Lower vehicle speeds which can lead to improvements to the environment are a step closer today.

Whitchurch will be one of several locations listed in Hampshire to take part in a 20mph pilot scheme.
This follows representations made to Whitchurch Town Council earlier this year which were then taken forward by County Councillor Tom Thacker.

The next stage is a consultation process for which local support is vital. Questionnaires will be produced later this Autumn with an aim for the first implementations next Spring.

Widespread benefits
20mph areas are becoming widespread throughout the country, with over 8 million people now living in areas that have adopted or are adopting the policy, while it is the norm in urban areas in the rest of Europe.
In the UK surveys have consistently shown that lowering speeds in residential areas are welcomed as they benefit the wider community, while new DfT guidance recognises the strong benefits in developing active travel, community health and increased safety.

Great opportunity
Local campaigner John Buckley of Whitchurch, who had presented a briefing sheet to the Town Council, was over the moon with the decision. As founder of Hampshire Cycle Training and a Sustrans Cycle Ranger, he said:

“This is a great opportunity to give our streets back to the people who live in them and should be grasped. Lowering speed limits allows people to feel better about cycling to school, walking to the shops, and for children to play outside. The physical and social benefits are enormous for everyone, whether they walk, cycle or drive.”

After a unanimous decision, the then Mayor of Whitchurch Councillor Barry Jackman wrote to Hampshire County Council urging them to use the town as a pilot.

Councillor Tom Thacker who presented the Town Council’s wishes to the County, said he was

“delighted that it been chosen as one of the ten towns in Hampshire for the trial.”

For the local briefing sheet see:
20mph Whitchurch Briefing

For earlier article see:
The Whitchurch Minute is Born

Views can be sent to: whitchurch@20isplentyforus.org.uk

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