Being an unashamed petrolhead, you might think that I have precisely zero desire to see a blanket 20mph limit enforced across the city in which I live (Brighton and Hove). But when our ‘green’ council sits down to vote on the introduction of such limits later today, I hope that they stick to their guns and see it through – for all sorts of reasons.
One, because few things anger me more than watching a giant SUV – or any vehicle to be honest – tearing along a busy residential road on which any number of disasters might be waiting to unfold. Yet this is a sight that’s become alarmingly common down my way, and the narrower the road, the faster certain types of berk seem to drive.
Two, because studies by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents have suggested that at 20mph there’s a 2.5 per cent chance of being killed in a road traffic accident, but at 30mph there’s a 20 per cent chance, be you a pedestrian, cyclist or driver.
Three, are we really in so much of a rush nowadays that doing 20mph across town is simply too intolerable to bear?
Four, what if our average speed across town actually INCREASES due to a lower limit as a result of a reduction in stress generally and the removal of traffic lights specifically – which is the eventual idea with 20mph limits?