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Author Topic: PLEASE Sign Speed Restriction Petition  (Read 10266 times)
Cookham Webmaster
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« on: November 04, 2008, 06:21:41 PM »

To all residents and visitors to Cookham Dean,

We welcome the recent reduction of the speed limit in Dean Lane from 40MPH to 30MPH, however the placement of the new road signs has highlighted that the speed limit in the residential area of Cookham Dean is currently at the National Speed Limit. We believe that allowing speeds of up to 60MPH in this area which has many families, young people, elderly people and horse riders creates an unnecessary risk to life. In an area with few pavements and street lamps where many people choose to walk to the school, church or pub we believe that a more appropriate speed limit for our village would be 30MPH. We have written to the Traffic and Safety Management Team at the Royal Borough of Windsor of Maidenhead and they have replied confirming that they do not currently have any plans to change the speed limit in our village. The changes to the speed limit in Dean Lane came about as a result of public petition and therefore if you could also sign the petition at: 


which simply requests that "We, the undersigned, request that a 30MPH speed limit is introduced to the roads in the residential area of Cookham Dean." There is also a link to my website which includes a map showing the proposed 30MPH area.
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marilyn
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2008, 08:50:51 PM »

Congratulations to the Family Robinson for getting organised with this petition.

I have been mumbling and moaning about the stupidty of the situation & lack of plain common sense, since the recent appearance of the numerous 30 mph & deristriction signs in Cookham Dean Bottom, Kings Lane etc - but I actually did nothing
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James Hatch
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2008, 11:07:09 PM »

Cookham Dean has twisting and winding lanes, which are narrow to boot. Where your speed limit is posted in MPH ours is in KPH. Here is a calculator:

http://www.calculateme.com/Speed/index.htm

Plus the RCMP are very hot on speeding.

All I can say is keep up the pressure.
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Bagheera
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2008, 11:11:46 PM »

Let me declare an interest.  30 years ago, my best friend was killed when he was knocked off his bike.  In many ways it was similar to the roads around Cookham Dean.  It was unlit, had a 60 mph limit, had houses on one side and a school.

Nevertheless, I actually disagree with this petition.

I agree that safety is important but that does not mean we should avoid risk at all costs.  If we did that, we would have to return to a regime where a man with a red flag walked in front of our cars.

What the petition refers to as a "residential" area is not residential in the sense that might be understood in Maidenhead, or even the Rise - we are fortunate that the Dean is really rural or at least semi rural.  
To put signposts up everywhere with speed limit repeater signs (or worse still street lights) would make it more urban (the Highway Code says the 30 mph limit applies in "built up" areas).  We should consider whether we want to do that.

We should also consider what, if any, effect it would have.  Where a road has no specific speed limit, it is true that there is a theoretical maximum of 60 mph but in many cases it is quite clear that this is too high and drivers will adjust their speed to suit the conditions - a requirement which the Highway Code places on them anyway.

If a lower speed limit is put in, there is a tendency for drivers to assume, consciously or subconsciously, that the limit is a safe speed to drive at. This was found when signs indicating speed limits round bends in roads were introduced in East Sussex during the 1960s.  

What you are likely to do is produce a situation where people drive along roads at 30 simply because that is the speed limit - when they would do rather less if the speed limit was not there.

It is also consistent with the acceptable perceived risk phenomenon, where making one aspect of driving appear safer results in different risks being taken - rather than accepting the increased safety provided by more efficient brakes, people will drive faster and brake later.

Yes, there are those who drive too fast but they know that there is virtually no chance of being stopped for driving carelessly now and they also know there is virtually no chance of anybody catching them speeding either.

So I won't sign the petition because, although I understand the sentiment, I am not persuaded that the overall outcome will be beneficial or even that it will not be detrimental.

My friend did not die because a car was driving fast but because he was riding his bike without lights.  Lets make sure if we are out on the roads we can be easily seen by motorists and that our bikes are properly lit.

Back in the 1970s we had to struggle with batteries that seemed to last only minutes and produced a very dim light or a dynamo set which only worked when the bike was moving.  Nowadays we have rechargeable batteries and much more efficient lights with LEDs or at least Halogen bulbs.

