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30mph speed limit in residential areas

Comment 3rd July 2010

Back in 1997 John Prescott made extravagant promises about getting people out of cars and making communities safer, especially for children, from the tyranny of the motor car.  This was one of Labour's great unfulfilled promises and child death and injury remains stubbornly high.  It has only come down minimally through fear and parents putting children in their own cars, thus exacerbating the problem.

Why don't the Lib Dems reclaim the streets by doing something both radical and real.  Instead of talking about big money all the time, why not connect with parental anxiety by actually delivering Prescott's bluster, i.e a real reduction of residential speed limits from 30 to 20mph.

Big fiscal stuff is exciting to politicians but reinforces ordinary people's helplessness.  Anyone who steps outside their front door with a pram would respond to this one.

Why does this matter?

This matters because the most fundamental right, civil or otherwise is the right to life and parents are terrified of motor traffic.  Why not make communities more European by creating safe, cycle and walking routes.  When I was last in Bruges, at 3.00pm the main streets and squares were overwhelmed with a cloud of child cyclists coming home from school.

Health, safety and human/civil rights coincide.  REPEAL the 30mph law and show that politics is not just a philosophers' club for big ideas which leave normal people cold.

Make it real for all of us.


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