Love 30 has made a submission on the Draft County Wicklow Road Traffic Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws of 2022.
Love 30, the Campaign for 30 km/h Speed Limits, welcomes Wicklow County Council’s proposals to increase the number of roads within the County to which a 30 km/h speed limit applies.
- We are disappointed that the proposals apply mostly to residential estates and slow zones and not to all built up areas. We are also concerned that 30 km/h has not been applied to certain housing estates, and that the rural speed limit of 80 km/h has been applied to several roads with ribbon development.
- We note the schedule includes periodic speed limits of 30 km/h for very short time periods outside certain schools. We believe that all schools in the county should have speed limits of 30 km/h, preferably full-time, but where this is not possible, for reasonable time periods in the mornings and afternoons. Periodic 30 km/h zones should also be implemented around other places of assembly (cinemas, theatres, community centres, religious buildings, etc.), that have large numbers of people arriving and / or leaving at the same time.
- A large number of urban roads are not marked as having a special speed limit, even in housing estates. This means that errant drivers cannot be prosecuted for speeding. If this is due to roads not being taken in charge promptly, then efforts should be made to take them in charge as soon as possible.
- The documents contain a vast amount of information. As is inevitable with such a large undertaking, there are some gaps and conflicts. The wording of the bye-laws indicate they only apply where the text and maps agree. THis needs to be rectified before the bye-laws are finalised. We have provided detailed comments on the maps and schedule in appendices B and C which will assist in this task.
- Certain maps were not made available online during the public consultation.
Love 30 recommends that 30 km/h should be set as the default urban speed limit in all built-up areas throughout Wicklow County, with exceptions for a small number of roads, as required by the Stockholm Declaration of February 2020 co-signed by Ireland. This will mean applying a 30 km/h speed limit to all roads where there are a significant number of houses, including all housing estates, town and village centres, rural roads with ribbon development, and all local distributor roads, especially where there are schools, sports grounds or other places where people congregate. We believe that wide-area 30 km/h speed limits provide far greater benefits than 30 km/h speed limits that are limited to residential estates. Wide-area 30 km/h speed limits:
- Bring door-to- door improvements, enabling people of all ages to choose active travel modes for daily journeys to work, school, or for leisure. In many cases children will be able to travel independently to school, thus reducing the school time traffic jams. This provides healthy travel options for the whole community and supports climate action goals by reducing traffic volumes and associated pollution.
- Are one of the cost effective safety measures. Studies in the UK have found them to be five times more effective at reducing fatal and serious injuries than targeted interventions on A roads.
- Are simpler for all road users. The reduced number of traffic speed signs mean road users don’t have to deal with frequent and confusing changes of speed limits.
Our full submission is attached.