One-speed-fits-all simplistic nonsense
Cllr Jane Martin wants 30mph speed limits on all rural roads (Councillor wants 30mph speed limit on rural roads, KE, January 28) so adding to congestion, plus the longer journeys times that they bring.
A rural road can be literally a single track which mostly have a ‘theoretical’ legal speed limit of 60mph – so according to her hypothesis, must be littered with crashed vehicles!
Of course they are not, as generally people drive to the surrounding road conditions, a fact she has to deny if she wants to impose a 50% downgraded limit.
Take for example the A28 between Ashford and Tenterden, which should be 60mph but has now been subjugated to all manor of speed limits depending on the whims and fancies of local councillors – to the total detriment of the travelling public – as they try to use what was once a ‘national’ road system.
This once free-flowing highway is now just a caterpillar of slow traffic for most of the day, thanks to the Luddite efforts of meddling councillors.
In fact, it is hard to find any main road which should be 60mph left in the county, as most have been reduced to the delight and support of the speed camera industry, who profit from downgraded limits.
I expect Cllr Martin will get letters of support from people who think they live on a ‘racetrack’, but do similar speeds to the ones they complain about when driving past somebody else’s house; once out of their road or village.
People should always drive at a safe speed for prevailing conditions, but as these vary constantly over a 24-hour period, to suggest there is one ‘safe’ speed is simplistic nonsense.
Sadly, in an era of anti-car hysteria, these people are listened to. Terry Hudson, Russell Drive, Whitstable
It is not just Cllr Martin’s idea that most rural roads should be 30mph or less.
As a member of RoadPeace, Living Streets and the CTC, I have been campaigning on this issue for years.
Thousands of miles of our rural roads are narrow, undulating, and hedge lined.
Most do not have a pavement, or if they have, it is too narrow and uneven.
I would go as far as to say that they are a national disgrace.
Currently these roads are available to be used by pedestrians, horse riders, the disabled, and cyclists. As such they classify as ‘shared use’. In most sensible highway design, shared use equals a 20mph maximum speed.
The Dutch, Belgians, Swiss, and Germans know how do this, so why is it the motor vehicle must always rule the road in this country?
We have the most inane examples where a car may turn off the A28 (with a 50mph limit) into tiny, winding, Bilting Lane (where the limit is set at 60mph) or into Godmersham village. It is difficult to drive at 20mph and be safe in Bilting Lane.
Imagine two vehicles approaching each other at 60mph, along a narrow and undulating road, with an abundance of blind bends; their closing speed would be 120mph. How preposterous is that?
There is a problem and that is one of policing. More speed cameras would help, but the roads should be furnished with physical speed-reducing measures.
Thanks to the good sense of most rural drivers, cyclists experience greater courtesy and understanding on our delightful lanes than in urban environments.
Speed control is one thing we need, but we need thousands of miles of traffic-free cycle and footways to link towns to villages, and villages to villages.
And pigs might fly! Ted Prangnell, CTC, member of RoadPeace and Living Streets, Kennington
Reducing speed limits is easy to do but not so easy to police.
I live in Shadoxhurst where the speed limit is 40mph and the cars speed along the roads as if they are on a racetrack.
When I walk my dogs it gets a bit scary because the pavements are very narrow and in some places there are none at all.
Cars and lorries speed past but one skid or loss of concentration, especially on the wet roads we have at the moment, and a pedestrian could be killed.
Rural life is meant to be slower. People passing through our villages should drive slower and be more thoughtful of what speed they are doing.
I am all for a reduction in the speed limit. Susan Allen, Shadoxhurst