Saying Plenty About 20

motorcyclespeedsmall A local road safety campaigner has accused two “weekend motorcyclists” of exceeding 70mph in a County Down seaside village.

The accusation, apart from being reported in a local newspaper, The Newtownards Chronicle & the Co. Down Observer, was also related to Right To Ride in a conversation with the local road safety campaigner, Portavogie resident Gordon Finlay.

Mr Finlay is campaigning for 20mph for the Ards Peninsula to have a 20mph default speed limit where people live without traffic calming.

The campaign, ‘20s Plenty for us’, is active in other parts of Northern Ireland and is part of a UK wide campaign. According to the Newtownards Chronicle, it was the experience of weekend motorcyclists that spurred Mr Finlay to join the ‘20s Plenty for us’ campaign.

In our own conversations Mr Finlay commented, as a committee member of the CPLC (Community Police Liaison Committee), that the committee hears of reports of motorcycles speeding in many villages in the Peninsula, mainly on a Saturday & Sunday, which has been confirmed as a problem by the Neighbourhood Policing Team.

He says that this matter is getting a lot worse rather than better, with his own experience on the Springfield road in Portavogie, for the last several months that has seen bikes go past the Anchor Play Park with the housing estate on the opposite side of the road in excess of 70 mph in a 30mph zone.

If anybody knows this section of road it is well within the 30mph zone of Portavogie and the road only lends itself to this claimed speed, if ridden by a lunatic.

Mr Finlay has been using the police’s Speed Indicator Detector and apparently the demand for the speed indicator detector has increased considerably from members of the CPLC.

The police’s Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) are portable trailer mounted electronic signs that display vehicle speeds detected by the on board radar.

We are aware of “boy racers” in cars trying to record the highest speeds on these devices for recording on their mates’ mobile phones! It may have been the case in this instance in Portavogie that the actual Speed Indicator Device was what spurred these motorcyclists to reach such an inappropriate speed?

The outcome of these conversations and communications is that Right To Ride should be attending a meeting of the CPLC to listen to the members concerns to, “hear what residents of other villages have to put up with” however we do find it somewhat bizarre that motorcyclists are speeding throughout the Peninsula villages at such high speeds.

Our own experience of living on the Ards Peninsula is that majority of motorcyclists do not speed or ride any way inappropriately when traveling through villages.

In our opinion, there is a minority of riders who due to their actions may be perceived as the majority. These riders’ actions are what are remembered by the public, residents and other users of our roads, the majority of motorcyclists are not and should not be identified as “the problem”.

Comments

portavogie2smallAt Right To Ride we have commented as individuals on the Newtownards Chronicle Facebook page

Elaine Hardy said, “Could you Mr Finlay provide evidence that the implementation of a 20 mph zone actually works? I don’t think so. The evidence would need to be based on comparisons of KSIs from before and after implementing such a speed limit. Given the reduction of police officers throughout the country who could be able to enforce this speed limit and given the fact that the reduction in speed would require car drivers to actually take heed of the speed limit, I suggest Mr Finlay that your speculative comments are unfounded and unreliable. You appear to be an amateur road safety do gooder and frankly, there are a lot better ways in which you could use your time instead of blanket spamming facebook. As has been mentioned previously, modifications in road infrastructure – which could be as simple as narrowing roads, to enable one way traffic as many councils do in mainland UK may be a far more practical solution. The physical restriction that narrowing roads impose is self evident. A speed sign is there to ignore – whether its 20, 30, 40 or 50.”

Trevor Baird said, “I would not support a blanket reduction of speed to 20 mph where people live simply because I believe it is completely impractical and impossible to enforce. There are far better options, not least narrowing of roads and temporary lower speeds and warning in specific areas such as near schools. To campaign for a, ” 20mph default speed limit where people live, without traffic calming” is one track minded and does not encourage local people to sort out local issues……………….. Apart from driving I also ride a motorcycle but then that will probably open a can of worms of motorcyclists on the Peninsula.”

