Having lived in Kingsworthy for almost 7 years and moving in with 3 daughters in tow I had always wondered why the Springvale Road which runs through our village was a 40mph zone when most other villages are 30mph, especially when this road is used by many children to walk to the primary school or wait for Henry Beaufort School buses. Even the less populated villages on the way out to Alresford are mainly 30mph.
I then moved within the village to just off the Springvale road and it became even more apparent that most drivers don't even stick to the 40mph. I have had 2 cats killed on that road myself and my daughter got concussion whilst walking to School when she was forced over in the Bridge by Legion Lane banging her head on the tunnel wall as a Truck blasted by at 40mph+. I do not walk my 7 year old to Kingsworthy Primary mainly due to the speed of the road and when a walking bus was suggested this was the reason I felt it would fail, with even more housing being created on the opposite side of the road to the School, I can only see the chance of accidents increasing.
I had heard and seen many campaigns to get the speed reduced and I believe this road has seen fatalities / injuries to children / adults, yet there had been no success.
So a letter arrived in the post explaining that work had been ongoing with the parish council and it was split to keep at 40mph or go down to 30mph, the main issue raised however appeared to be that the discussions relied on out of date survey data, I have never been surveyed so it must be really old data. I was also shocked that anyone could want 40mph. So I jumped the gun and replied with a link to a survey monkey I quickly created, as it is so easy to survey people these days.
Shortly afterwards a member of the council contacted me and let me know they where in fact just about to do the same, great news, but in conversation they mentioned that there was a vocal number of people that want the road to stay at 40mph.
So I wondered what the argument for 40mph could be, leaving safety aside I believe the only argument can be time.
So the distance of the 40mph zone is around 1.4 miles, of which you need to get your car up or down to 30/40mph (Dower House End) as you enter and exit the zone and the T-Junction at the King Charles Pub would require a full stop (exit) and almost full start (entrance). So I would suggest the distance you can travel at full speed would be 1.2 miles.
- At 30mph you would travel this distance in 2mins 24seconds
- At 40mph you would travel this distance in 1min 47seconds
This is a saving of 37 seconds (one way). If this was a commuter route, you use it both ways every day, this would save you 1 min 14 seconds a day. But I don't think it is a commuter route so in reality many cars are joining mid way so would not get max speed use, the road also has a number of bus stops in the road, parked cars occasionally and of course push bikes, so on average I would suggest the saving at the very very best if used twice daily is 40 seconds.
I cannot see how saving 40 seconds (at the best) if traveled twice a day is worth the difference that a speed reduction would make to safety.
- Odds of pedestrian death at 30 mph = 37%
- Odds of pedestrian death at 40 mph = 85%
A large population have to travel (walk/push bike) to the Primary School via Springvale Road or by crossing it, there are no pedestrian crossings, this increases the likely hood of an accident and using this road at night there are very few street lights, again an increase. The housing increase will see more use of this road.
And finally the large majority that use the road will be Children and most under the age of 12 (I would suggest this increases death statistics too).
Both my wife and I avoid cycling on this road and stick to the pavement because of the speed.
So (to me) it makes NO logical sense to keep the speed threw a heavily populated, school located village at 40mph.