The Alliance of British Drivers
Our main page explaining our opposition to the proposed 20 mph wide area speed limit in Croydon is here: Croydon20 . This page provides more detail information.
The total cost of the proposals for Croydon is £1.5 million, which you as taxpayers will end up paying when there are negligible benefits that will result - in road safety or in any other way.
Wide area 20 Mph Speed limits do not improve road safety and are a waste of money. They are often advocated by those opposed to the use of cars altogether and who have little knowledge of road safety matters. The information provided by Croydon Council on this topic is misleading. For example there is no evidence that 20 mph speed limits encourage walking or cycling, or improve the general health of the population.
When Croydon Council consulted on Zone 1 (North Croydon) they reported the results as narrowly in favour, but please read this blog post on how the results are both unbelievable and obviously fraudulent: https://abdlondon.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/croydon-20-consultation-results-rigged/ . The result of the consultation on Zone 2 was even narrower. The ABD published this note in December 2016 after the Council announced they were abandoning similar consultations for the remaining three zones: Croydon-Proceeds.
The submission put in by the ABD on Zone 1 is present in this document: Submission (a pdf document - click on to access)
This is what the ABD said to Croydon council on this subject in September 2014:
The Alliance of British Drivers is not opposed to 20 mph speed limits in all locations - for example where the natural speed of traffic is near that speed. In many residential streets that is the case. However we are opposed to blanket wide area 20-mph limits because they are not a cost effective road safety measure, are not likely to be complied with and needlessly slow traffic.
Several notes can be found on this web page: www.freedomfordrivers.org/Road_Safety.htm . It includes reports entitled:
Portsmouth 20Mph zones - showing there is no statistically significant, above trend, reduction in accidents as a result of their scheme.
20 Mph Speed Limits - the Historic Evidence - showing how accidents fell after a blanket 20-mph speed limit was removed.
20 Mph Speed Limits in London - a response to the GLA inquiry in 2008.
20 Mph Zones - A more recent note on some existing 20 mph schemes.
It is also worth pointing out that the Department of Transport (DfT) have recently commissioned a three year study into the effectiveness of 20 mph schemes as they suggest that current evidence is "inconclusive". It would be rash of Croydon council to spend large amounts of money on any 20 mph, signed only, schemes before more evidence is available on their financial benefit and effectiveness.
Don't let the ignorant dictate what happens in Croydon!
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Croydon 20 mph Consultation - Additional Information
In summary this is what we say: many roads in the area already have speed humps to reduce traffic speeds and many of the injuries to pedestrians and cyclists in Croydon occur at low speeds on main roads. The road safety benefits of a wide area 20 mph limit will be minimal and there are no other real benefits. Why make a change that is bound to lead to many more vehicles breaking the law by exceeding the speed limit? Donít fall for the councilís anti-car propaganda. Do you really think that 20 mph is appropriate for roads such as Auckland Road, Grange Road and Northwood Road? Make sure you oppose the waste of money to create these 20 mph zones.
20 MPH IS TOO SLOW FOR A MAXIMUM LIMIT
Here are some detailed comments on the claims made by Croydon Council for the merits of their scheme, numbered as per their "Frequently Asked Questions" document on their web site:
1. What is this proposal about and how did it originate? The councils comments are misleading. The proposal arose as part of a Labour party manifesto for the council elections - in other words it was an idea thought up by politicians who might have little knowledge of road safety matters and as a simplistic solution to road safety problems. It also comments on the encouragement of walking and cycling, and the possible contribution to improving health and tackling obesity, but there is simply no firm scientific evidence in the public domain of 20 mph schemes having any impact on those.
2. Is it safer to drive at 20 mph? In theory maybe, but in practice there is no evidence that imposing a lower speed limit improves road safety. Indeed the evidence is to the contrary. Before 1930 there was a blanket 20 mph speed limit across the whole of the UK. When it was removed, the accidents fell. The recent evidence on wide-area 20 mph schemes, particularly those imposed only by signs with no road engineering measures, is not supportive of the view that they are a cost-effective road safety measure. The Department of Transport (DfT) have recently commissioned a three year study into the effectiveness of 20 mph schemes because of this uncertainty, but Croydon Council are not willing to await the evidence as they have made their own minds up already.
4. Would there be fewer collisions/casualties as a result of the scheme? They allege there would be when there is no evidence there actually will be. Their claims about the benefits of such a scheme in Portsmouth are grossly misleading. There was no statistically significant reduction on overall accidents and the KSI figures actually rose. It is very unclear that there was any real benefit in spending the £573,000 that the Portsmouth scheme cost - in other words, no justification that it was a cost effective scheme in comparison with other possible road safety measures.
14. How much will it cost and is it worth it? The scheme for Croydon North alone will cost £300,000 with the whole of Croydon costing £1.5 million. They claim that they can justify the cost based on accident reductions (without any clear estimate of what the reductions might be so that a retrospective review of the benefits in Croydon North can be seen before extending it to other areas). In any case, and as we have already pointed out, the claimed benefits are unlikely to be achieved. Even the costs they imply might be saved by reducing accidents are misleading. The DfT figures for collisions relate to the "value" attached to an accident based on what people are willing to pay to avoid them. This is a very subjective and biased measure. The direct costs are much lower so there is no realistic chance of recovering the proposed expenditure by cost savings. They also again make claims about the cost savings to be achieved (such as to the NHS) from improved health as people are discouraged from driving, for which there is simply no supportive evidence.
15. Is this scheme being funded from council tax revenues? They say "No". This is grossly misleading. The funding is certainly coming from Transport for London (TfL), which is of course funded primarily by taxation, directly or indirectly. So for example, some of the funds come from the GLA Precept obtained from Local Authorities in London and some from central Government funding (again from the taxes the public pays). You are paying for this expenditure one way or another and some of it is coming from council tax revenues!
26. Are other boroughs considering 20 mph speed limits? It is true that others are considering such limits or have introduced them. Many outer London boroughs have also rejected these proposals on the grounds that they are an expensive solution and there are better uses to tackle road safety for the available money. Would it not have been better to await the results of similar schemes already introduced to see what impact they have in reality? In the City of London, the 20 mph speed limit has had minimal impact, even though enforcement has been actively pursued. Regrettably councils such as Croydon are not interested in the evidence, but more in the concept while ignoring the negative aspects of their proposals for the ordinary road user.
More supporting evidence of the reason for our opposition to wide area 20-mph schemes is given is given on this web page: http://www.freedomfordrivers.org/Road_Safety.htm
To return to the main page of this campaign, go here: Croydon20.
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