There were no comments on the page in support of Mr FInlay and while there are plenty of councils in Great Britain who have introduced these 20mph zones.

In the latest issue of the Motorcycle Action Groups (MAG UK) magazine “The Road” in an article by Phil McFadden the South Wales Regional Contact, he writes that Welsh Councils are arranging genuine public consultations and actually listening to input from those that attend. The article also mentions that there is evidence to suggest that they are beginning to realise that blanket 20mph speed limits might not be the total answer.

Challenge

20zonenewtownardsYou may ask why we are challenging Mr Finlay and his campaign as he singles out two alleged instances of speeding motorcycles with no mention of any other mode of vehicle.

What we do see with this drive behind the ‘20s Plenty for us’ campaign which appears to be led locally by Mr Finlay, is that passion for safer roads which is a good thing, is overcome by populist emotion that blackmails peoples senses and loses all sense of reason.

Ironically, Mr Finlay’s campaign follows on from SDLP MLA Conall Mc Devitt who introduced in June this year a private members bill to the Northern Ireland Assembly, which would introduce legislation that, “it shall not be lawful for any person to drive a motor vehicle on a residential road at a speed exceeding 20 miles per hour.”

However! The principal objective of the Bill is listed as reducing the number of accidents and fatalities on the roads and create a safer environment in this region.

Conall Mc Devitt undertook a public consultation over a seven week period on the policy objectives and proposed options for the Bill. A total of 41 responses were registered, from which it was clear there was almost universal agreement on the objectives of the Bill.

A majority of respondents stated that they believed that the proposal should apply only to residential roads. The consultation responses highlighted the two options which Conall Mc Devitt went on to consider. With respondents split on which approach would be most effective and desirable. Some felt that blanket legislation may be costly, however further research into examples in other jurisdictions has dispelled this as incorrect, and shown that in fact a blanket approach has proven to be more cost effective in many cases.

This is the option that Conall Mc Devitt has decided to pursue in that all restricted unclassified roads would become 20mph, there could be exemptions to certain roads from this speed limit if, for example, they are not in residential areas, or if they are part of major thoroughfares.

Mr Mc Devitt deemed this to be the most comprehensive approach, although he conceded a delayed commencement date to incorporate a public awareness campaign and to ensure driver awareness.

However having a closer look at Mr Mc Devitt’s costs, he uses examples from other cities such as London. The cost to the city of road collisions in 2007 was £1.9 billion, whilst the 20mph zones in existence in London are estimated to already be saving more than £20 million every year in crashes that have been prevented.

However that’s London and there is no attempt to even extrapolate any costs for Belfast or Londonderry or other Northern Ireland cities.

Mr Mc Devitt also uses the example of Portsmouth. The cost of converting 1200 streets in the city to 20mph was just over £500,000. Prior to this, the city had been planning to spend £2 million on ten targeted 20mph zones over five years.

portavogie1smallSo using our own simple mathematics, that’s 1200 streets with no time limit on implementation, at a cost of £500,000 while ten targeted 20mph zones, where they would be needed most, is £400,000 per year over five years.

In our mind the examples detailed by Mr Mc Devitt does not illustrate the potential cost –saving implications of implementing a 20mph speed limit.

But that is democracy – i.e. that one MLA with the support of 41 persons from the population can extrapolate their own thoughts and beliefs on the rest of the people in Northern Ireland through the process of a private members bill to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

I suppose we shouldn’t complain but react – because it may be our chance to use due process next.

In the event, the bill has a way to go yet as it is still at the first stage – introduced to the Assembly – and has to go through five more stages, including a debate in the assembly and committee stage.

Re-Inventing the Wheel

Meanwhile making all this seem superfluous is the fact that Northern Ireland already has 20mph zones in place and a dedicated plan to introduce where they are actually needed along with other plans of action and continued work.  So what this suggests is that both Mr Finlay and Mr McDevitt are re-inventing the wheel.

