In December Joe Peacock from Birmingham Friends of the Earth, came along to talk to our Public Meeting about their campaign to reduce speed limits on residential roads. This prompted an interesting discussion on the subject. Everyone agreed that a 20mph speed limit would be most appropriate around schools.
To coincide with Walk to School Week in May Birmingham FOE launched a poster campaign to promote Twentys Plenty. Children from Birmingham schools were encouraged to enter and the entry from Phoebe Way, a Year 3 pupil from our local Cottesbrooke Junior School, was chosen as runner up.
Birmingham Friends of the Earth with support from a number of other organisations nationally and locally are asking the council to introduce a 20mph default speed limit on all residential roads throughout Birmingham.
According to FOE, Birmingham City Council will only support 20mph speed limits in certain areas, mostly around schools. The main reasoFn given is that it would not be cost-effective to implement.
FOE believe that implementing 20mph on all residential roads does not require the introduction of expensive traffic calming methods. They say that in other towns it has been shown to reduce traffic collision rates with children and other vulnerable road users considerably, which has significant cost implications.
Overall, the benefits of introducing a city-wide 20mph speed limit are that it would encourage a shift from driving to walking and cycling, creating a healthier environment in which communities could thrive. This would also help to deal with two of the major threats that our society faces today; climate change and obesity.
If you would like to help Birmingham FOE make this scheme a reality contact them on 0121 632 6909 or email email@example.com
Or you can share your views on the subjects with us. Click on the comment link.
I’m sorry Jane, but everything that you say goes completely against all of the evidence from where it has been implemented. Quite the opposite happens to creating more traffic jams, slowing traffic down allows it to flow more smoothly, as people can join main roads from side roads more easily. If it means people are more likely to cycle, this also means fewer cars on the road, there will also be less congestion.
You may not wish to change your lifestyle, but there are many people who would like to take more exercise without going on a structured course or in a gym. Cycling is a free way of doing this if people have the confidence that the roads are safe. Oil prices are likely to go up and up, so maybe not everyone will have the luxury of being able to drive short distances, regardless of the environmental impact of doing this. If you have so much money as to not worry about that, then fine, but others may want better facilities for other forms of transport.
According to Play England, the biggest single factor preventing children from going and playing in parks and other outdoor spaces is fear of traffic on the part of the parents. I personally want to live in a place where this is not the case and where I feel the streets are safer for my kids to cross. The journey to school is not limited to a few hundred yards outside the gates, so why not make all streets where people live safe for them to walk, cycle, play and enjoy living there?
I’m with Birmingham Council on this. Limit of 20mph around schools is a great idea but as for imposing the limit on ALL residential roads, what a ridiculous idea!
Also, not everyone wants to ride a bike or walk to work, even if they live within a reasonable distance to do so, I drive and have no intention of changing my lifestyle.
How is slowing the traffic down to 20mph, and inevitably creating more traffic jams helping the climate, would have thought even more emissions created. As for the obesity issue, don’t eat so much and make use of the free fitness schemes run by BCC!