Richmond & Twickenham Green Party is calling on Richmond Borough Council to mark National Road Safety Week (20th to 26th November) by introducing 20mph speed limits where residents are asking for them and not just to “urge drivers to slow down”.
In support of National Road Safety Week, promoted by the road safety charity Brake, Richmond Council has issued a press release encouraging all drivers to slow down to avoid serious injuries and fatalities on our roads.
But in the last year, councillors have refused to bring in 20mph speed limits despite a petition from residents. Andrée Frieze, a campaigner for Richmond & Twickenham Green Party, said: “While we welcome the council’s support of road safety charity Brake’s 'SpeedDown' campaign, words alone won’t bring about change. The council must take action, especially when residents demand it.”
Road casualty figures in the borough for cyclists has increased over the last 10 years:
In 2005 there were 77 accidents involving cyclist.
In 2016 there were 131
And things don’t look much better for pedestrians. In 2015, 71 pedestrians were injured on the borough’s roads, 15 of whom were children.
In March, residents on Riverside Drive in Ham signed a petition asking for 20mph speed limits on their road. But the council refused to change them.
In a survey of residents in Ham and Petersham carried out by the Green Party earlier this year 77% of respondents supported reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph on local roads.
Andree in Riverside Drive
Andrée is urging borough residents to sign her petition on the council’s website, calling for 20 mph speed limits to be introduced across Ham and Petersham. She says: “Residents tell me how worried they are about their children crossing the road safely, as cars travel far too fast down roads near the schools. Lower speed limits encourage more people to walk or cycle and reduce pollution – which is better for everyone’s health.”
Small increases in speed result in much longer stopping distances. At 20mph it will take an alert driver at least 12 metres (three car lengths) to stop. At 30mph, it takes 23m (5.75 car lengths), and at 40mph it takes 36m (9 car lengths).
A vehicle travelling at 20mph would stop in time to avoid a child running out three car lengths in front. At 25mph the vehicle would hit the child at a speed of 18mph, with roughly the same impact as a fall from a first floor window.
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