20 mph should be normal speed
for residential roads

Friday, 27 July 2007

Calderdale Council should look at a new policy which assumes that 20 mph should be the normal speed limit for roads that are predominantly residential. That’s what Calderdale Council’s Labour group leader Tim Swift has told the Hebden Bridge Web.

Cllr Swift explained:
“The Council’s Regeneration Scrutiny Panel today was asked to consider 20 mph speed limits for three specific areas in one ward. But there are dozens of residential streets across the Borough where local people are worried about local traffic speeds.

“I do not believe that piece meal solutions, with odd bits and pieces of traffic calming, is the way forward. We need a new strategy which in my view should start from the basis that on roads which are predominantly residential, there is no need for vehicles to travel at more than 20 mph.

“Last year, Labour councillors asked the Regeneration panel to accept that there should be a move toward 20 mph limits near to schools. At the time, the panel would not support this policy.

“So I am very pleased that they have now agreed that they should carry out a review of speed limit policy, which will include ways of introducing a 20 mph policy.

“Many of our residential roads in Calderdale are not suitable for heavy volumes of traffic. If we want people to be able to live in comfort in their neighbourhoods; if we want children to be able to walk and play near their homes, rather than being driven from place to place; if we want real neighbourhoods and real communities, then we need to think again about local streets and local neighbourhoods. And I also hope that the panel will look again at the case for a general policy of introducing 20 mph limits in the streets close to primary schools.

“I appreciate that a policy change such as this will be controversial. It cannot be introduced without consultation and discussion, and will take time; but I believe we have to start the debate, and welcome the steps that have been taken today.”


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