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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 08:16 
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/9399135/Quiet-rural-roads-face-40mph-limits.html

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Quiet rural roads face 40mph limits

Speed limits on swathes of country roads are set to be cut to 40mph under Government plans to try to reduce road casualties.

New guidance unveiled yesterday by the Department for Transport will make it easier for local authorities to introduce the limit on the quietest roads.

The vast majority of rural roads are currently governed by a 60mph limit. But under this move motorists could face fines if they drive over 40mph.

The government announcement comes against a backdrop of the latest figures showing the first annual rise in road deaths and serious injuries in 17 years, with 1,901 people killed last year, a three per cent rise on 2010.

Rural roads present the highest risk to motorists and their passengers, accounting for 68 per cent of fatalities in 2010. Nearly half of these deaths took place on country roads with a 60 mph limit.

Successive Governments have wrestled with the problem of rural speed limits. Labour had considered a blanket reduction which would have brought the top speed down to 50 mph.

But the Coalition has adopted a different approach making it cheaper and easier for councils to bring the speed limit down.

Normally reducing the speed limit would require a local authority to put in a series of signs, which is expensive and time consuming.

The Government proposals, however, will allow them to designate quiet stretches of roads as 40mph zones.

This would normally only require one sign at the start of the zone and another when it ends. This is also seen as having the additional advantage of cutting road clutter.

It is similar to the approach used in towns and cities which have brought in 20mph zones in residential areas.

Since the last government encouraged their rapid expansion, that number has risen to around 2,000, 20mph zones in urban areas across the country.

Once a rarity they are now commonplace and a similar expansion is anticipated across rural communities following this latest move.

Road safety experts believe that the new limit would be largely self-enforcing, though police forces could send mobile units equipped with hand-held speed cameras to problem areas.

“The guidance issued for consultation today does not propose a blanket change to rural road speed limits,” said Mike Penning, the road safety minister.

“40mph limits should be considered for sections of rural roads where there are many bends, junctions or accesses and speeds are already at 40mph or below.”

A spokesman for the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation predicted the move would see an increase in the number of 40mph zones as councils look to protect local communities.

“The effectiveness of these zones will depend on driver perception, education and levels of enforcement.”

Motoring groups, while not opposed to the proposals, did voice concern that drivers could fall foul of the new limits unless they were given clear information.

“Speed limits are already quite complicated and the guidance should not lead to wholesale changes which could increase confusion and more signage,” said Paul Watters of the AA.

Stephen Glaister of the RAC Foundation was cautious. “I don’t have a feel for how this would work in rural areas without repeated signs. When you drive in the countryside, it is very easy to forget what the speed limit is.”

But the Campaign to Protect Rural England backed cutting the speed limit in the countryside.

“Since the last speed limit guidance was published, deaths on rural roads have tragically increased from half of all road deaths, to over two thirds,” said Ralph Smyth, the organisation’s senior transport campaigner.

“While the UK has made urban areas safer through introducing 20 mph zones, we have failed unlike other countries to do anything similar in the countryside.”

Grr, this will do nothing for safety, be widely flouted, erode driving standards and bring the law even further into disrepute :x

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 15:53 
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CPRE wrote:
Since the last speed limit guidance was published, deaths on rural roads have tragically increased from half of all road deaths, to over two thirds,” said Ralph Smyth, the organisation’s senior transport campaigner.

While the UK has made urban areas safer through introducing 20 mph zones, we have failed unlike other countries to do anything similar in the countryside.

Meaningless tosh.

If the Government had made a big effort to improve the safety of urban roads the effect would be to increase the proportion of deaths on rural roads. What about absolute numbers?

The assertion that urban roads are safer with 20mph limits is unfounded. They should get back to protecting badgers or whatever the CPRE does.

I'd be quite pleased with 40mph limits in rural roads round here. Most have been made 30mph already (down from NSL over a few years). Everyone, including the school bus, ignores them.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 16:20 
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I once heard one MD of a haulage firm comment about accident rates in his industry .His POV was that at 56mph drivers were getting bored .
My prediction - drop the limit to a number ,rather than what's practical will lead to more accidents, out of boredom and frustration ,as the "40 anywhere " lot take over.
This rather reminds me of a joke item that used to be on ABD, about lowering bridges to cut accidents.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 20:16 
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Who we might ask is behind this obscene suggestion,

One can be sure that is not someone with any experience or knowledge of rural roads

I have been driving rural roads for over 50 years and the cause of the greater majority of accidents, on these roads, is drivers not concentrating on their driving.

There will be the same number of accidents, irrespective of speed.