This is set out in the DOE (Department of the Environment) Northern Ireland’s Road Safety Strategy To 2020 Vision: Driving Road Safety Forward, a document that was produced after consultation with the whole of the community in Northern Ireland and published in 2011. The consultation was responded to by 78 organisations and named participants and 40 organisations with an interest in all aspects of road safety in the Pre-Consultation Engagement, including Right To Ride.

In the strategies vision, “to make a journey on Northern Ireland’s roads as safe for all road users as anywhere in the world”, one of the measures to help achieve this is to, consider the applicability of urban speed reduction initiatives and to assess the potential for wider introduction of 20mph limits in residential areas and other urban areas where there is a significant presence of vulnerable road users

In the section on safer roads the strategy states:

In terms of urban limits, we will continue to research the outcome of urban speed reduction initiatives in GB and elsewhere and assess their applicability to Northern Ireland. This will consider the wider introduction of enforceable 20mph speed limits in residential areas and other urban areas where there is a significant presence of vulnerable road users.

We will pilot enforceable 20mph speed limits without traffic calming engineering measures. To date in Northern Ireland, 20mph zones have tended only to be used in conjunction with traffic calming engineering measures such as road humps, tables and cushions to make the limit ‘self-enforcing’. This would make 20mph limits more economical to introduce and allow for the possibility of their wider use, in appropriate environments, in a way that is more comparable with how other speed limits are set and introduced.

Following the successful installation of pilot schemes at two local primary schools and, subject to available funding, we will develop a programme of part time 20mph speed limits at rural schools on roads where the national speed limit applies. As part of this programme we will investigate options for more cost effective signing systems as an alternative to those used in the pilots.

We will continue to target the safety camera scheme at sites which have high numbers of people killed or seriously injured and redeploy resources, as appropriate, to emerging high risk locations. We will also continue to enforce speed limits in villages or towns through the community concern aspect of the scheme.

These issues are further highlighted in the – Summary of Action Measures

  • Following the successful installation of pilot schemes at two primary schools and, subject to available funding, we will develop a programme of part time 20mph speed limits at rural schools on roads where the national speed limit applies. We will investigate options for more cost effective signing systems as an alternative to those used in the pilots.
    This is a medium term action with the responsibility by Department for Regional Development (DRD) and PSNI.
  • We will consider the wider introduction of enforceable and advisory 20mph speed limits in residential areas and other urban areas where there is a significant presence of vulnerable road users.
    This is a medium term action with the responsibility by Department for Regional Development (DRD) and PSNI.
  • We will pilot 20mph speed limits, without traffic calming engineering measures such as road humps, tables and cushions.
    This is a medium term action with the responsibility by Department for Regional Development (DRD) and PSNI.
  • We will continue to target traffic calming measures in those areas where vulnerable road users, such as children, are frequently crossing the road.
    This is a medium term action with the responsibility by Department for Regional Development (DRD).
  • We will increase the size of repeater roundels on roads where excess speed has been identified as an issue.
    This is a medium term action with the responsibility by Department for Regional Development (DRD).
  • We will research the outcome of urban speed reduction initiatives in GB and elsewhere and assess their applicability to Northern Ireland.
    This is a medium term action with the responsibility by Department for Regional Development (DRD).
  • We will assess the effectiveness of traffic calming measures in urban areas.
    This is a medium term action with the responsibility by Department for Regional Development (DRD).
  • We will develop options to address the lack of understanding about the relationship between street lighting and the default speed limit of 30 mph.
    This is a medium term action with the responsibility by Department for Regional Development (DRD).
  • We will consider the introduction of portable vehicle-activated/speed indicator signs at sites where speeding has been identified as an issue.
    This is a short term action with the responsibility by Department for Regional Development (DRD) and PSNI.
  • Where there is provision for cyclists, we will, wherever practical, seek to ensure they are physically separated from vehicular traffic; in urban areas where this is not possible we will consider making the speed limit 20mph.
    This is a medium term action with the responsibility by Department for Regional Development (DRD).

To put this simply in terms of the ‘20s Plenty for us’ and the private members bill, these efforts and energy are not required.

