Further Afield

20mph sign

In June, new legislation came into force to allow local authorities to create 20 mph zones or speed limits in their own areas, without needing Government approval for each scheme. We agree with the Government that the move can be expected to contribute to a reduction in the number of road casualties. New guidelines on best practice are expected soon.

From the Electronic Telegraph: 7 July: the £100 million Newbury bypass is not relieving traffic jams as well as expected, raising doubts about how effective new roads are in reducing congestion, according to a survey. The Highways Agency estimated that the A34 bypass in Berkshire, which opened seven months ago, would reduce traffic using Newbury’s inner ring road by 40 per cent, from 50,000 vehicles a day to 30,000. However, studies show that peak traffic has been reduced by 25 per cent at most. Traffic on outer routes has decreased as expected, appearing to confirm environmentalists’ predictions that most traffic came from within the town itself.

Australian Bicycle Wholesalers have recently agreed to pay a voluntary bike-promotion-tax of 0.25%, to promote cycling to the public. Participating wholesalers will contribute a percentage of turnover for the 1999/2000 financial year to the Cycling Promotion Fund, a fund dedicated to the promotion of cycling. A working group has been set up to begin the task of developing an action plan.

Clare Macrae