Road Safety News

Worthing residents reject 20mph limit

Wednesday 12th November 2014

Plans to introduce a 20mph speed limit in Worthing look set to be abandoned following a public consultation in which almost 70% of respondents voted against the scheme.

The consultation was carried out by a project team comprising officers from West Sussex County Council, via a paper-based voting form distributed to all residential and business addresses within the consultation area. The consultation took place between 23 April and 31 July 2014.

The consultation posed the question: “Do you support the 20mph proposal for residential roads in Worthing?” 18,911 individuals responded, with 5,796 (30.6%) in favour and 13,115 (69.4%) saying no.

As a result of the consultation outcome, the Worthing County Local Committee is advising councillors “to not progress the proposed introduction of a town-wide 20 mph speed limit in Worthing”.

A final decision will be made at a public meeting in Worthing on 19 November.

Two campaign groups on opposite sides of the debate had widely differing views of the consultation process and outcome.

20’s pointless, which is campaigning against the introduction of the limit in Worthing, said that "common sense has prevailed".

Meanwhile, 20's Plenty for Worthing described the consultation as "a flawed process and an unjust result", and added: "The residents of Worthing stand to lose the chance for safer and more pleasant residential streets due to scaremongering, threats of bus cuts and the failure of the council to properly explain the benefits and cost effectiveness of 20 mph limits."




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Do you have a reference for your comment. Google doesn't seem to come up with anything other than repeated comments about this report in this website.

Alternatively, here is the link to the Imperial College report :-

This came to the conclusion that 20mph limits do not have an adverse effect on air quality.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (2) | Disagree (3)

Every single resident of Chichester was sent a letter and was therefore given the opportunity to comment on the 20mph scheme in Chichester. There was also the chance for people not living here to comment on line or to log onto systems in the library, council offices etc. There were positive results which were published on WSCC website here: results show that there is an observed reduction in speeds at 89% of the sites. The results of the analysis indicate that pre-scheme implementation, average speeds below 24mph were observed at 22 (63%) sites and above at 13 (37%) sites. Post scheme implementation, average speeds below 24mph were observed at 27 (77%) sites and above at 8 (23%) sites. It is therefore considered that the speeds are at the desired level after implementation at
77% of sites. The consultants report was very positive about some roads, in particular York Road where a huge decrease in speed was noted. 32 of the 35 sites have seen a decrease in the observed 85th percentile speeds since the implementation of the 20 mph scheme in Chichester. Across all of the sites, there has been an average 9.6% decrease in the observed 85% percentile speeds.

Speeds in Chichester have therefore been decreasing in a way that is consistent with schemes elsewhere in the country.
Sarah Sharp, Chichester

Agree (9) | Disagree (2)

Does not matter what you can see is happening, or about to happen, we must promote the simplistic 'driving-by-numbers' that now designates what the insurance adverts on the TV term as 'good driving' while selling you a black box.
Terry Hudson, Kent

Agree (5) | Disagree (4)

The Rover based Radcliffe Group proved beyond doubt that at 20mph there is more pollution - not less. Why? Catalytic converters do not work proerly at 20mph.
Heather Close Stratford

Agree (10) | Disagree (9)

I live in West Sussex, Chichester where the 20MPH zone was implemented after consultation only with those who live in the streets, not all Chichester residents. I have yet to see any evidence that it has reduced speeds, casualties, time for journey or made these more pedestrian/cyclist friendly zones.

I have seen some of the new signs already needing replacement and repair, damaged or fading, which is an on going maintenance budget issue for which I will have to pay. Also some of the residents are now complaining that inside a signed 20MPH zone there are voluntary 20MPH zones outside the school and perhaps these, with their wigwags, should be removed. Perhaps they are staying because someone is monitoring the larger zones and will eventually determine which has the best option to reduce injury and collisions. Who knows but it is a bit messy. To the motorist it does not make sense. It is a bit like saying please don't drive more than 20 in this 20 maximum speed limit area. This government wants localism and that is what Worthing has said so good luck to them.
Peter Wilson Westminster

Agree (12) | Disagree (7)

Hugh Jones says: "It demonstrates the futility of consulting an uninformed general public on anything". I think they call this democracy! It may not be the best system, but without it, we would be living in something like North Korea!

