Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Good at Gluten free

Coeliac friendly restaurants which really understand gluten-free requirements.

Alchemist (Middle Eastern), Croydon
Bunga Raya (Malay), Thornton Heath
Castaways, Norton Lodge, Yarmouth, IOW
El Piano (Veggy/Vegan), York
La Tasca (Spanish), Everywhere
Lazzaris (Italian), Croydon
Lebanese Grill Express (Middle Eastern), Croydon
Mum's The Chef, Croydon
Pie and Vinyl, Portsmouth
Thahn (Vietnamese), Croydon
Windmill Pub (Indian), Croydon

List being constantly updated.

Twenty is Plenty fast enough

I had some responses to my Twenty is Plenty entry suggesting that such a move would significantly slow down journey times.

Not so! I shall try to demonstrate.

The limit applies to residential roads, not A and B roads.

There are very few residential roads which are more than half a mile long.

One cannot enter or exit a residential road at speed, certainly not at 20 or 30 mile per hour. It is reasonable to assume that the car might stop or be slowed to a few miles per hour at the start and end of each road.

With that in mind, I'm going to construct a worst-case scenario for a 5 mile urban journey. This assumes:

Only residential roads are used.
Each such road is half a mile long - therefore 10 roads are used in total.
The car never stops, just drops to 5 mph to leave one road and enter the other.

(I am indebted to my son, a maths 'A' level student, for helping with the calculations).

At 20 mph, after allowing 17 feet needed for acceleration and braking between 5  and 20 mph, the car will travel at its maximum of 20 mph for 863 feet in approximately 29.5 seconds.
Over the whole journey, distance travelled at 20 mph is 29.5 x 10 = 295 seconds.

At 30 mph, after allowing 25 feet needed for acceleration and braking between 5  and 30 mph, the car will travel at its maximum of 30 mph for 855 feet in approximately 19.5 seconds.
Over the whole journey, distance travelled at 30 mph is 19.5 x 10 = 195 seconds.

The 20 mph journey will therefore take just an extra 1 minute and 40 seconds for 5 miles.

This, however, assumes absolutely ideal conditions. In practice, the car will come to a halt several times, the roads won't be a nice half a mile long and maximum speed won't be achievable because of other road users.

Because of this, the 20 mph limit probably costs the driver less than a minute over 5 miles in what, in urban terms, is quite a long journey.

And perhaps saves the live of a child.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Twenty is Plenty

Croydon Labour councillors have proposed a 20 mph speed limit on residential roads.

Tories on the other hand say that lowering the speed limit won't work "...given most drivers don't obey the current 30 mph limit".

The Tory position is unclear - do they not want speed limits reduced? Perhaps they do but see it as unworkable. Might one also cynically suggest that they approve reduced speeds but see it as a vote loser?

Reducing speeds maximum speeds from 30 to 20 will reduce accidents and near misses. I reckon that can just about be proved mathematically. The time cost to the motorist is, by my calculations, no more than 30 seconds per mile which is not a lot in the course of a day.

To state that "most drivers don't obey the current 30 mph limit" is rather an indictment of the motorist and also something of a cop-out.

Most drivers do take some note of the limit and it does influence their driving even if they do do a few mph too fast. A motorist who typically drives at up to, say, 35 mph in a 30 limit is probably going to do no more 25 mph in a 20 limit.

Tories go on to mention width restrictions, one-way roads and traffic cameras.

Width restrictions don't slow traffic down - if anything the absence of larger vehicles allows other traffic to go faster.

One way streets also mean faster traffic as there is no slowing down for oncoming vehicles. This is aside from the inconvenience to residents and the extra fuel and pollution as cars can no longer take the shortest route to their destination.

Speed cameras? Well just fine, but if they can police a 30 limit why not speed cameras and a 20 limit?

Time for a rethink please!