We do not say this often, but those who are in charge of legislating, seem to be doing a good job without the added distraction of well-meaning interfering ‘Do-gooders’.

They have listened and reacted in a positive manner from all those who have involved themselves in Road Safety issues and all those who responded to the DOE Consultation on road safety.

Note: Short Term – first three years of strategy – Medium Term for the next 3 or 4 years (from 2014).

Where does that leave Motorcyclists?

Ride-It-Right-slider-picture-routes-smallIn reference to the introduction of 20mph limits, we have supplied the information we have at hand and given our own opinion, but other motorcyclists may have differing opinions.

Whether the speed limit is 20mph or 30mph, then there is nothing much you can do other than stick to these speed limits especially through villages..

As for the accusations of speeding motorcycles, we are dealing with those concerns.

However it is common sense that when riding through villages you must respect the speed limits.

The roads outside of villages are sufficient enough for the thrill and freedom that your bike and your abilities can enjoy. So enjoy the routes, the craic, the scenery and all those things that only you on your bike can appreciate.

Just take care out there and please, please, please, don’t rev the nuts off your bike to the rev limiter and make it back fire. It is not big, it is not clever and what riders really think under their helmet is “look at that tool!”

Watch this space for Motorcycle Villages NI.

Links & Information

Newtownards Chronicle – www.newtownardschronicle.co.uk

Newtownards Chronicle – On Facebook – Click Here

20s Plenty For Ards Peninsula – Click Here

20s Plenty For Ards Peninsula – On Facebook – Click Here

SDLP MLA Conall Mc Devitt – Click Here

Northern Ireland Assembly – Road Traffic (Speed Limits) Bill – Click Here

Road Safety Strategy To 2020 – On Right To Ride – Click Here

Ride It Right – motorcycle safety initiative – www.www.rideitright.org

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  1. Road Safety News to review evidence on 20mph limits

    19th September 2013

    Nick Rawlings, editor of Road Safety News, is to conduct a high level review of the evidence with regard to the effect of 20mph limits/zones on casualty figures.

    The announcement follows numerous discussion threads on the subject punctuated by claims and counter claims by supporters and opponents of 20mph limits/zones.

    Nick Rawlings said: “I decided to conduct the review following a reader comment by Neil Hopkins, Sussex Safer Road Partnership.

    “Neil suggested that it would be helpful to see what the evidence tells us, rather than relying on the opinions of individuals and organisations with a publically-stated position the subject.

    “There are several research studies and papers in the Road Safety Knowledge Centre that will be included in the review, but we are also keen to hear of other studies that people think should be included.

    “We will only include UK-based studies by academic institutions and bona fide research companies, not those carried out by individuals, lobby or campaign groups, or other organisations with a vested interest in, or stated position on, the subject.”

    Anyone interested in putting forward a paper should email details to Nick Rawlings as soon as possible. A summary of the outcomes from the review will be published on this newsfeed in early-mid October.

    Original Source Road Safety GB – Click Here

    You can leave your comment to this artice on the Road Safety GB website.

    At Right To Ride our comment was – “Here in Northern Ireland having had a bit of a “discussion” with a 20mph campaigner, a private members bill introduced into the Northern Ireland Assembly (this may fail as the MLA has resigned) for 20mph speed limits in all urban areas – with exceptions – and our Road Services as part of the Government’s Road Safety Strategy to 2020 trialling 20mph zones in some locations, this planned review is most welcomed.

    Trevor Baird Northern Ireland”

    As regards a meeting with the Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) to discuss:

    The accusations of “weekend motorcyclists” exceeding 70mph in a County Down seaside village.

    Reports of motorcycles speeding in many villages in the Peninsula (Kirkcubbin, Greyabbey & Ballyhalbert) which was reported as getting a lot worse rather than better.

    Claimed to be confirmed as a problem by the neighbourhood policing team.

    This has not been arranged, either there is not the problem as perceived or the promise of an arranged meeting could not be organised by the person concerned.

