Calls for 20mph speed limits in residential areas of Gloucestershire

Road safety campaigners are calling on Gloucestershire County Council to support plans for 20mph limits in urban and residential areas, writes Carmelo Garcia.

A working group has been running over recent months and is due to make recommendations to council leaders who are developing a road safety policy.

However, campaigners believe the policy will do nothing to move 20mph limits closer.

Scott McNeill, 20s Plenty co-Ordinator for Gloucestershire, said: “It looks like the recommendations will be weak to the point of being worthless.

“If the cabinet approves these it will be a slap in the face to people who want to feel safe walking across roads in their own village and town.

“The council says it wants to give more decision making to local people, but it seems like they just want to put more hurdles in our way and some councillors seem to want to protect the right to speed past other peoples homes.

“I urge the cabinet to consult with 20s Plenty prior to approving this report. It’s not too late to take another look at how they can support communities who want 20mph limits.”

Rod King, founder and campaign director for the nationwide organisation, said 20mph policy is rapidly evolving as more and more politicians realise its enormous popularity and benefits for health, safety and the climate.

“Fifty-one town and parish councils in Gloucestershire plus areas of Gloucester city, Cheltenham Borough and Cotswold District Council said they want to see 20mph limits in their areas.

“We’ve seen a massive ground swell of people saying that they want change in their town and village on speed limits.

“People saying they’re fed up of people speeding past their homes putting lives at risk and preventing children and adults safely crossing the road.

“Local people know their area best and we need the county council to work with us to make where we live safer and healthier.

“At the moment the message from the council is that they just don’t care. They need to delay the report and sit down and work with us.”

A Gloucestershire County Council spokesperson said the safety of local roads is a top priority for the local authority.

They say this is why the council has listened and worked with communities, the police and crime commissioner and the fire service to develop a road safety policy.

He said: “This will include a range of measures, including 20mph speed limits, to decrease speeding on our roads as well as helping us to achieve our objectives around climate change and carbon reduction.

“This policy will be going out for public consultation in the next few weeks and we welcome feedback from as many people as possible.

“New speed limits are likely to be brought in on a case by case basis, following requests from town and parish councils to best serve local needs.”

Lancs Gazette Series | Gloucestershire