A 30 mph top limit would not help

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From Pierre Théron.

I CANNOT allow Don Austin’s letter (JEP, 16 September) re. a 30 mph speed limit to pass without comment.

The pace of our driving is already moderated by narrow roads and the sheer volume of traffic caused by the highest car ownership on the planet. Why on earth would anyone want to restrict it further?

This completely ignores the fact that we are all supposed to be reducing our carbon footprint and the extra congestion caused by longer and slower journeys is only going to achieve the exact opposite. There are estimated to be 166,000 vehicle journeys in Jersey every day.

If each one was increased by even three minutes there would be over 800 hours of extra pollution poisoning the atmosphere every day. Not to mention delayed deliveries, more congestion for the emergency services to get through and slower bus journeys, especially at a time when bus use is being encouraged (although the proposed fare increase will probably kill that off).

Jersey’s Integrated Travel and Transport Plan seeks to find solutions to reduce congestion and pollution and a lower speed limit will only increase them. The Plan also highlights that it is important that we not only ensure that we are safe while travelling but also that our means of transport allow for positive health benefits in terms of both air quality and for our physical and mental wellbeing.

Freely moving traffic pollutes less and reduces stress. Mr Austin further states that if we drove more slowly ‘… our wildlife would also be more readily observed…’

Well, if he wishes to potter about the countryside at a leisurely pace observing squirrels and owls then might I suggest this is best done on a country walk rather than from behind the wheel of a moving car.

Our wildlife has to share this Island with thousands of cars and there will inevitably be a few casualties – blaming these on speed alone is fatuous.

Equally, pedestrians will be safe if they stick to the pavements and exercise caution when crossing the road, unless of course the driver of the approaching car is more concerned with spotting wildlife.

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