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Saturday, 16 October 2010

What does firefighters' strike mean for anti-terrorist units and bonfire night?

Slightly off-topic but I think that Ross Lydall's blog raises a few interesting questions.

Let's hope that anyone thinking of carrying a very stupid act in London on a strike date will not be aware of its full implications.

Essentially there's not a lot we can do if it's a 'dirty bomb' or something similar.

Here's what Ross has to say....

The London firefighters' strike raises many questions. At one end there is the unresolved dilemma about who will take charge of the brigade's specialist CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) units designed to handle all manner of terrorist atrocities.

At the other is the real fear of a lack of cover in the run-up to Bonfire night - a situation made worse by the cancellation of some council events, such as the Ally Pally fireworks, due to cutbacks.

Lambeth council has cancelled its events on Streatham Common and Brockwell Park, with only Clapham Common going ahead. Lewisham today told me that the Blackheath fireworks would go ahead - it has raised £11,000 of a £35,000 shortfall in funding, and the remainder will come from savings elsewhere if necessary. Wandsworth is advertising its Battersea Park event as normal.

Even if the FBU backs away from a walk-out on Bonfire night (it is thought likely that any action will be co-ordinated with the Tube strike due for November 2), brigade chiefs say that the risk of accidents increases in the week before November 5.

Read Ross' blog

Monday, 4 October 2010

20mph limit has not made roads safer

Why does no-one listen to Motorists Against Detection? We told people years ago - even when Auto Express reported on the expansion of these schemes that making the roads 20mph doesn't work.

Because our views are unpalatable doesn't make us wrong.

There has to be an open and honest debate about bringing down the accident figures.

I say this is an easy process - and you only need to do things.

1. Put more police on the roads.

2. Improve driver education.

This is what today's Telegraph is saying:

Controversial 20mph speed limits in residential streets may not bring any significant improvement in road safety, a report published by the Department for Transport has found.

The number of people killed or seriously injured on affected roads actually went up, not down, after the limit was lowered claiming that they will cut the toll of deaths on the road.

However, an analysis of the UK's first city-wide scheme - in which the limit was lowered from 30mph to 20mph on all residential streets in Portsmouth, at a cost of £500,000 - found that it has not brought any significant reduction in the number of accidents.

Paul Watters, head of public affairs at the AA, said: "By just whacking up signs everywhere you are not going to change things dramatically.

"We support targeted and tailored 20mph zones where they are really needed, not a blanket implementation across a whole city.

"Sometimes the limits can be problematic because bus journey times are affected, and also there is an impact for delivery firms and everyone else driving in the city."

Read more

We despair! Stop taxing and harrassing motorists if you want road safety to improve. Focus on what made the UK's road the safest in the world - before the introduction of speed cameras and 20mph zones.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend