Guernsey Press

‘Let’s talk about speed’

SPEED limits in built-up areas should be cut to 20mph, the Health Improvement Commission has said.

To promote Road Safety Week, Target Tyres has painted a 14-metre line across its forecourt to show the difference in braking distance between premium and budget tyres. Left to right, Target Tyres managing director Dave Whalley, Guernsey Bicycle Group chairman Philip Le Poidevin, Guernsey Road Users Network chair Jennifer Merrett, States road safety officer Paul James, Dani Bennett from Living Streets, Health Improvement Commission active travel officer Alex Costen and PC Matt Du Port. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 32729730)

Speed was the focus as car drivers, bikers, cyclists and pedestrians gathered to launch Road Safety Week 2023.

‘Let’s talk about Speed is an appropriate theme for our community, with 129 speeding convictions last year,’ said Guernsey Road Users Network chairwoman Jennifer Merrett.

‘During Road Safety Week, our aim is to create conversation around why speeding is considered acceptable in some situations, what happens when we speed, and why reducing speed saves lives.’

The Guernsey Road Users Network is made up of lots of different groups including Living Streets, the Guernsey Bicycle Group, the Guernsey Motor Trades Association and CT Plus.

Road Safety Week, an annual event, was founded and is co-ordinated by UK road safety charity Brake.

Representing the Health Improvement Commission was active travel officer Alex Costen.

The Health Improvement Commission is supporting Brake’s call for 20mph to be the default speed limit for roads in built-up and residential areas across the UK.

It asks local road users if it is acceptable to be driving any faster than 20mph near schools.

‘Many people tell us that a major barrier to them or their children walking or cycling to school are concerns about safety,’ she said.

‘We also believe in the benefits a reduction in speeds around schools could bring.

‘Ultimately reducing speed limits to 20mph around schools is a government decision, requiring changes to legislation, but in the absence of any changes, people can adjust their driving to the situation and conditions and make our roads safer.’

During Road Safety Week the Guernsey Bicycle Group will display a monument dedicated to road traffic victims by the Trident Kiosk.

A special commemoration will take place tomorrow, with a minute’s silence at 11.30am.

On Thursday the GBG is organising a night ride to highlight the importance of cyclist visibility after dark.

Details of the Ride are on the GBG's Facebook pages.