Monday, 22 October 2007

Speed limits need sorting out

In my last post I mentioned our allotment at Luckett. Now Luckett is difficult to categorise but it has a special character and is bigger than a hamlet but perhaps not quite a village. It largely developed as a mining settlement and didn't grow in the same way as a conventional English village would. (It is in Cornwall though where things tend to be different!).

There are steep downhill approaches to Luckett from both north and south and the road crosses a little stream that discharges into the lovely Tamar just to the east. Crossing the bridge from the south the road then makes a fairly abrupt left turn with minimal visibility; some of the houses adjoin or are very close to the road. Farm machinery and school buses pass through on occasion. So one might think Luckett would be a perfect candidate for a speed limit, I certainly do as does the Luckett Village Association.

What I find so inconsistent is the fact that the 2 or 3 miles of the B3257 which runs from Kelly Bray to Sevenstones and is just below the northern flank of Kit Hill is governed by a 40 mph limit throughout! I don't disagree with this - there is a slightly tricky cross roads, 4 other side roads in this length and a few cottages and farms and a cattery exiting on it as well. But once you turn of it to descend Luckett Hill there is no signed speed limit at all! Yet there is no doubt that Luckett is potentially just as hazardous as the 'main' road.

It's interesting to note the recent suggestion of blanket speed limits of 20 mph in some built up areas. The trouble here is that motorists will be constantly checking their speedometers in fear of being caught on camera rather than concentrating on the road and its hazards.

To me the biggest drawback with speed limits is that they don't take account of individual circumstances as a rule although there are exceptions such as speed signs on motorways switched on when it's foggy for example and signs near some schools just used when children are on the move. What we really need is more education: I would like to see videos of top police drivers giving a running commentary as they pass a number of hazards which many road users don't appreciate. Maybe something like You Tube could be employed for this.

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