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 Post subject: Letter to local rag
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 15:55 
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Article on attempt to get speed limit reduced to 40 on arrow-straight C-road, that's better than parallel A-road. My letter in response:

I wrote:
Sir

I understand the motives of those who are campaigning for a speed limit reduction on the C12 through Cosmore (we all want safer roads), but I have to ask whether that is the right solution. Certainly 60mph seems utterly safe to me on that stretch, with the possible exception of the junction with the Buckland Newton junction, but that could be remedied with some elementary visibility improvements.

I am ignorant of the circumstances of the accident that apparently occurred in Cosmore in February, so I don't know if exceeding the speed limit was the main cause identified in the subsequent police investigation. I do know that nationally only 4% of serious accidents are primarily caused by exceeding the speed limit; the oft-repeated lie that "1/3 of accidents are caused by speeding" is arrived at by including any accident where it played any contributory part and by including 'inappropriate speed within the limit' - not the same thing at all.

What is most worrying is the comment that according to campaigners, "the whole of the C12 is due to be assessed at the end of the year as part of DCC's review of speed limits". What on earth for? Despite its classification -or lack of - this road is the de facto main route from Sherborne to Dorchester. Very sparsely populated, I struggle to think of a better 'minor' road in Dorset, in fact it's a whole lot better than a lot of the county's woefully under-developed A-roads. Imposing a 50-, or heaven forbid, a 40-limit on this road would increase drivers' frustration, in all likelihood leading to more rash overtaking, and more use of the ironically less suitable A352. I certainly hope that isn't what the Cosmore campaigners hope for as I imagine the residents of Minterne Magna, Cerne Abbas, Charminster et al might disagree.

Sadly, we live in an age where the "speed kills" mantra is unquestioningly swallowed, and the knee-jerk reaction to any road safety issue is a lower speed limit. When that doesn't work (because excessive speed usually isn't the problem), an even lower speed limit is imposed.

If my doctor prescribed me pills that signally failed to cure my illness, and his or her response was to double the dose rather than try something else, I'd seek a second opinion!

Until about fifteen years ago, the recognised method of making our roads safer was engineering measures, which has been shown to be the most effective way of reducing casualties. New or improved roads are invariably safer than what they replace. Blanket speed limit reductions have been shown time after time to make no impact whatsoever, but crucially they make a cash-strapped council look they are 'doing something', even if what they are doing is utterly ineffective.

Yours

Johnnytheboy



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 Post subject: Re: Letter to local rag
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 16:13 
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did they print it and if they did, what were the responses like?


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 Post subject: Re: Letter to local rag
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 16:49 
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You can also ask your Parish Council to discuss the plan at a meeting, and you should be allowed 5 minutes to address the meeting before it starts. You can stay in the meeting to hear the discussion afterwards, but you wont be allowed to take further part. It pays to stay, so you can monitor support, and it shows you are interested - if you go, they'll think you are not that bothered!

It is surprisingly effective, as they have the chance to ask you questions during your five minutes, and it's a facility which is often not well used, so when somebody does, it gets noticed.
Take some handouts with you - stats 19 figures would be a start, and make a Freedom of Information request to the police for the accident history of the road over 5 years, with listed causes/factors - they might even include a map with the statistics on, which the councillors can then use with a supporting letter to the Highways Authority.

You could also arm yourself with the reports of North Somerset Council, who shot down the propaganda from the SCP, and withheld funds for the same!
If you cannot find the links, then let me know!

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Time to take responsibility for our actions.. and don't be afraid of speaking out!


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 Post subject: Re: Letter to local rag
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 09:50 
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No, but there was a similar-ish letter the week after.


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