  2. Well Gordon thank you!

    I will not bother you with further comments if you do not bother me.

    However it did not take you long to degenerate into getting personal and not replying to any of the issues raised!

    Not once not even a smidgen.

    Trevor (the unrespected journalist) Baird

  3. Trevor, I am fed up with you taking bits of comments twisting them out of context and adding long winded boring comment’s of your own,as if you where a respected journalist, Please do not bother me with any further comment’s. I’m bored enough already. Good Bye.

  4. If you had inserted a 🙂 or a 😉 then your comment might have been taken as a joke.

    However by the time you made your comment (15 comments later and 16 hours after my first comment) when the discussion had turned to the more serious issue of motorcycle road bans, then there was only one way to take your comment.

    We are now 5 hours after you made your comment “Maybe a weekend ban would be worth a try in Ards Peninsula.” and only now you say your flippant (frivolously disrespectful, shallow, or lacking in seriousness) remark was a joke.

    You have responded within that time with other comments such as:

    “Would help if you Elaine would also take some time and read up and better educate, stop embarrassing yourself and get to know what your talking about, must admit your ill informed comments give us all a laugh, plus I am by no means an anti-motorbike fan.”

    “1. Elaine this is not a little hobby horse, I am only interested in saving lives and injuries to children, perhaps you don’t care about that, 2. it is not just in my wee village as again you educatedly state I am the campaigner for Ards Peninsula there are other campaigners within NI. STATEMENT. I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH MOTORBIKES, IT IS TREVOR BAIRD WHO IS ATTEMPTING TO BRING MOTOR CYCLIST’S INTO HIS OBJECTION’S WITH HIS OWN AGENDA.”

    “Trevor if you have posted these comment’s that is entirely your doing, nothing to do with me, so I will not be replying to any of them also I am not a subscriber to Right to Ride so will be unable to read your comment’s but you carry on with your own agenda and I will continue with 20’s plenty where people live.”

    Are these comments also frivolously disrespectful, shallow, or lacking in seriousness?

    However the fact still remains that very publically you have accused two “weekend motorcyclists” of exceeding 70mph in a County Down seaside village – Portavogie.

    You have said that there are reports of motorcycle’s speeding in many villages in the Peninsula, which is getting a lot worse rather than better, through the Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), this includes feedback also from Kirkcubbin, Greyabbey & Ballyhalbert members.

    This is a problem mainly on a Saturday & Sunday and has been confirmed as a problem by the neighbourhood policing team.

    Trevor Baird can take a joke but I don’t consider that, when you made the remark, the context you made the remark in, how you made the remark and other remarks you have made there is any other way than to take it as serious!

    You can view these comments and their replies on my own Facebook page – Click Here

    Trevor Baird

    Right To Ride

  5. Trevor Baird, can’t even take a joke, Because of the way his comment’s where on fb feckin this and that, I made a flippend remark as a joke maybe they should try that here, stop taking life so serious Trevor,

  6. Weekend Ban of Motorcycles

    Gordon Finlay the campaign coordinator for the 20mph default speed limit where people live, without traffic calming on the Ards Peninsula, has made a suggestion regarding motorcycles that, “Maybe a weekend ban would be worth a try in Ards Peninsula.”

    His comment came through in a discussion about the banning of motorcycles at Rainsford Road in North London.

    The discussion mentioned a recent press release from the Riders Group the Motorcycle Action Group, were they stated “In France many miles of beautiful mountain roads in the Vosges region have been barred to motorcyclists because of the conduct of a minority or reckless riders. This is not the kind of thing we would want to see happening in this country.”

    However although there wasa proposal for a motorcycle ban it was never inacted thanks to lobbying from riders and rider groups.

    Anti-MC ban action victorious Mar 4, 2013 – Click Here

    Possible MC ban in the Vosges – Jan 28, 2013 – Click Here

    And this article from January – Click Here (Google Translate)

    You can leave your sane and rational replies either here or on the Right To Ride Facebook page – Click Here or on my own Facebook page where the comment was first posted – Click Here

    Trevor Baird

    Right To Ride

  7. Saying Plenty About 20 – Response!

    26th August 2013

    We have received a response to our article (see below) – Saying Plenty About 20.

