Delays are necessary if it keeps people safe

LAST week we learned from Duncan Barkes that vehicles delivering in Chichester would face delays and therefore increase the price of their deliveries because of the introduction of 20’s Plenty (Observer, May 30).

If my rough calculations are correct, if any of these vehicles had to go down residential roads and (after accelerating) travelled for 100 yards at top speed, it would add less than four seconds to their delivery time – unlikely to increase the prices in our shops.

Similarly, the front page in this week’s Observer states that drivers have had to ‘edge out slowly’ on the Tangmere roundabout (because of uncut verges). This again would add only a few seconds to journey times, and not really worthy of such a prominent place in the paper.

If there was an issue about customers having to wait a further five seconds at Marks and Spencer’s checkout or the Post Office queue it really wouldn’t make the front page. In fact, if it was published in the letters page, many are likely to wonder why the writer didn’t have other things to worry about.

I am worried by many of the responses to the introduction of 20’s Plenty and the general belief motorists should not be delayed if at all avoidable, as if we motorists should always take prominence against any others that we encounter. Whatever we may feel about the delays involved with driving in our towns and cities, most of these are caused by the volume of traffic (of which, of course, we are part) or by traffic management designed to stop delays being even worse.

Some delays are indeed due to protect other road-users as well (or those who merely want to cross them) such as speed limits and pedestrian crossings. I think these people’s lives and safety should be respected even if it adds a little to our journey times.

Martin Emmett

Lyndhurst Road

Chichester