If the government and the varying organisations hell bent on reducing speed limits looked at the facts and not the rhetoric we might get somewhere

To reduce accidents everywhere we need to educate drivers that driving requires 100% concentration 100% of the time anfthing less and you are a danger on the road.

If you are just 1 second late in assessing a situation and applying your brakes, at 30mph, you have travelled a further 44ft.

This additional distance could be the difference between stopping safely and having an accident

Can we ask the authorities to try and educate drivers

One other point, having a speed limit is one thing, but unless there is a effective way of enforcing the limit it might as well not be there

What is the most effective way of enforcings any speed limit is VAS (Vehicle Activated Signs) but unfortunately these signs do not raise any money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 20:25 
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timtjf wrote:
Who we might ask is behind this obscene suggestion,

One can be sure that is not someone with any experience or knowledge of rural roads

I have been driving rural roads for over 50 years and the cause of the greater majority of accidents, on these roads, is drivers not concentrating on their driving.

There will be the same number of accidents, irrespective of speed.

If the government and the varying organisations hell bent on reducing speed limits looked at the facts and not the rhetoric we might get somewhere

To reduce accidents everywhere we need to educate drivers that driving requires 100% concentration 100% of the time anfthing less and you are a danger on the road.

If you are just 1 second late in assessing a situation and applying your brakes, at 30mph, you have travelled a further 44ft.

This additional distance could be the difference between stopping safely and having an accident

Can we ask the authorities to try and educate drivers

One other point, having a speed limit is one thing, but unless there is a effective way of enforcing the limit it might as well not be there

What is the most effective way of enforcings any speed limit is VAS (Vehicle Activated Signs) but unfortunately these signs do not raise any money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tim, I give way to your 50 years on this sort of road, I've only had my licence for 46 years, most of it on single track or rural roads. So , you've got a mate in experience. I concur with you're considerations. Regulation is not the answer , but EDUCATION is . Give a driver some education and they'll get by. Regulate, and they'll spend the rest of their life asking "WHY"

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lets bring sanity back to speed limits.
Drivers are like donkeys -they respond best to a carrot, not a stick .Road safety experts are like Asses - best kept covered up ,or sat on


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 21:37 
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So, had another little Sunday tootle, this time out to Cheddleton to visit an Open Gardens day. Went out via A500, then into Hanley and out along the Ashbourne Road to Cellarhead, then north via Wetley Rocks to Cheddleton.

I really have never seen such a grotesque number of speed cameras, they are almost every 100 yards, but then we get to the really aggressive stuff. Before Wetley Rocks, (which BTW is infested with them, at least one per 50 yards, yes really !!), there is a section of 50 mph road, about 1/2 milein length, between Cellarhead and Wetley Rocks, before its 30 mph limit. You can almost see the 30 mph signs at the start of the 50 mph section, yet the cash camera partnership squeeze in three in this distance !!

Now I know there are some posters on this forum who seem entirely comfortable with constant camera surveillance on themselves and others, but I for one feel that in some office hidden in Staffordshire somewhere, there is a group of malevolent people who have the sole intention in life, of catching me out. Do not believe those who say they never exceed the speed limit, because they cannot possibly know this and drive properly. It really has nothing whatever to do with road safety as the above example illustrates. I don't think I am being paranoid, but if the intent is not to catch people out, why are there so many cameras ? There are nowhere near this number in adjoining counties, and none in Durham. What is it about Staffordshire that makes hundreds of cameras so essential. Of course we know the answer, it is to raise cash, previously by hypothecation, now to find candidates for the lucrative £90 Speed Awareness Courses, and keep everyone in well-paid jobs with gold plated pensions, nothing else.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 21:42 
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From what I have read, the 40mph limits will be introduced in the form of "zones" like the 20mph ones in towns. The intention is to have gateway signs only (no repeaters) into areas which are basically self-enforcing (i.e. almost nobody is going faster than 40mph anyway).

This raises the obvious point that if nobody is exceeding 40mph then what is the point of expensively imposing these limits but the major issue is can you reliably remember if you are in one of these zones? Thought not.

This is all about local politics and assuring councillors that "something" is being done rather than safety.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 23:54 
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I had some experience of the sort of madness being contemplated today, when I visited my mother in law just outside of Southport.

Limits have been extended into formerly NSL in several places - and the side roads in the village where she lives are now 20 mph.

Once again, those in power have reverted blaming to VEHICLE SPEED for the appalling casualties on our rural roads.

This is simply not true - as it seems to have escaped their notice that (some) people die on their driveways at slow speeds - usually from vehicles driven by family members!
It also ignores the statistics collected in Stats 19.

If they think that attempting to mitigate the effects of the inevitable accidents that will continue to happen, then they will sadly be proved wrong while they continue to ignore the obvious cause - poor driving standards!

