The email below was sent to KCC from a concerned resident regarding the new speed limit on the A944.
KCC would like to gauge the views of other residents – so please leave your comments below.
Kingswells Community Council
Could you advise if there is any possibility of identifying to Kingswells residents via the Kingswells Newsletter that a petition has been set up on Change.Org to petition council about the recent change to the speed limit on the dual carriageway to Westhill down to 40mph to revert this back to 50mph or even 60mph (the national speed limit for such roads)?
I am incensed by this and other ‘proposed’ changes in the near future for the Lang Stracht and to Skene Road both to the east of Kingswells which seem to ignore any logic and obey the command of councillors Iris Walker and Steve Delaney with apparently little or no foundation.
Historically I had believed that road speeds were set using some form of criteria and analysis but it now appears to be at the behest of individual Councillors (democracy NO but minority or micro management of our lives YES) and I can now only conclude that previously I have given the ‘powers that be’ far more credit for a well thought out case than they deserve.
A report in late 2013 (attached) by NESTRANS Report No. EPI/13/114 (see link below)the gods of speed in the North East who arguably might apply some reasonable criteria to their assessments) which looked at speed limits subsequent to various developments along this stretch found that the speed limit previously set at 50mph was adequate and that no reduction was necessary and furthermore that the road did not meet the criteria for a speed camera, both of which have now been quashed as a camera may be on its way. They use the long established 85th percentile of all drivers on the road which they show to be 50moh in their report so again why 40mph Iris?
The next change proposal (from my brief scour of the interweb) seems to have been from Iris Walker (Liberal Democrat), see 1st link below but crucially it states:
‘Reducing the speed limit to 40mph will decrease the number of changes along this section of road, therefore causing less confusion for motorists.’
In my view this is absolutely no reason to change a speed limit as drivers should always be vigilant and aware of their surroundings and if they think simplicity is key on our roads then maybe Iris should drive down the Lang Stracht sometime and then she could champion something worthwhile and change the bus lane set-up than being simply intrusive for beleaguered motorists all based around speed limits.
Iris gives us another insight to her character in the link below where at the end of the statement she almost gloats that some drivers did not see the ‘new’ 8inch dia signs showing the 40mph speed limit throughout Monday so captured many folk and who will now gain points on their license and a loss of their hard earned money because of some arbitrarily set and voted for speed limit against the views of experts.
Allowing these changes to pass by without challenge has further implications and only prompts these so called councilors to make other draconian changes as shown in the next link as they call for all arterial roads to be 40mph regardless of the roads features, developments, traffic levels, and contact with pedestrians, absolutely bonkers…
There are already a number of roads around Aberdeen and the Shire were the national speed limit has been eroded and is now set at 50mph or even 40mph by stealth. These changes to lower speed limits are often claimed to result in greater safety but in general terms little changes statistically in the longer term and often only promotes driver frustration and risk taking creating a more dangerous environment than an appropriate speed limit.
I have to say, cars are better, roads are better but speeds are reducing and on roads particularly like this (a dual carriageway) then this ‘feels’ wrong and people will continue drive above this clearly arbitrarily set speed limit when road traffic and conditions allow, criminals? not in my view. Furthermore, during times of heavy traffic this in itself is usually self-limiting and so in my opinion should never be used as an argument for a one-size fits all approach.