Perhaps the good citizens of Worthing have shown common sense and are not prepared to be bullied by the "more informed advice of its paid officers" whoever they might be. Perhaps many have driven in nearby Brighton & Hove and witnessed themselves that a return to this archaic speed really means and have therefore embraced speeds which have given them mobility over the last eighty years. Which any reform of, should have been going upwards as the majority of drivers have been willing to show by their real world actions and are not based on 'experts' fictitious claims.
Terry Hudson, Kent

Agree (27) | Disagree (19)

Rather like the way the EU ignores referendum results they do not like, 20's Plenty challenge this one by complaining about opposition tactics certainly no more misleading or unscrupulous (including illegal roadside signs) than their own and which are far less well-funded, widespread or long-term.

Nor, as Dave and others point out, is there any meaningful evidence to support 20's Plent's claims of benefit, including lower emissions at 20mph than 30mph.

Dave may well also be right in suggesting that the result is another example of the public at large being fed up to the back teeth with the propaganda and misrepresentation we experience every day.

Nor am I impressed by Hugh's stated preference for ignoring the result.

I disagree however that any further trial(s) are needed - what evidence could possibly emerge from them that is not already a matter of record where 20mph areas have been in place for years?
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (16) | Disagree (22)

Judging by the comments made by those against this scheme as published on the '20s pointless' website, if nothing else it demonstrates the futility of consulting an uninformed general public on anything. If the Council already wanted the scheme to go ahead to fulfill their traffic management/road safety obligations based on the more informed advice of its paid officers, why not just press ahead with advertising the TRO and deal with any objections in the usual way? Why introduce another stage of consulation?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (16) | Disagree (25)

What 20sP is saying is that the public believes what they're told therefore the claimed public support for 20mph outside Worthing may simply be down to the bias in the media that 20sP and the authorities have very successfully created. When 20sP allege that false claims were made by their opponents, perhaps they should be reminded that those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Some say that, due to a long list of scandals, the British public are losing (or have lost) faith with the authorities. Reading the 2 websites (plenty and pointless) you can see why. It's like the houses of Parliament, both sides shouting at each other, nobody answering the question they were asked and neither listening to the other. We could do so much better than that. We could carefully implement 20mph in scientific trials and calmly gather the evidence. We could then present the British people with the best evidence it is possible to obtain and trust in their judgement.

Isn't it time to stop playing politics and consider how to rebuild trust? Implementing all new 20mph schemes within scientific trials would be a start.
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (24) | Disagree (13)

The council did not 'heavily promote' 20 mph at all. Instead they provided residents no information on the benefits, but included the threat of bus cuts made by the local bus company on FAQs sent to every household! Meanwhile the head of the bus company itself ran large adverts on the sides of the buses claiming that 20 mph would not reduce serious injuries, and would increase pollution and congestion. By the time the ASA investigated this and asked that they were removed, the damage was done and the consultation period was nearly over.

Given that many Worthing residents rely on buses and will have seen these false claims, it is perhaps unsurprising that this result is very different from almost every other 20 mph consultation in the UK. Certainly door to door surveys prior to the consultation had shown most people in favour.
20s Plenty for Worthing

Agree (17) | Disagree (17)

Please see our press release on our homepage here
20's Plenty for Worthing

Agree (14) | Disagree (15)

Do we know why 20mph was rejected? There has been considerable national coverage promoting the hoped-for positive benefits and I expect the council will have heavily promoted 20mph (as Slough has done) so did residents not believe such benefits would occur? There have been no scientific trials of 20mph and no good quality evidence of any benefit in the other areas where 20mph has been tried so perhaps the residents had researched 20mph and discovered this for themselves? Were there public meetings where a few residents explained the evidence they had uncovered to their neighbours?

If previous 20mph schemes had been installed within simple scientific trials, we would now have the best quality evidence it is possible to obtain. Installing 20mph is incredibly expensive so perhaps 20mph schemes should only be installed within scientific trials in future. If these showed that 20mph was a benefit worth the cost, I suspect other residents would vote in favour of 20mph.
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (19) | Disagree (20)