20mph speed limit in Lewes would be self-defeating

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In a recent letter from Susan Murray she stated that she enjoyed visiting Brighton and Hove, with the wide spread 20 mph zones. I don’t anymore.

I find the excessive regulation in Brighton a very good encouragement to go internet shopping, and to avoid Brighton as much as possible.

She also states that the accident rate has come down 17.5% in the past few years, and implies that this is due to the new speed limits.

One can play numerous games with statistics and she ignores that this improvement is actually a continuation of the same trend since 2005. Picking other figures, I could state that serious pedestrian accidents in 2008 were 46 and there were 47 in 2013, and deaths have increased from 2 in 2009 to 3 in 2013. Choose the correct dates and statistics can be used to prove almost anything.

We are now facing the possibility of extra 20 mph zones in Lewes. Unfortunately I have not seen the benefits of the existing zones. As a driver who obeys limits, I just seem to cause road rage from the cars behind, who then sometimes do dangerous manoeuvres to pass when ever possible.

As a pedestrian, the roads are no easier to cross, and the car still rules. 20 mph zones either need to be enforced, or we need different measures to help pedestrians. If the zones were enforced so that being caught doing 25mph four times would mean you lose your licence, then they might be obeyed.

A benefit, or a problem with such enforcement, would be that there may be no white vans or taxis left after a week!

The solution I would urge is for better pedestrian rights.

Firstly many more pedestrian crossings. This would involve having the law changed so that crossings can be located anywhere sensible, without the requirement for Belisha beacons and ‘miles’ of white lining. In France, and even the USA, they sometimes have crossings every 50 metres in areas with high pedestrian activity. France and the USA do also have 20 mph zones, but only over a very short distance.

Road campaigners have managed to change the law to make 20 mph zones easier to implement, let us also change the law to make crossings simple and cheap to implement. Maybe the Green Party could take this idea up.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists recently reported that serious accidents on 20 mph roads actually increased by 26 percent last year, while there was a slight reduction on 30mph roads.

We all want safe roads, not just more rules and regulations with no beneficial effect.

Michael Cotgrove

Lewes