Wednesday, November 21, 2012

GO20 campaign


George Gammack, a Dundee resident who has long been a member of the Living Streets campaign, has written to all Dundee councillors about the need for Dundee City Council to adopt 20mph speed limits in residential areas.

I have long campaigned for the City Council to adopt this policy, and, although 20mph zones outside schools were adopted as policy during my tenure as City Council Planning & Transport Convener, extending this to include very residential streets across Dundee has not been progressed.    In the West End, there are many streets where residents have raised this issue with me including the Logie Estate, the Perth Road lanes, Ancrum Drive, Tullideph, River Crescent/Riverside Place and Pentland.

Mr Gammack writes:

"I have been a member of Living Streets for over 25 years most of them while resident in Dundee. As with all cities and towns, there is an unhealthy dominance of motor traffic and I was indeed quite sad to read recently that Dundee had been voted the most car friendly city in Britain. 

It really is time to do something about redressing that imbalance. The recent raising of the profile of cycling is one important factor in this, but much, much more needs to be done for all those who have to rely on means other than a car to get around the city. The fact that nearly half the households in Dundee do not have access to a car should be a powerfully motivating factor in this.

This is National Road Safety Week, an ideal opportunity to push forward measures that will have an impact on making life safer and more pleasant for those large number of citizens who are exposed to an excess of traffic hazards in what should be the pleasant arenas of public civic space. One significant trend in this the adoption of 20mph limit. It is not just the number of vehicles but the fact that large numbers of them are driven far too fast, often along narrow and busy streets.

The GO20 campaign was launched yesterday, supported  by a survey carried out by road safety charity Brake, in which 77% of children said they wished drivers would slow down around their home and school.  

This is not a na├»ve ‘speed kills’ argument; it is rather that lower speed vastly reduces the risk of death and serious injury.   20mph is much safer for people walking and cycling because drivers have far more chance to react in an emergency and avoid hitting someone:  stopping distance at 30 is nearly double than at 20. Where 20 limits have replaced 30 limits, there have been reductions in casualties.

Many local authorities have now adopted 20 mph as the default speed limit in residential areas. Other areas are now looking at adopting this limit on all roads where people live, work and shop.    I would ask you all urgently to adopt such  a policy in Dundee."

I have advised Mr Gammack that I have raised his point with senior officers in the City Council's City Development Department.    Now is the time in my view to embrace the GO20 campaign across Dundee in residential streets.