Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => On The Road => Topic started by: a lower gear on February 06, 2012, 11:37:58 pm

Title: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: a lower gear on February 06, 2012, 11:37:58 pm

Subsidiary headline on Time front page today was "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"; a development of the Times "eight point manifesto for making 'Cities fot for cycling' ". As this is sort of seperate to the Times campaign itself (see http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=56320.0) I was surprised that no one had posted 'owt on the subject nor on the Times campaign thread.

Wot perturbs me is that the call is for 20mph limits on all residential roads without cycle paths or cycle lanes. Difficult not to cynically view it as yet another attempt to coerce everyone to use cycle paths and cycle lanes or otherwise be viewed as irresponsible and automatically at fault for daring to cycle on t'road rather than on an inconvenient / substandard path or lane.
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: Crumbling Nick on February 07, 2012, 01:33:50 am
I'm no lover of segregated facilities. Since pedestrian KSIs per km are pretty much the same as those for cyclists without segregation, I don't think they are safer.

But I interpreted the call for 20mph speed limits very differently, particularly since they would benefit all categories of vulnerable road users. What worries me about the The Thunderer's article is a 'quote', in the context of enforcement of 20 limits, attributed to Mr Penning that "average speed cameras were an effective and self-financing means of enforcement".

There's a credibility gap between that and the unsatisfied need to enforce speed limits with cameras in a way that is self-financing at present, never mind tomorrow.

Which is more important?

The cycle lanes are only moderately expensive financially and politically easy until the planning procedures wake the motons, probably after the next election.

We agree we want to find a way of tackling the fundamental issue of persuading motor vehicle drivers that they should not be above the law, particularly when the laws in question were enacted to try to protect citizens from the dangers of badly controlled heavy machinery. But how? Solving the real problem would involve compromises - not a popular option in yacf political views. And is there a real prospect that the Times campaign can achieve anything worthwhile?
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: Feline on February 07, 2012, 01:48:13 am
I'm not sure that anything that gets the safety of cyclists to the forefront of people's minds can be entirely bad. If nothing else it is suggesting that greater speed is increasing the risk, something that many motons seem to have no comprehension of. I would much rather the AA concentrated on this than started banging on about helmets again.
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: David Martin on February 07, 2012, 08:53:01 am
The problem with cycle lanes is that unlike the NL or other Euro countries, we have very high density housing that effectively uses the road as a free car park. There is plenty of space to put in NL style infrastructure but we will lose all the on-street car parking.

Which would remove a lot of traffic calming.

..d
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 07, 2012, 11:31:46 am
That reminds me of something my 73-year old aunt said recently - that the same streets seemed much wider when she was a child. Because she was little then, I suggested. No, she replied, it was because back in the 40s there were hardly any cars parked on the streets so you saw the whole width.
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: ScumOfTheRoad on February 07, 2012, 01:35:10 pm
David, you have hit a nail on the head there. I never thought of that point - and you are correct.

I used to work for a Dutch company, and regularly went over there to the company HQ.
It was a building on an industrial estate, and I used to walk across to it from the hotel through a residential area.
Totally different experience from a UK housing estate - no deliniation btween 'pavements' and 'roads' - ie you just walked along on the access roads between the houses, but you weren't in fear of your life that some loon would mow you down as he rounded the corner in a hot hatch.
One of the guys at the company said something along the lines of "In Netherlands we use the space differently". That is true.
Also he said he would never cycle in London - too dangerous.

I think this should be at the heart of housing design in the UK - houses are places to live, and yes you may drive your car up close to the house,
but the space is shared with the people who live there - including you and your family!
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: Kim on February 07, 2012, 02:28:16 pm
The problem with cycle lanes is that unlike the NL or other Euro countries, we have very high density housing that effectively uses the road as a free car park. There is plenty of space to put in NL style infrastructure but we will lose all the on-street car parking.

Which would remove a lot of traffic calming.

FTFY.

I'm increasingly of the opinion that the carpocalypse won't be caused by high oil prices or whatever, but a simple lack of anywhere to put them all...
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: Meegat on February 07, 2012, 03:25:46 pm
Yeah, I frequently feel that. Much of Bristol is definitely at the stage of 'can't fit the cars down the road because of all the cars' (though of course it is the person cycling between the two lines of parked cars who is 'blocking the road' :p)
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: Pancho on February 07, 2012, 03:56:55 pm
Quote
I think this should be at the heart of housing design in the UK - houses are places to live

It is. Or was.

