Wiltshire Council misinforms public on 20mph zones outside schools

People in Wiltshire could think that their council is being progressive by its plans to allow schools to request a 20mph zone outside their school. Whilst in its press release it says :-

"We want to balance the needs of local people with the need to ensure children can travel to and from school safely, and I think this is a great way to do that"

and in its web news release actually shows a picture of a mandatory 20mph zone (you can tell its mandatory because it uses a red circle) but what we have confirmed with them is that it is actually only offering is an advisory temporary  limit which any driver with knowledge of the highway code knows is not mandatory. In fact the actual speed limit on the road remains at 30mph.

We call upon Wiltshire council to stop misinforming its parents and children about its intentions and what they can request.

Its press release glibly talks about protecting children when they travel to and from school, yet national statistics show that 80% of child road casualties occur when they are not travelling to or from school and even then not outside the school gates. In fact whilst drivers perceive that outside school is risky (because they see all the children) they are far more likely to fail to notice children that are nearer their homes and walking or cycling individually.

In fact one of our earlier briefing sheets explains how the children most benefiting from even mandatory 20 limits outside schools are the children driven into them by their parents. They get the protection of a 20 limit for all of their walking journey. But for those cycling and walking 95% of their journey, especially in Wiltshire which endorses 30mph speeds on most community roads, then they get no such protection for most of their journey.

We say that if Wiltshire Council really cared for its children's safety then it would implement community-wide mandatory 20mph limits as so many councils are already doing.

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