Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Speed Limits in Lancaster

On the 14th June I wrote about a change of speed limit on the Greyhound Bridge in Lancaster and it has made the letters page in the local newspaper. On the 14th I concluded that a lowering of the limit from 40mph to 30mph was a good thing but one of the letters has the heading '30mph limit is barmy'. The author reckons that he can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that he has been able to drive at 30mph. You see we have a traffic congestion problem between Morecambe and Lancaster which has been described as the worst outside London (I reckon it's the worst full stop).

The author is confusing arguments. There is no need for a speed limit if there is a traffic jam. You only need to put in a limit when traffic is able to travel at that speed so it really is irrelevant what happens in a jam. I had written in a previous blog that the 40mph, meaning that traffic travelled much faster, and this was dangerous to pedestrians. He suggests that we close the road to pedestrians and cyclists. I agree with him that both pedestrians and cylists should prefer to use the footpath/cyclepath, however I have met people who do not use it for fear of mugging.

My main reason to support the lowering to 30mph is that 40mph is anomalous and drivers exceed the limit enough anyway. As it happens I travel this route on most days and on quite a few occasions I have seen drivers who do not appear to be affected by the new limit. It may sound as if traffic is not too bad on the bridge but if there is no queue of traffic on the bridge then there is always a queue when you get off.

Change the world


  1. I haven't driven into Lancaster since the speed limit change, but to me the 40mph across the bridge was strange anyway, the distance was around a mile maximum, and there have often been accidents on Greyhound Bridge, that may not have happened if the speed limit was uniform.
    I'm for the lower limit.

  2. Thanks for your comment Sea. I went across this bridge twice today and it is possible to break the new speed limit even at rush hour if you are good at accelerating and good at breaking. Late this afternoon I followed an open-top 2l sports car and it got to The Shrimp roundabout at the same time as me. It would be nice if we all slowed down a little.