Reducing speeds in villages. Britain vs. The Netherlands [A view from the path]

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When we were in Britain last October we drove from one of our parents to the other. It was an interesting experience being back on Britain's roads and making a long journey by car. One of the things we especially noticed after our absence from Britain's roads was how attempts had been made to limit speeds on roads through villages, but that they were inadequate. Speeds remained too high, and conditions for cyclists and pedestrians remained unpleasant.

The example above is of the A153 entering the village of Coningsby in Lincolnshire, and that's the example I'll use in this blog post. There are hundreds of villages along similar roads in the UK. but this is the one by which I stopped and took some photos:

The national speed limit of 60 mph ( 100 km/h ) applies along most of the length of the A153. On entering the village this falls to 40 mph ( 64 km/h ). A reduction in speed is encouraged by signs and a central reservation which doubles as a space for pedestrians to cross the road, though there there is nothing other than grass verge to walk on if you reach the other side of the road.

The A153 has no parallel cycle or pedestrian path. Anyone who wants to travel the 4.5 miles between the next village, Mareham-le-Fen and this one has to use the road. Many journeys are made between villages separated by this sort of distance in order to shop, use sport facilities, go to school or to commute. Coningsby is a desirable destination from Mareham because there are more shops and other facilities in this larger village. However, because cycling along here means being overtaken by vehicles travelling at 100 km/h, very few people would consider it. We stopped for several minutes to take these photos and no cyclists or pedestrians were seen. Everyone who was making this journey made it by car, van or truck.

Where there are two vehicles heading in opposite directions, there is very little room for a motorist to overtake a cyclist.

[Continue reading at A view from the path]