John Knight's January 2020 Talking Politics column for Macclesfield Express.

25 January 2020

Last Monday, Rod King MBE, Founder and Campaign Director of “20’s Plenty”, addressed a meeting of the Macctastic Eco Network about what can be done to make car travel safer and more eco friendly in Cheshire East.

In an inspiring presentation, Rod told the meeting “20’s already plenty is a campaign for 20mph to become the default speed limit on residential and urban streets. This can be done on most streets without the need for any physical calming and we accept that on some streets it may be appropriate to have a higher limit based on the road, vulnerable road users provision, etc. But any limit above 20mph should be a considered decision based on local circumstances.”  Already, over 20 million people live in local authorities which are adopting or have adopted this policy, including our neighbours in Cheshire West and Warrington.

Next month, at a conference called on behalf of the United Nations, government ministers from around the world will meet to adopt the “Stockholm Declaration” which includes a commitment to 30km/h (20mph) speed limits where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix.

Greens in Macclesfield have been campaigning on this issue for many years now, and we welcome Macctastic’s interest in taking up the cause of safer speeds.  As well as improving road safety (a pedestrian hit by a car at 20mph has an 83% chance of avoiding severe or fatal injuries, up from 53% at 30mph), reducing traffic speeds leads to less slowing down and speeding up, reducing fuel use and emissions.

The Green Party’s doorstep surveying in central Macclesfield has shown that 73% of residents support a 20mph speed limit on residential streets, while a huge poster by the roadside in the middle of Rainow reads “20 is plenty, 30 will hurt me, 40 is naughty”.