Valentine’s Day – time to reconsider 20’s Plenty?
Until a couple of months ago I thought 20’s Plenty was all wishful thinking and wheelie bin stickers. Then the Parish Council got an email from Scott McNeill, campaign organiser for Gloucestershire. Scott urged us to pass a motion supporting 20 mph as the default speed limit on village and urban streets where people live, work, shop, play or learn.
A Persuasive Campaign
Following up on the links Scott sent us, I was amazed at the head of steam behind the campaign both nationally and locally. More than 1 in 3 of the UK population live in Local Authorities which already accept 20mph as the right speed limit where cars come into contact with people. That includes our neighbours in Oxfordshire, Bath & North East Somerset and Bristol and the whole of Wales. In all these areas and in many others the process of rolling out 20 mph limits has started.
Yes, but …
Like me, you’ve probably got questions and doubts about how 20 mph limits would work. As a starting point, have a look at this short video by Rod King, founder of 20’s Plenty
Video is on the website or see the video here
20’s Plenty Gloucestershire
Here in Gloucestershire there is strong and growing support for wider use of 20 mph limits. 85% of the 121 town and parish councils responding to a county council survey last December were in favour. The survey was rather a rushed affair in the run up to Christmas and we suspect that it was overlooked by a considerable number of councils.
At the most recent count, nearly 50 councils, including Stinchcombe PC, have confirmed their support for a 20 mph residential limit by passing a motion. Some of the District Councils are included and the Greens in Stroud District plan to bring a motion at the next full council meeting.
Gloucestershire Constabulary now strongly supports the use of 20 mph zones and encourages their greater use, especially in residential areas. (Based on letter from Chief Constable Rod Hansen to Eastington residents, quoted in GCC Environment Scrutiny Committee minutes of 12/1/22.)
Since I signed up as the 20’s Plenty campaigner for Stinchcombe I’ve been talking tactics with Scott and other campaigners around Gloucestershire. I’ve also made contact with neighbouring councils, some in full support, others undecided or unaware of recent developments. At the national level, Rod King and Campaign Manager Anna Semlyen are approachable and full of knowledge and enthusiasm.
GCC accepts that “20 mph limits are going to be a key instrument in delivering safer roads”. It has included 20 mph limits in a wider review of its Road Safety Policy. Full public consultation is expected to take place in April/May this year.
I’ll do my best to ensure that Stinchcombe residents are notified in good time and know how to participate if they wish.
Let’s start talking now
We don’t need to wait for the consultation to begin considering this complex issue. If you have thoughts or questions about introducing 20 mph limits in Stinchcombe you can contact me at Stinchcombe@20splentyforus.org.uk
- Was the Parish Council right to pass a motion of support?
- Where would you welcome a 20 mph residential limit in Stinchcombe?
- Are there stretches of road you think should retain a higher limit?
- Would you want a 20 mph limit by your home?
- What benefits would 20 mph limits have for you and your family?
- What doubts or concerns would you have?
I won’t have the answer to every question but if it’s possible to get one for you I will do so.
How would it fit in with our other planned traffic calming measures?
Our vehicle-activated sign (VAS), when we get it, could be used with 20 mph limits just as well as with 30 mph limits. It would provide useful data on how speeds changed with the introduction of a lower limit. In case you’re wondering, the current position is that our VAS application is still with Highways, nearly 4 months since we first submitted it. County Councillor Linda Cohen is helping us chase up a response.
Village gateways are compatible with 20 mph limits and are often used to reinforce them. We have identified a preferred supplier for village gateways on Wick Lane, Echo Lane and Taits Hill. There will be a meeting soon between representatives of the Parish Council and Stinchcombe Speed Watch and residents who have offered funding to come up with a detailed proposal. The proposal will then be publicised so that others have chance to comment.
Kath Hudson 🦸♀️