 

yesbutnobutyesbut - on 19 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> But on a 10 mile journey from the suburbs that's an extra quarter or so on the journey time.  We are talking blanket limits here.

No it’s not . You spend so much time stopped at lights, junctions. You’re argument might make sense on a straight desert road but not in a city or any built up area. I can cycle 10 miles into London averaging less than 15 mph and will always beat a car or bus at anytime other than the middle of the night. Journey times are affected by the amount of stopping a vehicle has to do not by the speed limit. 20 mph is a far safer speed limit in built up areas.

Hugo First - on 19 Jan 2019
In reply to galpinos:

The Beeline plans are really impressive and it will be fascinating to see how it plays out. You're absolutely spot on about the stopping turns at junctions and the potential to force people through local neighbourhoods. Seems like a negative unintended consequence to me. 

Options to deal with it are either, restrict traffic through local neighbourhoods in a Waltham Forest / mini-Holland style, or get strategies to speak to each other. It's precisely because of the lack of integration that the major junction schemes have had to adopt no left our right turns (depending on direction of approach!).

In terms of opposition, you'll always have that with any scheme regardless. 10% will vehemently oppose and nothing will ever change their mind. There's the other 10% who'll passionately support forever more. It's the 80% of locals in the middle who matter. And I think the Bike Life reports prove the support for investment in both cycling and segregation - even if this takes road space from other users. This was a game changer in Manchester for Burnham / Boardman, as they knew it wasn't quite the political hot potato many imagine:

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/bikelifegreatermanchester

 

 

Neil Williams - on 19 Jan 2019
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

I don't agree, it's a factor of both, clearly.
 

It's definitely safer but safety is not the only factor.  If it was we would ban private motor vehicles completely, they are by far the biggest killer.

1
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 19 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

What would be quicker ?. A 10 mile journey in any city with a max speed of 20 mph with no other traffic on the road and every traffic light green or a journey in normal traffic with a maximum speed of 30 mph ? Journey times in cities are down to the amount of traffic and junctions. This isn’t an opinion, it’s proven by average travelling speeds for motorised traffic in every city in the world,

summo on 19 Jan 2019
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

> What would be quicker ?. A 10 mile journey in any city with a max speed of 20 mph with no other traffic on the road and every traffic light green or a journey in normal traffic with a maximum speed of 30 mph ? Journey times in cities are down to the amount of traffic and junctions. This isn’t an opinion, it’s proven by average travelling speeds for motorised traffic in every city in the world,

Didn't top gear do a test/stunt across London many years ago, racing a bike, runner and car? 

I still don't get the obsession with Speed, better to focus on the work ethic, hours, quality of life etc.. spending 10mins longer cycling to work and having sone facilities to secure your bike and get changed etc.. 

We are chasing the wrong goals. 

nufkin - on 19 Jan 2019
In reply to summo:

>  I still don't get the obsession with Speed, better to focus on the work ethic, hours, quality of life etc.. spending 10mins longer cycling to work and having sone facilities to secure your bike and get changed etc..

10 minutes quicker on the bike commute is 10 minutes less of exposure to cars trying to kill you. Storage and showers at the end are certainly welcome, mind


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