In the horrible past, roads - whether motorways or culs-de-sac - were built iaw the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges and Design Bulletin 32. It was ghastly - all about building wide radii of curvature, huge sightlines etc all with the aim of maximising speed and volume of motor traffic flow. Horrendous for housing, as you can imagine.

However, from the late 90s, people (including me) began to question the approach and eventually came up with the Manual for Streets to replace it circa 2006/7. This was ace - particularly when taken alongside documents such as Places, Streets and Movement and PPG3 (which, among other things, put a maximum limit on car parking spaces per dwelling and a minimum number of bike parking spaces per home, shop, school, office etc). After lots of work and lots of time as a voice in the wilderness, my views were sort of mainstream and I felt we were on the way towards the sunlit uplands.

But since 2009, I've had nothing to do with it. I'm not even sure if the docs are still policy or if the Lib/Tory govt have chucked 'em out along with bi-weekly bin collections :(
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: JonBoy on February 07, 2012, 08:24:12 pm
My only concern is, what happens when I hit 20mph on my own pedal power and keep accelerating?  ;) :P
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: Regulator on February 07, 2012, 08:39:48 pm
My only concern is, what happens when I hit 20mph on my own pedal power and keep accelerating?  ;) :P

Speed limits don't apply to bicycles*...  :thumbsup:










*Yes - I know in some very restricted circumstances they do.
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: andygates on February 07, 2012, 09:00:11 pm
Blanket 20 is human-friendly.  I approve.

Green paint can bite my shiny lycra arse, as always.
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: ScumOfTheRoad on February 07, 2012, 09:50:09 pm
Regarding 20mph speed limits, there should be some publicity done regarding their effect on overall journey times - ie if I make a long journey by car, does it matter two hoots that the last 1/2 mile is travelled at 20mph rather than 30mph?
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 07, 2012, 09:56:12 pm
In Albania, so I'm told, they have a blanket 40km/h (25mph) speed limit in built-up areas. Whether it's respected and enforced I don't know, but even if not, it's a beginning.
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: Wendy on February 08, 2012, 04:01:41 pm
The problem with cycle lanes is that unlike the NL or other Euro countries, we have very high density housing that effectively uses the road as a free car park. There is plenty of space to put in NL style infrastructure but we will lose all the on-street car parking.

Which would remove a lot of traffic calming.

..d

To be fair, on street parking in the Netherlands can be much the same as it is here in the UK, and used the same way.
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: mattc on February 08, 2012, 04:13:00 pm
Regarding 20mph speed limits, there should be some publicity done regarding their effect on overall journey times - ie if I make a long journey by car, does it matter two hoots that the last 1/2 mile is travelled at 20mph rather than 30mph?
You may struggle to persuade those whose journeys are 1/2 mile in total.
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: Karla on February 08, 2012, 04:19:13 pm
Yebbut you probably wouldn't take long to move half a mile in your sleep, propelled by the thrust from your slumbering farts.  You hardly have time to accelerate to 30mph in half a mile!

Besides, the difference between half a mile at 20mph and at 30mph is 30 seconds. 
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: hubner on February 08, 2012, 04:27:39 pm
But does the AA support the enforcement of speed limits?
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: Pancho on February 08, 2012, 04:49:37 pm
The problem with cycle lanes is that unlike the NL or other Euro countries, we have very high density housing that effectively uses the road as a free car park. There is plenty of space to put in NL style infrastructure but we will lose all the on-street car parking.

Which would remove a lot of traffic calming.

..d

You need to separate the issues; car parking and housing density. High density housing is a good thing; it reduces travel distances making walking and cycling trips short and bus services viable. If terraces and flats contribute to the density, you get added sustainability points from lower heating costs.

Car parking is a problem. Whatever you do, it's a problem. Provide lots of off-road parking and it's an invisible subsidy of car transport and just encourages it. Provide minimal and you get narrowed roads and moaning residents. The solution, IME, is to design it into the road. Make the road wide enough and with regular build outs and the street can accomodate it without too much degradation. Indeed, you can argue it improves the street by creating a permeable barrier between traffic and pedestrians - improving safety and reducing noise.

We used to refer to on-street parking as mobile traffic calming. And cyclists as sacrificial traffic calming.
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: David Martin on February 08, 2012, 05:43:45 pm
Whilst there is similar parking, I'd suggest that it is far more pervasive in UK.
Title: Re: "AA supports 20mph limit to boost cycle safety"
Post by: rogerzilla on February 08, 2012, 06:09:24 pm
In Albania, so I'm told, they have a blanket 40km/h (25mph) speed limit in built-up areas. Whether it's respected and enforced I don't know, but even if not, it's a beginning.
I don't think an ox-cart can even crack 8mph.