We also have easily available reflective and fluorescent clothing - but I still come across people wearing only dark clothing at night.

This is something we can all do to improve road safety in the village now.
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Roger
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 10:46:56 AM »

Bagheera does have a good point. Perhaps Old Bill can say if you can still be charged with driving without due care and attention even if you are within the speed limit, but driving dangerously?
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common sense
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2008, 11:32:48 AM »

I think Bagheera has it spot on, people should excercise common sense and drive according to the conditions.
Other road users also need to assume some personal responsibility.
On numerous occasions I've been driving along the river road from Maidenhead at dusk and encountered people walking in the road round the blind bends,
cyclists with no lights riding 3 abreast in one case.
If someone unfamiliar with the road is driving within the limit, there is still a great potential for an accident.

Those who drive dangerously will continue to do so regardless of the speed limit imposed.

In built up areas that have a 30 or 20mph limit, even this can be too fast - take school lane for example with it's blind corners, parked cars and kids about.
It's really only safe to drive through there at 10 - 15mph at the most.

However on a clear dry day at 6am I see no reason why driving down a straight stretch of motorway at 120mph is unsafe at all,
but if the same stretch of motorway is busy, wet or dark etc, then clearly 120mph would be completely insane.


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Ian Robinson
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2008, 12:43:51 PM »

Hi there,

I agree that drivers should exercise common sense. The problem is that not all drivers do.

Just to clarify I am not asking for street lamps, urbanisation of Cookham Dean or repeater signs through the village. I am simply requesting that the existing road signs around the periphery of the village are changed from National Speed Limit to 30MPH. I accept that there may be a legal requirement for repeater signs though this would be subject to the area which we chose to cover within the plan and in fact the area of the village is not large so hopefully they would not be required.

It is worth remembering that if you hit an adult pedestrian while driving at 30 mph, their survival chance is 80%, but if you hit them at 40 mph, their chance of dying rises to 90%. Road accidents are the main cause of accidental death in Britain. Currently you could drive within the speed limit along Church Lane, past the pub, the village hall, the WI, the Church and children travelling to school at 40mph and be very comfortably within the speed limit.

Having said that I agree that we do need to careful when approaching these issues and I very much welcome the discussion. There are plenty of examples of over zealous use of speed limits. Bagheera makes a number of good points that I would agree with however the dangers identified with the placement of 30MPH signs are more properly associated when such signage is applied to small groups of houses on otherwise fast roads where the village boundaries are unclear. Interestingly I found this example which is AGAINST 30MPH speed limits in villages and make many of the points identified in this discussion thread and with which I would agree:

http://www.speedlimit.org.uk/villagespeeds.html

However even they state:

'The word "village" conjures up a cosy image of church, pub, post office, village green and narrow streets of old cottages. Obviously anywhere that meets that description should have a 30 mph limit - maybe even a 20 in the village core - and in reality virtually all already do.'

This generic picture sounds very much like our village and I would encourage you all to make it a safer place.

Regards,

Ian


« Last Edit: November 10, 2008, 12:53:19 PM by Ian Robinson » Logged
Maidenhead Advertiser
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2008, 01:30:01 PM »

If any one wants to get in touch about their views regarding the petition, feel free to drop me an email or call on 01628 678236
Sonia
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Bagheera
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2008, 05:38:57 PM »

I agree that not all drivers are sensible - but are they not the ones that will ignore speed limits anyway when they know there is virtually no chance of getting caught?

We also need to be careful about the use of statistics.  I looked at the Office of National Statistics website and could find no data on different causes of accidental death since 1998 when 29% occurred on the roads and 31% in the home.  Very few people die accidentally anyway - even among the young.

If a speed limit is put in place, to be enforcible you would need to ensure that a repeater sign was encountered within 200 metres of entering the zone and then every 250 metres thereafter on alternate sides as a minimum, whatever route was taken.  Otherwise a driver could claim that he did not encounter them at the required frequency.