    The response is from Gordon Finlay the campaign coordinator for a campaign which is seeking to have a 20mph default speed limit where people live without traffic calming on the Ards Peninsula. Mr Finlay is also responsible for an online petition which is addressed to the Northern Ireland Assembly – Peter Robinson, Martin McGuinness, OFMDFM – Mark H. Durkin, Environment Minister for Northern Ireland – Danny Kennedy, Department for Regional Development. This petition also highlights the aim for the Ards Peninsula to have a 20mph default speed limit where people live, without traffic calming and is part of a UK wide campaign.

    We have laid out Mr Finlays response below and answered each part of this as appropriate.

    Gordon Finlay: Trevor this is a very poorly written article.

    Right To Ride: We have received several other comments about the article, none of which have been negative.

    These comments range from – Good positive and well-reasoned article – Fair enough. Other comments on our Facebook page also engage with the aims of 20mph campaign not being positive.

    Gordon Finlay: with some incorrect statement’s.

    Right To Ride: First lets go through the invite to the CPLC (Community Police Liaison Committee) and the other details that you say are incorrect.

    Gordon Finlay: I feel the most important is you asked as Trevor Baird to come to the next meeting of CPLC as a ballyhalbert (sic) resident. Which you can do as a guess (sic). you appear to have turned that around to being invited in your capacity with Road Safety Council for N.I. & Right to ride.

    Right To Ride: Previous to you sending me (Trevor Baird) a message through on Facebook on the 31st July I had never heard of you or your campaign. My Facebook page gives no real inclination to where I live, however what it does do is give plenty of inclination that I am a motorcyclist and involved in motorcycle road safety.

    In my reply to your first message, which you posted as Gordon Finlay, you simply had a link to the Ardspeninsula20splentyforusorguk Facebook page. A click on that link and it was obvious that you are the campaign organisor contacting me in your own name. In other words I have no doubt that this similar in how you came across me, why would you send me this message, other than linking my name to what I do?

    In my first reply to you, apart from saying that I was unconvinced that a blanket 20mph will make a difference, I said that I lived in Ballyhalbert and relayed my opinion on some other road safety issues that we have in Ballyhalbert, I stated:

    “Generally I deal with motorcycle safety issues and through that we have managed to set up with various stakeholders and chaired by DOE, a motorcycle safety forum. Through other safety initiatives and my main work, I have a seat at the table at the Road Safety Forum Chaired by the DOE Minister (recently Minister has changed).

    The main “stuff” I do is at http://www.righttoride.co.uk with motorcycle safety initiatives at http://www.rideitright.orghttp://www.firstaidforriders.orghttp://www.bikernisafetycard.org

    On the Ride It Right site we have favourite motorcycle routes which has the Ards Pennisula listed http://www.rideitright.org/?page_id=63

    From this I would have assumed that you would have realised that you were dealing with myself as regards motorcycling issues and not just an individual from Ballyhalbert.

    In your next message to me you then mention as a committee member of CPLC, that, “we hear report’s (sic) of motorcycle’s speeding in many village’s (sic) in the peninsula, this matter is getting a lot (sic) worse rather than better,”

    You also say, “I get feedback also from Kirkcubbin, Greyabbey & Ballyhalbert members on the committee. mainly on a Saturday & Sunday, this has been confirmed as a problem by the neighbourhood policing team,”

    You then go on to mention about the Speed Indicator Device and bikes going through Portavogie in excess of 70 MPH in a 30 zone.

    I reply to your concerns finally saying, “Also I would be interested in attending a CPLC to hear the concerns regarding this, back in 2010 we attended a public meeting of the Ards District Policing Partnership (DPP) to present Ride It Right http://www.rideitright.org/?p=1255

    Our motorcycle safety awareness is based on having a passion for motorcycle/motorcyclists safety but without emotion driving what we do. We also work alone the principle of engineering – engagement – enforcement, with engagement coming first.”

