Why do road markings give councils a brain-storm?
Northampton Borough Council has a Road Safety Officer, whose job involves reducing road casualty figures. The present incumbent is a non-motorist, who arrived by bus for a conference with our correspondent on road markings. He announced that 20-30 mph is an acceptable speed to drive on a main feeder dual carriageway with a speed limit of 40 mph (which he had had reduced from 50 mph).
Our correspondent's respect for the RSO took a nose-dive as his daughter had been marked down for driving at 25 mph in an area with a 30 mph limit, proving that the RSO's views are in direct conflict with the Driving Standards Agency's views on road safety.
The meeting was at a place where new road markings had been added to reduce the roadway to a single lane. The idea was to end confusion on the approach to a roundabout. The RSO cited a number of accident reports to prove that the new road markings were necessary.
Two reports had the wrong speed limits on them. One report referred to the other side of the road. Another involved a drink/drugs driver, who was later found at home after he hit a parked car. A third report concerned a driver who hit a cyclist on the roundabout in the rain at night a cyclist who had no lights and who was wearing dark clothing. A fourth report was about a motorcyclist, who lost control on the roundabout and hit a car on the opposite side of the roundabout. Just two of the reports involved relevant accidents, which were the normal tail-end shunts.
Our correspondent pointed out that the reports seemed to prove that 'confusion' had not been a factor in any of the accidents cited and that the new road markings were dangerous in the opinion of 10 local residents. But his views, if they were 'taken on board' by the RSO, seem to have been filed and forgotten.
As a postscript: Our correspondent has learned that Northampton Borough Council has been so successful in slowing down the traffic that they are now seeking suggestions for ways to speed it up again to solve a serious road congestion problem.
You couldn't make this stuff up, could you!
Source: N.B. (he knows who he is)
Still on the subject of road markings, Cheshire County Council has seen fit to paint a cycle lane on the A6 just to the west of the Total petrol station on the edge of Disley village. The cycle lane is all of four yards long!