A safer St Albans for our students

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london-rd-traffic-lightsThe recently proposed “Twenty Is Plenty” (speedlimit) for St Albans is something all drivers might benefit from! The Green Party and St Albans Cyclist Campaign members have asked the council to support this idea, but a county council cabinet member says that the decision would need the support of the full community.

St Albans is well known for its schools, of which there are many. During winter it is dark early and the students coming home from school are everywhere, usually without reflective clothing/bags. Drivers are aware of the dangers but nothing can prepare you for an invisible person walking across a pedestrian crossing right in front of you! My brakes have been well tested during these times and I am just thankful I haven’t caused injury. In cases like this, a slower speed limit would help both driver and pedestrian.

A compulsory 20 mph would make the roads more appealing to those residents who would love to cycle but simply wont! They are afraid of the dangers but to add to this, drivers have little patience with their slow speed. As a casual cyclist, I can relate to this problem and end up cycling on the footpath. Unfortunately this upsets some pedestrians, so its a no-win situation!

Perhaps it would be a double benefit if the Twenty Is Plenty idea came into force and simultaneously all students were expected to wear something reflective. Why bother learning the road-code if you are not seen?

For St Albans Green Party news: http://stalbans.greenparty.org.uk/news/100

For St Albans Cycle Campaign news: http://www.stacc.org.uk/

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Maria Larmer lives in St Albans and is married with four children. She works as a Freelance Writer, English Language Teacher and Teaching Assistant. She has lived in Auckland, New Zealand for 9 years and prior to that in France, Germany, Austria, Edinburgh, London and Ireland. Her diary-writing has featured on 'The Wild Geese' Channel 4 and Radio Verulam. She has written for Hertfordshire Life magazine, Go Camping magazine, Camping magazine, The Catholic Times, St Albans & Harpenden Review, New Zealand Times, The New Beacon, My Weekly and various websites. She can be contacted on maria.larmer@ntlworld.com
  • There are many many benefits of 20mph limit applying to all residential roads – read more at http://www.stalbans.greenparty.org.uk/news/100 You can also download a letter to send to the Council telling them that you support the idea.

  • Mike

    Cycling on the footpath is illegal and carries a £30 on the spot fine if you get caugh. Morraly it’s pretty indefensible- you risk crashing into pedestrians on our narrow pavements, especially elderly people, those pushing strollers and the visually impaired.

    Ride on the road, about a metre from the kerb to make sure you’re visible to drivers and have space to move into should you need to. If you need some help or coaching try http://www.stacc.org.uk (St Albans cycling campaign) or email me and I’ll take you for a ride on the roads where you’re meant to be!

  • maria

    Thanks for your advice Mike. When the speed limit comes down, I will do more cycling and I may experience the respect from drivers that I have experienced as a cyclist in Germany. Your website is very good and I commend you on your work as a group.