|Enjoying the 20mph sign quiz - |
Where's that sign?
Last year I was at the fete asking people about cycling to school, sharing a stand with Linda from Sustrans. This year I was on my own, and given the monumentous change in speed limits in Moseley and Kings Heath, I had to ask about the impact of 20mph limits.
Queensbridge School now finds itself in the middle of a large, and growing, 20 mph limit area stretching in every direction from the school. I wanted to know what parents and children thought.
I'd heard people complain about the size and visibility of the signs themselves. Also I'd heard complaints that the signs didn't slow people, or even made the roads more dangerous - I was keen to test if this was really what people thought, and why. With a little help from my son at Queensbridge, I devised a quick quiz to see if you could spot where the 20mph signs were in 16 different locations locally. As a follow up I asked three simple questions (see below) and then asked people to comment on their responses.
|Every road (except the blue ones in middle, top right and bottom left)|
are now 20mph
|Taking the survey|
As always the conversations with people helped explain more.
- A quarter of people surveyed commented the signs on the road surface were best, and there could be more
- Four people thought the LED signs were great and should be used more
- Several commented particular issues entering roads and seeing signs - Brook Lane, Russell Road and Reddings Road
- Several thought we should be extending the 20mph
- A couple commented on measures outside schools to calm traffic is needed too
'They feel indiscriminate and not properly publicised and explained'
'It's not being enforced by police, and politicians putting notes through everyone's doors telling people this has made it worse'
'They make roads more dangerous because people are trying to overtake when they shouldn't'
Having been involved in campaigning for 20mph zones, I was surprised just how positive people were about the changes, with only one negative comment (see last quote). This was more than reflecting the 72% of people who support 20 mph limits in residential areas in recent Government polls. While being mindful that this survey was in a school, and that I only surveyed 32 people, I think there is much cause for hope that we can change dangerous driving habits outside our schools which still lead to much injury and death.
Every month more than 1,000 British children are injured on roads near schools, 20 mph limits might help, but much more needs to be done to protect our children outside their own schools.