Another Southport Tory Publicity stunt falls flat on its face – at 20 MPH…!


Ainsdale Tories:  misleading the Southport public over pollution/speed issue. The Southport press recently highlighted the controversial matter of 20 mph speed limits within the town.

Naturally there are arguments both for and against this divisive situation yet this is ‘not’ what I wish to focus on herein. I do however want to highlight the fact that an Ainsdale councillor made a public statement regarding pollution in relation to speed that is both incorrect and highly misleading. Speaking in the local press on the issue of ‘alleged’ increased pollution, Councillor Ted Hartill stated:

“These zones have been rolled out over the whole country and there are thirty two million cars on UK roads right now.  Many vehicles such as taxis, delivery vehicles and post vans will drive many miles each day within the 20mph zones. “However if we take a very low figure of each car travelling around three miles a day in the zones and multiply that by the number of cars on the road – then multiply that by three hundred and sixty five days a year, it adds up to a massive thirty five and a half billion extra minutes of travelling time per year. Are we the only ones who can see what a huge pollution issue this is?“

Sorry – you are dead wrong Ted, according to professional organisations who are diametrically opposed to your bogus claims!

The question arises, is Cllr Hartill aware that his totally ambiguous statement is not only erroneous but also very misleading?  He claims that a reduction in speed will ‘increase’ pollution, yet this is apparently ‘not’ the case according to motoring experts.

When 30km/h (18.6 mph) zones were presented in Germany, car drivers changed gear 12% less often, braked 14% less often and required 12% less fuel. The choice of gear and driving style, ‘not’ the number on the speed limit sign are what typically affect fuel usage.

The Department for Transport (DfT ) guidance states.  “Generally, driving more slowly at a steady pace saves fuel and carbon dioxide emissions, unless an unnecessarily low gear is used”

The AA’s report, ‘Fuel For Thought’ (Jan 2008) “accepts that targeted 20 mph speed limits in residential areas are popular and improve safety. Along shorter roads with junctions and roundabouts, limiting acceleration to up to 20 mph reduces fuel consumption”

So why exactly is Ted Hartill (backed of course by Cllr Terry Jones and fellow Tories) currently misleading the Southport Press and the town’s residents over the speed/pollution situation?

Does Cllr Hartill not feel that proper research would be advisable BEFORE making unwise and misleading errors like this?

One would expect a little more professionalism from Conservative councillors surely, rather than badly screwed up publicity stunts to seek point-scoring public support.

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