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Naked Bike Ride organiser hits back at 20mph critic

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The organiser of the World Naked Bike Ride has hit back at criticism that 20mph would drag Faversham’s roads back to the Downton Abbey era.

Last week, Terry Hudson from the Alliance of British Drivers said that a plan for the new “draconian, time-wasting” speed limit across town was a “destructive campaign fuelled by emotional arguments”.

But Mr Freeman has retaliated, applauding the 20’s Plenty movement and calling Mr Hudson an “antagonist who seems to be anti-everything that isn’t a car”.

Bike ride organiser Barry Freeman
Bike ride organiser Barry Freeman

He said: “It’s obvious that the alliance, an amateur group formed by a small band of intolerant drivers like him, wrongly believe that they have superiority over the other road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians.

“The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) says that 20mph limits are ‘very effective at protecting our most vulnerable road users’ and their evidence shows speed significantly increases the chance of being fatally injured in a collision.

“Whereas Mr Hudson believes it is ‘simplistic nonsense’ that cutting speed limits is the solution to road accidents.”

The debate comes just weeks after Swale Borough Council’s joint transportation board threw its full support behind the new speed limit. MP Helen Whately also supports 20’s Plenty.

Terry Hudson from the Kent Alliance of British Drivers.
Terry Hudson from the Kent Alliance of British Drivers.

But Mr Hudson said last week that the joint transportation board is “turning the clock back”.

He said: “I expect many of us having enjoyed watching the TV series of Downton Abbey, but would we want the cars and speed limits of that era?”

Mr Freeman added: “It takes two minutes to travel a mile at 30mph, and three minutes at 20mph. Over half a mile the time difference is a mere 30 seconds.

“Mr Hudson, do you deny that you think saving a few seconds in your own life is more important than preserving the lives of those, particularly the young or elderly, who struggle trying to cross the road on foot or bike?

The Faversham News front page.
The Faversham News front page.

“20’s Plenty in Faversham has provided the road safety evidence Mr Hudson’s alliance campaigns for, so why doesn’t he applaud and support the evidence that 20mph limits across the UK have been proven to save lives?

“I hope many residents, particularly the elderly and those with children, will add their support to this vital and constructive campaign to make the roads safer for all.”

For more about the 20’s Plenty campaign in Faversham, visit 20splentyforfaversham.moonfruit.com/

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