20's Plenty for us
Speeding traffic in and around the parish has long been a bane and I’m hopeful that the newly introduced Speed Indicator Devices will help to moderate behaviour.
A bigger impetus, however, will come from our commitment approved by Full Council to sign up to the ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ Campaign. It’s timely because Hampshire County Council is now reviewing its approach to 20mph limits with what is called a ‘Task & Finish Group’. Letters have gone to the Executive Lead Member for The Economy, Transport and Environment Rod Humby and the Chairs of the Economy, Transport & Environment committee and the Working Party alerting them to our involvement.
The case for ’20 is Plenty’ is quite persuasive (see 20splenty.org):
- There is widespread adoption – many of the UK’s larger cities have adopted 20mph for their residential streets and some 600 campaigns are underway;
- Safer roads with a reduction in the number and type of causalities;
- It’s Climate friendly with reduced emissions;
- 20mph is now seen as the maximum speed limit where motor vehicles mix with pedestrians and cyclists;
- Evidence suggests that given the start/stop nature of driving these days the impact on journey times is not significant.
There are clearly a number of issues which will need to be addressed such as the scope of the 20mph limits within the Parish, the costs of implementation and mitigation of the impact of signage within our Conservation Areas. A bigger issue is that of enforcement and whilst commitment from the Police is essential two other remedies are on the radar. Firstly, there is legislation that can provide scope for local authorities to institute criminal proceedings for speed limit violation if authorised by a police force to do so. Secondly a new somewhat controversial smartphone app – Speedcam Anywhere – is being developed which allows users to record the speed of passing cars although it does not have Home Office approval yet.
Some may find the app approach too intrusive but there is a need to protect our potentially vulnerable pedestrians such as children as they go to and from school and our older folk as they negotiate, for example, the High Street – together with the need to encourage more cycling. It all fits with our desire to make Hartley Wintney a safer and more environmentally friendly place to live, work and play.