We already have MOTORCYCLES governed by staged testing and training - limited horse power until a given age and training level are achieved, over a longer period of time.
WHEN we do the same for ALL vehicles, then we may see an improvement... presently however, the only training and new policy says: "Drive slowly at the speed on the sign, and everything will be just fine!"

If we stopped people from swimming, would deaths by drowning end? No of course not! So why adopt a similar strategy with driving on rural roads?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 19:46 
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Our County Council, Cumbria has decided it would be too costly to implement.

Westmorland Gazette wrote:
40 mph speed limits across the rural road network 'too costly' to implement

A SUGGESTION that 40 mph speed limits should be brought in across the rural road network has been dismissed as potentially too costly by Cumbria County Council (CCC).

The Department of Transport is asking local authorities and other interested bodies to comment on new guidance which would restrict speed limits on A and B roads in country areas.
But while the 40 mph proposal has been met with approval by road safety campaigners and environmental groups, it received a negative assessment from the county highways authority.

A CCC spokeswoman said: “The new suggestion has appeared without any information on how new speed restrictions would be funded - there would be additional expense for extra signs, engineering for traffic calming measures and also enforcement in terms of speed cameras.
“In this difficult economic climate we need to assess affordability and necessity before making any changes to highways restrictions.
"Our preference at this stage, as one of the largest rural road networks in the country, is to focus efforts on driver education as there's simply too big a road network to try and enforce these types of restrictions."

The spokeswoman added that extra road signs would also ‘carry the risk of too much clutter’ in scenic rural areas.

However, Ralph Smyth, senior transport campaigner for Campaign to Proect Rural England (CPRE), said the idea should be supported.
“Since the last speed limit guidance was published, deaths on rural roads have tragically increased from half of all road deaths to over two thirds. While the UK has made urban areas safer with the roll-out of 20 mph zones, we need to do something similar in the countryside.

“The Dutch have found that widespread adoption of 60km/h (37 mph) zones on their minor rural roads has been even more effective in saving lives than their urban 30km/h (19 mph) zones.

“If we want to have an enviable safety record in our countryside, whether for drivers, dog-walkers, cyclists, riders or wildlife, it’s time for 40 mph zones to become the norm on minor rural roads. We are delighted the Government has listened to us and is encouraging highway authorities to pilot these zones.”

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: "Local authorities are well placed to decide what the most appropriate speed limits are for their roads because they know their areas, so we welcome this consultation.

"However, the key thing is to get the balance right between local authorities deciding their own speed limits and the maintenance of national consistency so in general the same sort of road environment has the same speed limit no matter where you are in the country."

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 21:57 
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Quote:
However, Ralph Smyth, senior transport campaigner for Campaign to Proect Rural England (CPRE), said the idea should be supported.
“Since the last speed limit guidance was published, deaths on rural roads have tragically increased from half of all road deaths to over two thirds. While the UK has made urban areas safer with the roll-out of 20 mph zones, we need to do something similar in the countryside.


Not in Portsmouth it hasn't!

Quote:
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: "Local authorities are well placed to decide what the most appropriate speed limits are for their roads because they know their areas, so we welcome this consultation.


Yep they know their areas so well, that half of them don't either drive or live in the area and they would prefer to listen to the whinging of two or three local old ladies than professional drivers like the Trafpol, who drive the roads regularly.

Quote:
"However, the key thing is to get the balance right between local authorities deciding their own speed limits and the maintenance of national consistency so in general the same sort of road environment has the same speed limit no matter where you are in the country."


That's an easy one to sort out, just make the NSL a 40MPH limit and please the majority of sunday drivers and every old lady in the country.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 09:51 
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I wonder how many KSIs have been saved since the imposition of the 40 limit on the Cold Fell road from Sellafield to Ennerdale, since it was imposed? I'm guessing at a round number - a particularly round number...

Still, at least we've got lots of shiny new :40: lollipops despoiling the landscape now - I'm sure that will guarantee safety in the future. :roll: Of course, if, (like that road) the 40 limits are only imposed on stretches of raod where it's virtually impossible to do much more than 40 anyway, I don't suppose it will make any difference - other than to the odd single seater on slicks, perhaps. All depends what they call a "minor" rural road, I guess.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 16:48 
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.probably something like this ...... https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Horton ... 12,45,,0,0 or this...... .. https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=hinsto ... 6,,0,-0.36.

I see that telford Council are doing speed surveys on one of it's main 40MPH roads now (used to be NSL) about twenty yards before and after a roundabout......yep a good indication of free flowing speeds there boys. What are you frightened of, maybe that people will find that the mean speed on the rest of the road is well above 40MPH and you've c@@@@d up?

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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