Road Safety News

Give drivers a greater say on traffic restrictions - ABD

Monday 6th March 2017

The Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) is calling on the Government to give drivers a greater say when it comes to traffic restrictions.

In a press release issued on 3 March, the campaign group says all too often drivers are ‘suddenly confronted’ with a new traffic restriction they were unaware of, such as a reduced speed limit.

The ABD is calling on traffic authorities to do more to ensure that all road users are made aware of proposed traffic restrictions, including, ‘as a minimum’, signs of adequate size to be provided along affected sections of road.

The ABD says that many local authorities only carry out the ‘bare minimum level of consultation that is legally required’, meaning the ‘people most affected do not have a chance to give their opinions’.  

The campaign group says this can lead to ‘a vociferous minority of residents or anti-car activists’ having undue influence over the decision making process.

The group says signs should show what type of restriction is proposed (e.g. 'Proposed 20mph Speed Limit'), with a telephone number and/or website address where further details can be obtained and objections can be made.

To supports its campaign, the ABD has launched an online petition which to date (6 Mar) has received 59 signatures. 10,000 signatures are needed for the Government to respond.

Brian Gregory, ABD chairman, said: “The road network performs a vital economic function for the whole of society.  

“This is especially true where roads provide more than just local access, so it is essential that a balance is struck between the desires of residents and the needs of the wider community.  

“By ensuring that all users of a road are given the opportunity to comment on proposals that would affect them, a more balanced and less parochial range of views will be obtained.”




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The ABD have really tapped into the mood of the nation here (to borrow a popular media saying). The number of signatories has leaped to a whopping 63 from 59 (again - note the use of the word 'whopping' - poularised by campaigners and the media alike to make a quantity seem bigger than it really is). Still, only another 9937 signatories needed. Why do the ABD always bring out the cynicism in me?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (7) | Disagree (0)

To comment further on Pat's point - whenever I travel through a 20mph zone or limit, I like to gauge whether or not it's able to be properly enforced.

I'd reckon about a third to a half of all 20mph limits/zones I've personally travelled through are unenforceable for various reasons.
David Weston, Corby

Agree (7) | Disagree (3)

Most normal members of the public that I know, both residents and drivers see the banality of widespread introduction of ‘token’ 20mph speed limits where there is little respect for them and little compliance as there are no accompanying speed reducing measures and little if any enforcement. Specific evidence based 20s with engineering measures - yes. But becoming the Defacto standard? I think not. Perhaps in a generation (or two) but no where near that previously tipping point yet.
Pat, Wales

Agree (12) | Disagree (7)

This is misinformation from the ABD. Far from campaigners for lower speeds being "a vociferus minority of residents or anti-car activists having undue influence", most of the campaigners I know are normal members of the public who see the banality of keeping vehicle speeds high just to appease a minority of motorists. This is borne out by successive surveys which have shown that the majority of the public see 20mph as the right limit for residential roads and those where people mix with traffic.

This is a view also held across society in organisations, NGOs and authorities.

Current guidance quite rightly includes the views of motorists as one of the groups of road users. The idea that traffic authorities should have to "put up signs" to inform people that they are "considering putting up signs" is wishful thinking.

ABD should recognise that 30kmh/20mph limits are becoming the preferred and de-facto standard for roads where there is a modal mix without segregation. Their anguish reflects the fact that they are probably the very motorists which these revised limits are aimed at and the reason why they are made mandatory!
Rod King, Warrington, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (13) | Disagree (16)

To make the opposite point, Council Highways officers (the experts) frequently have to resist the knee jerk reactions from the public and local politicians that "something must be done" because it has no bearing whatsoever on the problem.
Pat, Wales

Agree (15) | Disagree (3)

Speed limits should be taken out of the hands of local authorities. Residents can get together and lobby their councillors. Other road users have no opportunity to put their views. Councils often reduce speed limits because "something must be done" even if it has no bearing whatsoever on the problem.
Richard, Maidenhead

Agree (6) | Disagree (20)

Funny how the ABD have always claimed speed cameras are a distraction to motorists, but smaller TRO notices on lamposts apparently won't be. Nevertheless, I think the ABD have hit on rather a good cost-effctive speed management/traffic calming measure here. If the notices were of a distinctive appearance, designed to catch the motorists' attention, they would have to slow down to walking pace or even stop, to read them. Maybe they are on our side after all.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (8) | Disagree (9)