Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Twenty's Plenty say Manchester Liberal Democrats

MANCHESTER Liberal Democrats will urge Wednesday’s City Council meeting to reduce the default speed limit to 20mph. Their plans are being backed by Transport Minister Norman Baker who has encouraged the Council to make use of new powers to reduce the speed limit and save lives.

Manchester has the North West’s second highest rate of overall pedestrian casualties. And last year 166 people were needlessly killed or seriously injured on Manchester’s Roads and nearly 2000 people were hurt. The Lib Dem proposal would see 20mph becoming the speed limit on all residential roads, but excludes major routes.

I am very pleased to be proposing the motion as Chorlton residents often raise their concerns about road safety. There are still far too many people killed or injured on Manchester’s Roads. Our motion is tackling this issue head on and would result in far fewer casualties. The vast majority of the people support reducing the speed limit because it not only makes our roads safer it also encourages more people to walk and cycle. This reduces traffic noise, pollution and carbon emissions.

Manchester Council does not take this issue seriously enough. The status quo is unsatisfactory, and a decision to reduce the speed limit on a particular road is usually reactive to fatalities and accidents, rather than proactive. In Chorlton the Council has spectacularly failed to take action to reduce or even enforce the 30mph limit on Kensington Rd; despite studies showing speeding problems and speeds of up to 62mph! We should assume that 30 mph is a dangerous speed on all residential streets, and that on the whole, twenty is plenty.

The Coalition Government has cut bureaucracy and made it easier to implement 20mph speed limits; I want Manchester to take advantage of this to help save lives.

Lib Dem Transport Minister Norman Baker MP has given his backing to the plans: “I will be very happy to meet Councillors next time I am in Manchester, and look forward to the Council taking forward the increase in the use of 20mph limits which I have made possible.”

The Liberal Democrat motion is available as item 11 at: http://www.manchester.gov.uk/egov_downloads/1_February_2012_summons.pdf

More information on Twenty’s Plenty campaign is available at http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk/

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