Monday, September 08, 2008

National go-slow?

Over the last few weeks I have noticed an increasing trend on the local roads - roads that I have been using as a driver/motorcyclist/cyclist for around 40 years.

The trend is the decreasing speed limits.

Many roads have seen their speed limits adjusted, but in every case they have been adjusted downwards. Often it is by 10mph - from a 50 mph limit to a 40 mph limit or from a 40 mph limit to a 30. There even a few areas where the 30 mph limit has been decreased to 20 mph.

There are also a fair few which were once unrestricted - i.e. 60 mph zones - which are now 40 mph or, as in one case, 30 mph. Given that cars today, although admittedly faster, are considerably safer for both occupants and pedestrians and have considerably better brakes, lighting and steering than cars from the past this seems to make little sense. Sure, it is right to review speed limits from time to time, but surely there would have been occasions when an adjustment to a higher speed limit may have been justified?

I know that there will be some justification for these decreases by the powers that be - almost certainly claiming that the area in question is an accident black spot, but I know for sure that some of the roads where the speed limit has been decreased around my local area most certainly aren't. Another justification might be that a road is now in a built up zone where it once wasn't - but again, I know certain roads which are absolutely no different now to how they were 30 years ago, but have still seen the speed limit reduced.

I was wondering if the trend is the same where you are?

1 comment:

JuliaM said...

Yes, a stretch of the 'old A13' - the bit that runs from the Tesco superstore at Rainham, down past the Wennington turnoff, to the Circus Tavern at Purfleet - has been reclassified from a 60mph to a 40mph in the last few months.

No explanation was ever forthcoming in the local papers. It's certainly not a built up area, either. It's mostly fields.