Rod King MBE, founder of the 20’s Plenty for Us campaign, has hit back at a news report about a survey about 20mph limits in York.
The news report in the York Press, subsequently also covered on this newsfeed, said that a survey of 13,000 residents in west York drew just 97 responses – 87 of whom opposed proposals for reducing the speed limit to 20mph, with just seven in favour.
Mr King says that the report on Road Safety News “seriously misrepresents the actual situation in York”.
In an email to Nick Rawlings, editor of Road Safety News, Rod King provided the following “facts about York and the ‘survey’ which may help readers to better understand this story”:
“In numerous local and national surveys 60%+ of residents support 20mph as the right speed limits for residential roads. The 2012 British Social Attitudes Survey reported 73% in favour and only 11% disagreeing with 20mph limits.
“The “survey” referred to in the article was not a “survey” at all. In the past York has issued any Traffic Regulation Order notification by post to all residents whose frontages were effected. It therefore chose to also do this with the West area 20mph limit scheme and these 13,000 residents were sent the notification.
“The Speed Limit Order ‘Information Pack’ was a four-page document which provided a detailed ‘Notice of Proposals’. As any TRO it is designed to fully detail the proposals in technical terms so that objections can be sought and their nature understood. Whilst it asked for community support for the scheme it invited objectors to respond in writing. Its objective was to seek objections rather than survey opinion. Hence it is hardly surprising that most of the responses were from objectors.
“In addition the issue of 20mph limits in York is highly politically polarised. There are a number of reasons for this, but the York situation is atypical and in most local authorities implementing 20mph limits there is broad cross-party support. Hence it has become a ‘controversial’ issue for the press.
“In reality 13,000 residents who were about to get a 20mph limit outside their house were posted the Speed Limit Order and asked to write in with objections if they had any. The fact that less than 0.7% did so should be seen as sign of just how uncontroversial this initiative actually is.”
Responding, Nick Rawlings said: “We merely covered the story as reported in the York Press.
“Our policy is to remain ‘neutral’ in our news coverage – we report the news, rather than make the news.”