Saturday, 11 June 2011
Get on Your Bike
One of the results of this has been an insatiable demand for traffic calming measures which usually boils down to a demand for speed bumps in the road. I could wax lyrical on my views of speed bumps as an addition to street furniture but a major problem is that as the sole method of reducing speed in our residential areas they will never satisfy the need or the demand. The resources available are finite while the demand for safety in our neighbourhoods is rightly infinite.
The policy response in the local transport plan, published by the Integrated Transport Authority, has been to advocate "the introduction of an extensive network of low speed zones, create safer roads,encourage more cycling and walking and therefore improve health." The printed copy of this major strategy affecting people throughout Merseyside landed on my doormat yesterday. How appropriate that as the Cabinet Member for Transport I was able to announce in advance at the Regeneration Select Committee on Thursday that Liverpool City Council intended to move towards 70% of their road network being covered by 20mph limits potentially impacting on all our residential areas.
Additional evidence from towns such as Portsmouth and Warrington which have extended 20mph limits have convinced me that this is a step worth taking and indeed a step we must take. Perhaps my playmates of nearly 50 years ago will cheer that decision and their grandchilden and great-grandchildren will benefit as councils throughout the country follow suit.
You can download the Local Transport Plan at : http://www.letstravelwise.org/files/906606832_Summary.pdf A recent report by the North West Public Health Observatory concluded that 140 killed or seriously injured child casualties could have been prevented each year between 2004-8 if 20mph traffic speed zones had been introduced in residential areas (other than main roads) across the North West.