country rural roads in cheshire - pic by peter fleming creative commons

A Nantwich man and chairman of a countryside access group says a “culture change” is needed to slow drivers down on the area’s rural roads, writes Stephen Topping.

The Cheshire East countryside access forum wants to see an end to irresponsible driving on narrow country roads – particularly on unmarked roads which are set at the national speed limit.

In a report, chairman and Nantwich resident Bob Anderson looked at how speeds could be brought down in the countryside.

Mr Anderson said: “Rural roads, and safe speed on them, vary immensely – and a one-size-fits-all solution would potentially disrupt necessary traffic flow.

“Because of this I don’t think there is a chance of acceptance by the public at large.

“And what would the limit be? 20mph would be too low, 50mph would make little difference.”

Mr Anderson suggested that different speed limits on different roads could work, but this would become a burden on Cheshire East Council.

Instead, he proposed that changing driver behaviour could be the most effective way of improving road safety in the countryside.

Mr Anderson added: “Though an accident at high speed will be worse than one at low speed, speed in itself is not the problem.

“The problem is inappropriate speed, failure to understand risks, and lack of vehicle control.”

Cllr Rhoda Bailey, Conservative CEC member for Odd Rode, told the forum that public attitude had changed dramatically over the past 50 years on issues such as smoking and drink driving.

She suggested that a similar approach to driving behaviours is needed to help make rural roads safer.

Cllr Bailey said: “I would favour a reduction in speed on roads that don’t have lines in the middle of them to 40mph – but it is about changing people’s attitudes.

“Years ago you could drink and drive.

“We saw the accident figures from the 1960s for drink driving and it was horrendous – so it’s about getting a culture change.”

The forum agreed it would continue to lobby Cheshire East Council and other bodies on specific ways to improve countryside road safety.

(pic display only, by Peter Fleming under creative commons licence)

3 Comments

  1. Jeff Roberts says:

    The problem with country roads is people walking down them without a pavement, it’s just madness.

    Some old dear pulling a shopping wheely bag along a section of Main Rd Reasheath today nearly got knocked down as he/she had decided to walk quite close to the white lines on a bend !!!!!!

    And I was only doing 40mph

  2. Won’t make a big difference as drivers regularly exceed 30mph on Nantwich roads. They know they won’t be caught at 7am and 11pm.

  3. Stuart Naylor says:

    When cars get safer the skill levels to operate them go down. Lowering speed limits does not change actions, and serves to frustrate those that can drive well. You also get those that think the speed limit must be scary to achieve so do ten miles an hour lower. This then drives people to take risks as frustration grows.

    What is the answer? Make advanced driving courses something people should have to do to stay on the roads, draconian yes, or only have a 500cc car.

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