20mph limit reality check
IS there really any need to have a slower speed limit on our urban streets?
The 30mph has been the norm for most of us ever since we passed our tests and has always seemed about right.
But in large cities, numerous 20mph zones are being introduced with the campaign slogan "20's plenty".
Now Councillor Simon Wheeler is proposing introducing just such a zone for the Benhall and Up Hatherley areas. And if it is successful, he'd like to see them across the whole of Cheltenham.
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Look at the reality of how much control you actually have over your car at the two speeds and it's clear where he's coming from.
At 20mph, from the point at which you put your foot on the brake in an emergency, you will travel 40 feet before you stop. Do the same at 30mph and it is almost twice as far – 75 feet.
Even though you're going "only" 10mph faster, it will be another 35 feet before you stop.
And it is that scenario that has seen the zones installed elsewhere. When a young, distracted child steps off a pavement, at 20mph you would have some chance of avoiding a devastating accident. At 30mph, you almost certainly would not.
A good point made by Councillor Wheeler is that in a 20mph zone, there is no need to install the sleeping policemen that have become the bane of many county motorists' lives.
They damage vehicles as well as making every short journey an uncomfortable one.
Which is all very well as long as motorists actually obey the 20mph rule. Questions remain over how enforceable it actually is.
But if nothing else, if a 30mph sign makes our more thoughtless drivers travel at under 40mph, then a 20mph one may get them under 30mph.
GLOUCESTERSHIRE has a fine aviation history.
From the Gloster Meteor, launched with the world's first jet engine, through to the many aerospace companies, big and small, that work in the county today, it has played such an important role.
It is absolutely right that the tradition is now recognised at the new Jet Age Museum at Staverton.
Congratulations to all involved. It is a great addition to our weekend attractions.