London, 29 Apr 2001.
For immediate release.

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Homezones about political correctness, not road safety.
The Government's planned £30 million spend on Homezones is unlikely to improve road safety, said the Association of British Drivers today.
It is even less likely to improve the quality of life of residents once the irritation and inconvenience to drivers from parking restrictions and crawling speeds is taken into account.

Giving pedestrians and cyclists right of way in the road will have no effect on attentive drivers, who already give way to them. It will, however, confuse child pedestrians and could encourage them to take risks elsewhere which could be fatal.

Instead of improving people's lives, these new urban traffic calming schemes will waste vital money that should be spent on making existing roads safe.

"These new Homezones will do little for road safety and will actually reduce people's quality of life", says Mark McArthur-Christie, ABD Roads and Traffic Spokesman.

He continues "Holland, which has spent millions of guilders on Homezones has an accident rate 19% higher than Britain* - yet the UK Government is planning on ploughing more money into the schemes."

The ABD is already concerned that the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers is compromised as local authorities struggle to eke out inadequate highway budgets to maintain their roads.

McArthur-Christie: "Council engineers are trying to keep the roads safe, yet they have less money each year to do so. Spent on maintaining or genuinely improving the roads we have, rather than on politically correct schemes, this £30 million could have made a real difference."

* Note: Fatalities per 100k population for Holland are 7.5, 6.3 for the UK.

 

Notes for Editors