|Keith Taylor, one of our Green MEPs, is calling on people across the country to add their support to a new Europe-wide petition (1) which calls for 20mph speed limits in urban areas. (http://en.30kmh.eu/ ) His call came during the UKs Road Safety Week (2), held each year to draw attention to the number of people who die on our roads.
According to the road safety charity Brake, three in four children in England say drivers need to slow down around their home and school, and that they would walk and cycle more if roads in their neighbourhood were safer.
The European petition, 30kmh making streets liveable, calls for 20mph/30kmh limits to become the norm for urban and residential streets across Europe. Local authorities would be able to make exceptions where other measures have already been taken to provide for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
UK campaign group 20s Plenty for Us has worked with other organisations throughout Europe to use the new, democratic, European Citizens Initiative process (3) to create the petition. If more than a million people from at least seven EU countries about 55,000 from the UK sign up then MEPs must debate this proposal to introduce 20mph/30kmh speed limits for urban and residential roads. The European Commission must also seriously consider how it could be introduced.
Keith Taylor has long championed 20mph speed limits and has visited communities across the UK to support their calls for lower limits on their streets. Last year he successfully gained the support of the European Parliament for 20mph residential speed limits to be recommended as road safety best practice across the EU. 8.3m people in some of the UKs most iconic cities already live in communities adopting the 20mph limit.
Keith Taylor, a member of the European Parliaments Transport Committee, said: Speed limits should be reduced wherever people live, to reduce injuries and fatalities, traffic noise, air pollution and CO2 emissions.
He continued: The number of people dying on British roads is on the increase. More than 1,900 people were killed in 2011, three per cent more than in 2010 and the biggest increases were among children and those aged over 60. Many of these lives would have been saved if the vehicles involved had been travelling more slowly. Thats why I keep campaigning for slower speeds across the South East.
He concluded: Portsmouth, Oxford and Chichester are three cities that have already introduced 20mph speed limits on residential roads. This European Citizens Initiative is an excellent use of this new EU process. I would urge everyone to sign the petition and help make towns and cities across Europe safer and more pleasant places to live and travel.
1. To find out more and sign the petition, go to: http://en.30kmh.eu/
2. Information on Road Safety Week can be found here: http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/
3. The European Citizens Initiative is a new policy instrument through which EU citizens can launch their own proposals in any area of EU law which is within the EUs competence.
And just to lighten the mood a little, here’s a wee video from someone not keen on one aspect of the campaign!