Memorandum by East Sussex Transport 2000
THE NATURE AND EFFECTS OF ILLEGAL AND INAPPROPRIATE
ROAD TRAFFIC SPEED IN THE UK
This is a very brief response which I hope is
Evidently, speed limits are commonly exceeded.
The problem is endemic.
Vehicles driven within the speed limit for a
particular location are often intimidating and dangerous because
their acceleration and power make crossing a road an unattractive
prospect: a deterrent.
The sheer ubiquity of the car makes the above
a universal part of everyone's experiences.
To deal with the problems arising from pervasive
real and perceived danger, we need "Home Zones" on a
large scale, living and activity spaces altogether free of vehicles,
cars where the engines are "governed"and a huge
shift away from "car dependency" to walking, cycling
and public transport. This would necessitate a reallocation of
road space to those modes. The motor vehiclecar or powered
two wheelermust become greatly less ubiquitous. The welcome
changes in lifestyle that would result would deliver so many cross
policy objectives that value for money would be guaranteed. I'll
be explicit: Health; Economy; Environment; Social Inclusion; Education;
Transport, of course.
be noticeable everywhere, including in our treasured landscapes
and townscapes. The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a very dangerous
and noisy place at Hawes, or between Kirkby Lonsdale and Skipton
as racing and speeding motorcycles force families with young children
against the wall so as to retain their line through the corner.
The same goes for Castleton in the Peak District and the coast
road on the south side of the Isle of Wight.
We acquiesce in the promotion of "speed
culture" when we apply non-skid surfaces to roundabouts,
permitting higher entry/exit speeds at a point where it is apparently
most suitable for pedestrians to cross. (Eastbourne, Upper Avenue)
and no doubt, other places. Paradoxically, we reduce those speeds
by narrowing the "flare" and carriageway at other roundabouts
(Eastbourne District General Hospital). But vehicles are sold
on the image of speed; "getting out of trouble" messages
abound on TV ads. If there were candidates for a "Car Party"
at election times, they'd stand a chance of winning through the
sheer weight of video footage that falls out of TV screens into
living rooms daily. Newspaper colour supplements often consist
of 15-20 per cent car ads. Promotion of "car culture"
is part of the problem and your committee may care to dwell on
I commend the Council for the Protection of
Rural England's "Quiet Lanes" initiative and Transport
2000 "Tourism Without Traffic" strategy document as
useful attempts to focus on the problems around ever-increasing
numbers of cars which increases the ubiquity of cars and the incidences
of anti-social behaviour of drivers. Also commendable is Suffolk
County Council's 30mph limit in all the country's villages. It's
a good start.
Trains and buses observe speed limits and kill
very few people. Road vehicles don't and kill 3,500 people a year.
We don't want to be part of a society which happily turns a blind
eye to tens of thousands of killed and injured each and every
An urgent start needs to be made through education
at junior/secondary level which equips students with a critical
awareness needed to discern the impact on society of various forms
Sorry it was a rush job!
East Sussex Transport 2000