And with lots of speed limit signs, what pressure might there be to infill with more housing?
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Ian Robinson
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2008, 06:44:14 PM »

From:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/think/focusareas/driving/

Rural Driving...

The facts
Car drivers and passengers are three times more likely to die on a rural road than a busy street.
In 2006, more than 60 per cent of all deaths due to road accidents were in rural areas.
The people most at risk on rural roads are young men, predominantly aged between 17 and 39.
THINK! strategy for rural speed
Although the national speed limit applies on the majority of rural roads, most drivers do not exceed it on them - the major problem is driving too fast for the conditions.

The rural speed component of the THINK! speed campaign focuses on the dangers of driving at inappropriate speeds on rural roads. It is particularly targeted at young, male drivers and habitual speeders.

Urban driving ...

The facts
Breaking the speed limit, or driving too fast for the conditions on the road, contributes to more than 850 deaths and 33,000 injuries every year.
In 2006, going over the speed limit was reported as a factor in 14 per cent of fatal accidents. And exceeding the speed limit or going too fast for the conditions was reported as a factor in 29 per cent of fatal accidents.
Over 70 per cent of drivers in one study admitted to speeding and in other studies the figure was 85 per cent.
THINK! strategy for urban speed
The aim of our campaigns is to illustrate the dangers of speeding and encourage people to drive at speeds appropriate to the conditions by pointing out the incremental danger of even relatively small increases in speed.

The current THINK! urban speed campaign illustrates the reasons why speed limits, particularly the 30mph limit, exist, by pointing out that if you hit a child at 40 mph there's an 80% chance they'll be killed, but if you hit them at 30mph there's an 80% chance they'll survive.
 
If you hit a pedestrian while driving at 40mph, their chances of dying rises to 90%.

And finally....

30MPH = More Housing? How does that work?
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Bagheera
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2008, 10:25:27 PM »

As I say, we need to be wary of how statistics are interpreted.  Whilst speed limits might be one reason why busy streets result in less deaths that may be because there are more rural roads than urban ones, because journeys on rural roads tend to be longer or because many journeys on urban roads are in queues so that the vehicle is travelling so slowly that a man really could walk in front with a red flag.

All of these factors probably contribute to the picture, and others.

What I think we agree on is that we want drivers to behave in a way that is appropriate for the conditions.  What I do not believe is that a speed limit is a panacea that will achieve this and I think it is likely to be unenforcible and counterproductive.

The good news is that it also says on http://www.dft.gov.uk/think/focusareas/driving/: "In 2007, 76 per cent of people questioned agreed that there is a greater awareness of driving too fast for the conditions, compared to 60 per cent in 2005."

That is a big increase and suggests that education is being effective.

The point about the speed limits and pressure on housing is that a 30 mph limit is that they apply to built up areas.  If you get one for the village, would it then be considered as a built up area too?  And if it is, would it come under pressure to sacrifice Green Belt on the grounds that it is no longer rural?

I don't know the answers to these questions but, as Midas found out, you really need to think about the consequences of what you wish for.

« Last Edit: November 10, 2008, 10:28:57 PM by Bagheera » Logged
Showem
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2008, 08:54:18 PM »

Can anyone enlighten me as to what the "residential area" of Cookham Dean is considered to be? I do think that speed limit in some areas would make sense (the s-bend on Hills Lane for one) but am not sure how far the residential area is considered to be. All of Spring Lane? Winter Hill Road?
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Bagheera
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e tenebris lux


« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2008, 11:00:55 PM »

I agree that the s bend on Hills Lane should be taken slowly - but I cannot see how you could get round it safely at 30 so I don't think an arbitrary limit would help.

All the houses on Winter Hill Road are in Bisham or Pinkneys Green, rather than Cookham
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James Hatch
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2008, 01:50:26 PM »

Question: Since when has Bisham or Pinkneys Green encroached into Cookham Dean?
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Paris
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2008, 03:29:14 PM »

Good question James - Idon't understand the Bisham and Pinkeys Green comment either!!!  I'd always thought they were part of the Cookhams.
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