What is the current approach?

West Sussex County Council have already implemented 20 mph on residential roads in Chichester – here’s the council page explaining the reasons behind the slower speed limit and the benefits

In Worthing the council know that reducing speeds to 20mph works, so they are introducing 20mph zones near schools and in selected other areas such as the centre of town.

So what’s the problem with this approach?

There are several problems with the current approach:

  1. It’s slow progress – in five years less than half the schools in Worthing have 20mph school safety zones, and only a tiny percentage of other roads.
  2. It’s expensive – just one school safety zone costs £6,000-11,000 and that just covers a short length of road outside the school. Imagine how much it would cost to cover the whole of Worthing like this! In fact if you add up all the School Safety Zone areas in the whole of Worthing, they cover just 2 miles of road.
  3. It’s not enough – 97 per cent of all the collisions which injured children in Worthing from 2005-2010 happened in areas outside School Safety Zones. Two thirds of them were on B, C or unclassified roads – precisely the roads that the campaign is arguing should become 20mph limits. Children, pedestrians and cyclists are hurt in collisions all across the town.
    View the map of 97% injuries to children outside the School Safety Zones
  4. It’s confusing – motorists are used to 30mph limits in built-up areas, now it is becoming a mixture of 30mph with more and more small 20mph zones.

But it isn’t just road deaths and injuries that are the problem:

  • Children are kept indoors or in cars because parents are worried about the dangers of traffic – as a result one in six are now obese, and they never learn the skills they need to take responsibility for their own road safety
  • The elderly are afraid even to cross the road and become reliant on others for their mobility
  • Many adults (43%) say they don’t walk or cycle because the roads are too dangerous

As a result many journeys that could be made by walking or cycling are made by car instead. More cars means more congestion, more pressure on parking, more noise, and more air pollution.

Read more: So what’s the solution?