St Albans Liberal Democrats are supporting a county-wide campaign – called 20’s Plenty – to reduce vehicle speeds in residential areas, villages and town centres.
The 20’s Plenty for Hertfordshire campaign has brought together community groups from across the county to call for 20mph to become the normal speed limit where people live, work, shop, learn and play.
And now Liberal Democrats have joined forces with 20’s Plenty to slate Herts County Council’s proposed Speed Management Strategy.
They say that as currently drafted residents would only be able to ask for 20mph to become the default speed limit where traffic is already travelling at 25mph or lower.
The strategy states that “20mph areas without traffic calming measures will only be considered where the existing mean speeds are 25mph or below”.
Increase in 20mph zones unlikely
“This is not good enough,” said Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Lib Dem county group leader and highways spokesperson.
The whole strategy, if agreed as is, lacks any commitment from the county council to fund any physical measures to reduce speeds and therefore this strategy is unlikely to result in any significant increase in 20mph zones or areas, he said.
Sandy Walkington, Lib Dem county councillor for St Albans South, added: “We all have speeding black spots in our divisions, roads where residents have long campaigned for slower speeds. This is a kick in the teeth for them and for the county-wide 20’s Plenty campaign.
Default speed limit in residential areas
“Liberal Democrats have long called for 20mph to be the default speed limit in all residential areas and town centres unless there is an overriding reason for a higher limit.
“As a county council, we mouth slogans about encouraging people to leave their cars at home and we are meant to be promoting active travel, whether walking, cycling or using public transport. It’s about going to school, getting to work and so much more.
“But we won’t get the step-change we need unless we slow traffic town in urban and residential areas. It is now clearer than ever that the Conservative administration at County Hall is only paying lip-service to these objectives.”
20’s Plenty website:
HCC Speed Management Strategy: