I understand your columnist Duncan Barkes may be ‘unconvinced’ by the 20mph limits on the residential roads of Chichester. He gets to air his opinions weekly, but his use of data, or lack of it, is flawed.
Whatever the outcome of the scheme in Portsmouth, it is not Chichester. It is a very different area with a very different dynamic. The only way to validate if such a scheme is successful in Chichester is to implement it in Chichester.
I would add the caveat though that just looking at accident statistics will not give a full picture of what the scheme is attempting to achieve. It is mainly concerned with bringing the streets back to the people of Chichester. Removing the perception that to use them you have to be in a car. If people are afraid, they will try to protect themselves. Sitting in a metal box to many is the level of protection they feel necessary (although my father had little good to say about Sherman tanks).
Removing fear whether real or perceived has to be a positive thing. Encouraging cycling is a positive thing. And if accidents are reduced, and the severity of those that do occur is lowered, that is a positive thing.
And do not forget, this scheme has been put through the democratic process, it has not been at the whim of any pro-cycling faction, it has been a campaign for and by local people.
Pound Farm Road