    So at this stage in our conversation it is very clear that I am not speaking as an individual but as part of a collection of motorcycle road safety initiatives.

    Later on in the conversation it is you who say, “Let’s leave it I will let you know date of next CPLC meeting when you can come as a resident of ballyhalbert (sic) as a guest and you will be able to hear other members views on motor bikes passing through other villages in the peninsula and the NPT will have 1 or 2 officer’s there as well.”

    At no time did I agree to come only as a resident of Ballyhalbert, you made that decision.

    If this is the case for the terms of an invite I will not be attending as an individual.

    As Right To Ride we have 29 Motorcycle Club Supporters, 13 Business supporters and along with individual motorcyclists support that is just over 1,000 supporters.

    As Right To Ride, knowing of the alleged motorcycle speeding issues and to come along to hear what residents of villages have to put up with, I would be negligent in not listening on behalf of these supporters. In fact I was going to ask for the invite to be extended to at least one other motorcyclist, who may have been from one of the motorcycle clubs either based on the Ards Penninsula or surrounding area.

    Also you are factually wrong when you say, “invited in your capacity with Road Safety Council for N.I.” nowhere in our conversation on Facebook or in the published article have I stated that I have any capacity with or represent the Road Safety Council N.I.

    On Facebook you do say, “I was hoping for a more positive response from RSC of NI.” which I assume is the Road Safety Council of Northern Ireland.

    At this stage of writing I think that you need to withdraw your incorrect statement that says I was invited in my capacity with Road Safety Council for N.I.

    I will be forwarding this message in full to the Road Safety Council of Northern Ireland in case they have been informed of your mistake as a fact!

    So inclusion at this part of the conversation had only expressed an interest in attending a CPLC meeting!

    Gordon Finlay: This is not the case you where (sic) never invited & wouldn’t be without our chairman including this matter in the agenda. you invited yourself.

    Right To Ride: In your next Facebook message you state: “Trevor you would be made very welcome at the next meeting of CPLC, we changed our constitution at the last AGM to include a wider area including Ballyhalbert you could meet members of NPT at the meeting as no specific officer is dealing with speeding, you will also meet other members who can tell you there concerns, we are in summer recess until September, if you send me an email to (email address removed) so I have your details on file I will let you know nearer the time.”

    I sent you the email to which you confirmed on Facebook by saying, “Received Trevor thanks will let you no (sic) date of next meeting when set.”

    So really Gordon if that is not an invite I do not know what is and your accusation that I invited myself is outrageous. This is another statement that you need to retract!

    What was actually said in the article was, “The outcome of these conversations and communications is that Right To Ride should be attending a meeting of the CPLC to listen to the members concerns to, “hear what residents of other villages have to put up with” however we do find it somewhat bizarre that motorcyclists are speeding throughout the Peninsula villages at such high speeds.”

    Maybe this could be just semantics but we did not say we were invited, we said we should be attending a meeting, thus that is a maybe not taken fact that our invite to the meeting was established!

    Is it perhaps that you have caught yourself out in procedures for the CPLC, in that you should have approached your Chairman/Other Committee members first before you as an individual put out an invite?

    If you can send me the details of the CPLC Chairman, I could have an informal chat about the issues and see if there is actually an invite to come along and listen to the problems as you have outlined.

    I have contacted the Ards PSNI Neighbourhood Policing Team and I am waiting for a reply to discuss the motorcycle issues you have highlighted that they say have recognised.

    I think these two options are much better that going through yourself as a third party, don’t you?

    However back to the article.

    Gordon Finlay: There are a lot of other details in this article which are incorrect even though you could have got the correct information from the National campaign website address &; from The N.I. direct website including The Share the Road to Zero campaign (which I have pledged to support).

    Right To Ride: If you could highlight which details in the article are incorrect that would be great so that we can deal with them?

