Road Safety News

Councillor wins 20mph campaigning award

Thursday 30th May 2013

Councillor Anna Semlyen has been named ‘National Campaigner of the Year’ by the 20’s Plenty for Us campaign, for her voluntary work in York.

Cllr Semlyen was presented with the award by Phil Moore, chair of the Local Authority Technical Advisory Group, at the recent 4th Annual 20mph Places Conference in Coventry (23 May).

Anna Semlyen was seriously injured in a road collision in 1992 and has campaigned for road safety since 1996. She also authored ‘Cutting Your Car Use’, which to date has sold 140,000 copies.

Anna established 20’s Plenty for York in 2008 and has gathered a strong group of campaigners around her. She successfully stood for election to City of York Council on a ‘20mph ticket’ in 2011 and since then has campaigned for implementation of an authority-wide 20mph limit. Funding was agreed in 2012 and rollout will commence in 2013.

Rod King, founder of 20’s Plenty for Us, said: “Anna has always been a very strong campaigner in York for creating the political and moral imperative for lower speeds. Her commitment has been sustained and of the highest quality.

“In 2010 she was appointed as national campaign manager for 20’s Plenty for Us, but her local work continued on a voluntary basis. While she has been an undoubted asset to the national campaign, today it is her local campaigning efforts and success that we acknowledge and celebrate.”

Anna Semlyen said: “I’m so proud. 20mph limits save lives and injuries. Nowhere else is such a public health danger tolerated, especially to children or the elderly.

“York is at the forefront of civilising streets. There will be better, safer streets, and less danger, suffering or noise in our lives when 20mph limits are widespread.”


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I'm happy to deal with Rod directly.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (8) | Disagree (1)

Nick: I think that would be beneficial and am happy to agree.
Rod King - 20's Plenty for Us, Cheshire

Agree (5) | Disagree (3)

Eric and Rod.
You are both passionate about 20mph limits/zones, for very different reasons. Every story we publish on the topic generates a discussion thread dominated by opposing views expressed by the pair of you. This is not a criticism of either of you, but many of the points you are making are repetitive and perhaps becoming tedious for our regular readers. We know where you both stand - can I suggest you opt out of the debate for a while and listen to what others have to say. Thanks in anticipation for your cooperation.
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety GB newsfeed

Agree (11) | Disagree (0)

The significance of a change is not related to the number of times you repeat your claim but in the numbers being too small. An increase from 19 to 20 when the scheme was introduced will never be significant. The reduction down to 17 in 2010 is equally not significant. Your claim of 57% applies to ALL roads in Portsmouth and not the 20mph ones. This is analysed on the website which concluded:-

"Examination of the DfT databases showed that most reported KSI casualties in Portsmouth occur on 30 mph roads, and most of the increase from 2010 to 2011 occurred on 30 mph roads. Consequently, there seems to be no reason to attribute the increase in the total number of KSI casualties to the introduction of 20mph speed limits on Portsmouth's residential roads in 2007 to 2008. The findings of large increases in KSI casualties across Hampshire, not just in Portsmouth, again make a link to the introduction of 20 mph speed limits appear unlikely."

Whilst it is appropriate to ask what contributed to the significant increase in KSI across the whole of Hampshire in 2011, to blame it all on a speed limit reduction 3 years earlier in only one place is patently wrong.

If you want to contest whether 20mph limits “save lives and injuries” can you please take it up with WHO and just about every other Public Health or Transport Safety body.
Rod King - 20's Plenty for Us, Cheshire

Agree (13) | Disagree (7)

"20mph limits save lives and injuries"
That is simply not the case. If it were, the 20's Plenty website would contain the evidence to support it and I would be in favour of 20mph. But the website hides away mention of effects on casualties and still includes the "22%" all injuries figure from Portsmouth that hid the increase in serious injuries and, in 2011, a 57% increase in serious injuries. There is no evidence linking 20mph with saving lives or injuries. But there is wishful thinking in abundance. It is time for Road Safety GB to review the evidence and rethink its position on this subject.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (7) | Disagree (19)