Witney's contentious 20mph Limit
Duncan Enright's post in I Love Witney
Reducing speeds saves lives. It also makes people feel safer to walk and cycle. Main roads will still be 30 or more, but the benefit for traffic flows and air quality are clear elsewhere, and welcome in Witney. This is one more step to making our beautiful market town a better place to live, and I look forward to making sure it works for everyone – including our buses and businesses – as well as being safer for residents.
Is 20 a safer speed?
Quoting from Cyclinguk.org The risk of serious injury or death to pedestrians or cyclists increases disproportionately as speeds increase. A pedestrian hit at 40mph has a 31% chance of death; hit at 30mph and that risk falls to 7%; at 20mph the risk is negligible.
Is 20 a cleaner speed?
Duncan certainly thinks so! And so does Councillor Liz Duncan the Mayor of Witney and Chair of a Town Council Working Party set up to develop the scheme. She said on the Oxfordshire County Council website : “It is exciting to see this comprehensive 20mph scheme coming to our town, bringing improved road safety for residential streets, reducing the risks of death and injury. We have received many requests from residents for the reduced speed limit and this whole town approach will bring huge benefits.
“As well as safer streets, other similar schemes have seen reductions in traffic noise, better air quality and increased physical activity because with roads feeling safer, people are happier to leave the car at home and walk or cycle instead.”
An article in The Guardian some while back looked at reducing speed from 30 to 20.
In 2009 researchers at Virginia Tech in the US found that ‘While traffic calming measures reduce vehicle speeds on neighbourhood streets and may contribute to enhanced road safety, these measures can result in significantly higher fuel consumption and emission rates when drivers accelerate aggressively’.
It seems, looking at various research articles, that reducing from 30 to 20 does not in itself reduce emissions but what it can do is have an effect on driver behavior – less braking, less acceleration, smoother travel and therefore less emissions.
In Witney, bearing in mind the amount of traffic, will we get a chance to drive smoother and improve our road behaviour?
I Love Witney Group Comments
names removed for privacy
Yes the slower speed would be able to reduce accidents but it increases vehicle emissions and will make many avoid Witney in the long run due to almost crawling along the roads. I understand the limits being lower in places such as Madley Park, Smiths Estate, Wadards Meadow, etc but reducing speeds on the main roads is ridiculous.
Kind of ironic this is posted on I love Witney. Very clear Witney does not want this.
And you are also imposing a 20mph limit in Eynsham. To my knowledge there has only been one fatality in 50 years within the 30 mph limit.
Even our useless MP disagrees with this as those who objected outweighed those who agreed to it but like many other things in this town it was implemented anyway!
Not once have you listened to the residents who are against this idea , if drivers in witney could actually get to 30 mph it would be a surprise . Try dealing with the safety of pedestrians in witney and stop pusbikes and electric scooters travelling on pavements , especially as you’ve installed pointless bike lanes
I am so relieved this is being done. The speed of many vehicles through the centre of Witney can be terrifying. My wife is disabled and crossing the road is a challenge. At last the ability to visit the centre with more safety is really welcome..
It will cause more congestion and road rage
Absolutely ridiculous! Traffic is going to be a bloody nightmare. I can’t see people sticking to 20mph at all and with no way of actually enforcing it properly, it’s a massive waste of tax payers money. Outside schools yes but on main roads? Waste of time!.
Was there this amount of fuss when 30 mph speed limits were introduced? I can’t believe the furore. Was there this outcry when motorcycle helmets and seat belts were made compulsory? !