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COMMENT: Fine principle but there’s little benefit
9:00am Wednesday 4th April 2012 in Banbury
THE reduction of speed limits on most of Oxford’s streets to 20mph was fine in principle but has had not tangible success to merit its price tag.
The decision by Thames Valley Police to ignore them has been known since before they were brought in.
But serious accident figures show no significant road safety benefit either. The figures for those killed or seriously injured (KSI) have remained largely static.
Crashes where there have been slight injuries have dropped but transport experts have regularly said KSIs are the most reliable road safety statistic.
The aim of 20mph zones was largely to make our roads safer. The theory is if a car is travelling at 20mph rather than 30mph the injury to a pedestrian/ cyclist/other road user should be less.
The problem was few cars were travelling at 30mph on these minor roads and the resulting speed decrease (if indeed there has been one) is minimal.
Does that mean we advocate abolishing the speed limits? No – there’s no point squandering good public money after bad.
But it is good to see county head of transport Rodney Rose taking a stance on expanding the scheme to other towns on common sense and facts rather than dogma.