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  • stevecowles

Fifteen's not Mean

Time to be slightly controversial.

Guess we have all heard the "Twenty's Plenty" slogan for some 'extreme' speed limits in residential areas, the campaign to mandate it seems to be getting quite vocal again. But it is right?

Today I saw a post on Facebook in one of the cycling groups suggesting that it should be introduced in built-up areas where there is no dedicated cycling or walking infrastructure, this got me thinking.

Surely there would be significantly more benefit to be had by setting a speed limit of 15mph in these areas, possibly during daytime hours. Yes, this would be very harsh but this is the speed that the government have set for eBikes and electric scooters as it is deemed safe for spaces shared with pedestrians and is a 'typical' average cycling speed.

Think of the benefits for a moment.

  • Drivers far less likely to use a 'rat-run' as it would slow them down.

  • Less impact in the unfortunate event of a collision with a pedestrian.

  • A majority of traffic running at the same speed, this means less overtaking issues.

  • Encourages exercise via 'active transport' (walking, running, cycling) as using the car would save little time, especially for those local school runs.

  • People being more willing to cycle due to less perceived risk.

  • A quieter and more pleasant environment for those living on the affected streets.

We have all witnessed the stereotypical scenario of 4x4 vehicles spitting out fat kids by the school gate, often parking briefly in a dangerous way whilst they are at it before they charge off to that vital meeting at Tesco. Is this part of the answer?

When I was young the roads were considered safe enough for us to cycle to school on our own and we could take the bike into the school bike sheds if we had passed our 'cycling proficiency test'. It would be helpful to the health of future generations if that were the case again.

Yes, I know this will never happen but that doesn't stop it from being a good idea. What did surprise some is the positive responses this got when I put in on Facebook.

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