Just a quick post to remind you all that today is the last day of the formal consultations on the proposed 20 mph pilot areas so please get your comments in if you haven't already (see here for details). But the campaign doesn't stop here so let's keep plugging away at local councillors and officers so that they know this issue isn't going to go away.
The big issue is not whether the pilots go ahead but whether they go ahead as Total Twenty areas where all residential streets are covered, or as timorous, tepid twenty/thirty areas where speed limits chop and change in a confusing way. The streets the officers want to keep as 30 mph are the streets where cyclists and pedestrians are in the most danger, have the most difficulty crossing and are subject to the most harassment. Leaving these streets unchanged renders the whole exercise largely pointless since the streets currently proposed for 20 mph already have speeds of that order anyway.
Many of us have questioned the need for Pilot schemes in the first place. We already know 20 mph areas of the sort proposed bring some benefits so what is there to trial? But what we don't know in detail is how much more might be achieved by a Total Twenty approach including all residential streets without exception. That would be something worth trialling, giving some purpose to the Pilot schemes. In the unlikely event that a Total Twenty approach turned out to be counter productive then something useful will have been learned.
And if Total Twenty proves to be an altogether better approach then that would surely be something that Bristol could be very proud of having pioneered. Bristol likes to think of itself as innovative and entreprising. Well here's a chance to prove it. After all what's the worst that could happen with Total Twenty? It's hardly likely to deliver worse conditions that we have with the 30 mph limit. If the city council can't find the courage to seize this opportunity to make a step change then they will show themselves truly deserving of the odium heaped upon them by certain bloggers.