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20 mph scheme in Clifton Village

20 mph scheme Clifton VillageThere is a lighter note to this, albeit serious, topic, and we hope to make you smile as we did when we came across this email exchange.

It arose as part of Dim Tim's plan to implement 20 mile an hour signs throughout Lancashire, and specifically in Clifton village toward the eastern edge of Fylde.

Clifton Village was one of the first in Fylde to have the 20mph introduced back in November 2011. Our photo above is a reminder of how it used to be.

It seems the process to erect the new 20mph signs was done a couple of days before the former 30 mph ones were removed and, as a result, some motorists were confused for a day or two as BOTH signs were in place - in some cases side by side.

The exchange began when a chap wrote to his councillor (and others) back in November 2011 saying:

Subject: Re: Clifton Village Speed Limit? Both 30 and 20!

Dear Councillor(s)

Clifton Village Speed Limit? 30mph or 20mph?

I can't believe I am the only one that has noticed, basically we appear to have speed signs entering the village that display both 20mph and 30mph! (How long has this been the case?)

Is this correct?

A deliberate ploy to trap speeding motorists?

A cock-up?

I fear the latter.

As I understand it you can enter Clifton Village from 4 directions, from the south up Lodge Lane, from the west along Preston Old Road, from the north along Clifton Lane and from the east along Ash Lane.

south up Lodge Lane 30mph (twice!)
from the west along Preston Old Road 20mph
from the north along Clifton Lane 30mph
east along Ash Lane 20mph.

Have I missed something? Has everybody else missed something?

Is 30mph the legal limit and 20mph 'advisory'?

Either way I am confused. Surely 20mph from the east and west and 30mph north and south can't be right? I am confused!

Perhaps you can advise.

One of the Cllrs he sent the message to was Cllr Charlie Duffy who represents Clifton Ward in Lytham (as opposed to Clifton Village which is part of the Newton and Treales Ward in east Fylde and represented by the Deputy Mayor, Peter Collins)

Cllr Duffy explained that situation to the writer and added "The 20mph scheme is being introduced by Lancashire County Council. The LCC Cabinet member responsible is Tim Ashton. I am sure that Cllr Ashton or either of the ward councillors will be able to advise on this issue."

And Cllr Peter Collins from Clifton Village in Newton and Treales Ward did indeed write to County Councillor Tim Ashton on behalf of his constituent.

He said:

Subject: Clifton Village Speed Limit? Both 30 and 20 mph signs displayed

Dear Councillor Ashton

I believe you are responsible for the traffic chaos in Clifton Village with some drivers sticking to the 20mph limit and others insisting they have the right to travel at 30mph.

The more astute have added the two speed limits together and are now going through the village at 50mph!

The village mechanic is now swamped with work, with some drivers wanting their vehicles tuning up, and others wanting their cars tuning down. He is refusing to tune up any more mobility scooters until he gets a fresh supply of stabilisers.

One solution could be three lanes of traffic in each direction on all roads in Clifton Village, with a different speed limit in each lane.

However this would only be feasible if a pedestrian subway was provided on every road. I accept this would be quite costly but his work could be tied in to the development of the vast tracts of land on the outskirts of the village identified in the Strategic Land Availability Assessment.

I understand the winter gritting operations also fall under your jurisdiction. I would ask you to review the arrangements for the gritting in Clifton Village until such time as the necessary road and pedestrian improvements have been completed. I await your comments on this matter.

Fourteen months later, after not receiving a reply from Cllr Ashton, in March 2013, Cllr Collins wrote on behalf of all Clifton Residents to Cllr Duffy, and copied the reply to all Cllr Ashton and Fylde Councillors and the senior officers.

He said:

"I am still waiting for a reply from Councillor Ashton.

I must admit that the 20mph limit is working quite well now in Clifton Village, one of the first places to have this limit imposed. The three lanes in each direction are a must.

Cars occupy the middle lane which allows them to be overtaken by mobility scooters, and also to be undertaken on the inside lane by toddlers in wheelchairs, pensioners on Zimmer frames etc..

But it is now difficult for cars to pull over and stop at the village shop, which is consequently going out of business. The proprietor is grateful to Councillor Aston for his early retirement, but many customers are very upset, mainly the elderly and those without cars.

The village traffic warden is exhausted. She has had to work overtime for the last 16 months. She cannot tell the difference between cars that are parked and those that are moving, so consequently everyone gets a ticket.

The paperwork is getting her down and she is about to resign.

The Speed Camera is about to seize up. It has generated no income in the last year as mobility scooters do not have number plates, and most offenders have passed on before being identified and prosecuted. The granting of Probate has been delayed in several instances but the village solicitor has bought a new car.

Everyone is looking forward to the County Council elections and want to vote for Councillor Ashton.

They want him to stand in Fylde East , but for some reason he is unwilling to stand here.

The Parish Council have decided to award Councillor Ashton the Freedom of the Parish but he is unwilling to attend in person to accept it.

We all look forward to Councillor Ashton`s next innovative scheme.

In Appreciation

Residents of Clifton

Sometimes a little humour makes the point a little more, erm, pointed, doesn't it?

But if it doesn't, then maybe this graph from a colleague website www.fullfact.org will show more clearly how the introduction of 20 mph zones has resulted in an increase in reported casualties, and thus illustrate how the County Council has been wasting up to 9 million of our money.

Changes in reported casualties  by mph limit

Dated:  27 April 2013


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