    You mention the National Campaign website to get this correct information but until we know what details are incorrect we can’t do anything to address your concerns.

    You say we could have got correct information from, “N.I. direct website including The Share the Road to Zero campaign (which I have pledged to support).” As you know this is a DOE (Department of the Environment) road safety campaign with has one aim – zero road deaths in Northern Ireland.

    I don’t see the connection here in getting the correct information from either The Share the Road to Zero or the N.I direct (indirect governemnt services) website?

    In the article on the Right To Ride website we have reproduced the comments we made as individuals on the Newtownards Chronicle Facebook.

    My partner at Right To Right, Elaine Hardy PhD, whose background is vehicle data analysis and was the research officer for a national and European riders organisation before coming the Research Director of Right To Right commented, “Could you Mr Finlay provide evidence that the implementation of a 20 mph zone actually works? I don’t think so. The evidence would need to be based on comparisons of KSIs from before and after implementing such a speed limit. Given the reduction of police officers throughout the country who could be able to enforce this speed limit and given the fact that the reduction in speed would require car drivers to actually take heed of the speed limit, I suggest Mr Finlay that your speculative comments are unfounded and unreliable.”

    To date there has been no answer to this; it is not up to us to go searching, it is up to you as a campaigner to convince people that what you say is correct. However when you asked for my support I did as Right To Ride go searching, so as you say we do not go of half cocked.

    Also on the 12th August you sent a message to the Biker NI safety Card face book page https://www.facebook.com/BikerNiSafetyCard with just a link to the 20mph campaign. This was two weeks after I said to you that this initiative was part of the motorcycle safety “stuff” I do.

    Gordon Finlay: Please do not go of half cocked and produce articles like this without checking out the facts.

    Right To Ride: At Right To Ride we never at half cock we are always on full cock and with the safety on, ready to go.

    We have checked the facts or rather the propaganda that we can find in support of 20mph limits and we wait for evidence of speeding motorcycles through the Ards Peninsula villages.

    In conclusion perhaps in your reply to the Right To Ride article – Saying Plenty About 20 – you may have misinterpreted the facts and no longer have our Facebook message conversation to reference.

    Regards

    Trevor Baird

    Right To Ride

  8. Trevor this is a very poorly written article with some incorrect statement’s, I feel the most important is you asked as Trevor Baird to come to the next meeting of CPLC as a ballyhalbert resident. Which you can do as a guess. you appear to have turned that around to being invited in your capacity with Road Safety Council for N.I. & Right to ride. This is not the case you where never invited & wouldn’t be without our chairman including this matter in the agenda. you invited yourself. There are a lot of other details in this article which are incorrect even though you could have got the correct information from the National campaign website address & from The N.I. direct website including The Share the Road to Zero campaign (which I have pledged to support). Please do not go of half cocked and produce articles like this without checking out the facts.

  9. Basically all drivers need to observe the 30 in a 30 and a 40 in a 40

    BUT signs need to be clearly placed and on display not half buried in the hedge a hundred yards back!

    Suitable road markings should be added to this mix! Nothing complex merely just a simple red band where the limit starts and ends and a 30 or 40 or equivalent of the limit you enter!

    And if it still pisses the residents off then give them a couple of speed camera vans to park at either end of the village Drivers / Riders WILL slow down then!

  10. Hi Philip E

    Yes you are so right about the 40mph people at Right To Ride we have picked these people up on numerous occassions!

    They just sail on oblivious through the 30mph and out the other side continuing on their way.

  11. 20 mph is hard work to do.

    We would be far better dealing with the people who do 40 mph and who force other road users to get past them.

    I was taught to drive at the speed shown or less if conditions decreed otherwise.

    These 40 mph people often do 40 no matter what the speed limit says.

    I often follow them into a 30 mph area and they still sit at 40 mph.

    My motorcycle is really hard to ride at 20 mph.

    It is just not practical.

    Yes 70 through a village is stupid.

    So get them.

    Use some common sense !!!