Herts County Council's Highways Panel has voted in favour of a new speed management strategy that will make it harder to introduce new 20mph speed limits.
At the moment, to introduce a 20mph limit without humps or similar traffic calming, the existing speeds must be 25mph or below in at least 90% of the roads covered. The new strategy changes this to require existing speeds below 24mph in every single road. It also introduces a policy of removing new 20mph limits if speeds remain too high after they have been installed for a year.
Liberal Democrat County Councillors proposed an amendment allowing 20mph limits in all suitable residential roads (the council has already done the work to define which roads are suitable) but Conservative councillors voted this down.
Liberal Democrat County Councillor Steve Jarvis said,
"The council says that it wants more people to walk and cycle but that depends on making people feel safer when doing this. Although 20mph limits don't make everyone drive at 20mph the evidence shows that they do reduce traffic speeds. Every county councillor knows of roads and neighbourhoods where there is widespread support for speed reduction. Yet it seems that the Conservatives want to make it as difficult and expensive as possible to introduce 20mph limits that make our roads safer."
"Most residents will regard the new suggestion that if drivers don't obey the speed limit then the limit should be increased as ridiculous."
"Other councils have introduced widespread 20mph limits on residential roads in towns and villages without expensive and intrusive traffic calming. There is no reason why Hertfordshire should not do the same."
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