Questionnaires from Hampshire County Council have been dropping through the letterboxes as part of the consultation into introducing slower speeds in Whitchurch. The town is one of ten pilot schemes in the county to be selected, after local residents took the suggestions to the Town Council.

Supporters say slower speeds have many benefits ranging from safer streets for everyone to increased property values, and all while having very little effect on journey times. Opponents often claim it will mean drivers having to look at their speedometers more and being frustrated due to having extended travel times.
However in Whitchurch, due to its compact size no journey should take more than a minute longer – ‘The Whitchurch Minute’.

Local schools support the scheme
In an encouraging move this week, both schools in the town showed their support, sending information out to parents.

Testbourne Community School said:

“we would certainly support this scheme to help keep our young people safe and encourage parents to respond positively to these proposals.”

Whitchurch Primary School said:

“The school supports the campaign to reduce the speed limit to 20mph through the town. Please complete the questionnaire…and help make the streets safer for the children.”

In addition HCC Councillor Tom Thacker has stated:

“I support the proposals as they stand.”

and the Town Mayor Cllr Jackie Day said:

“This project is an excellent idea and I fully support this and look forward to the next stage”

Excluded areas
Most of the town is within the scheme, but there are a few areas excluded, including Wells Lane which has the Rising Fives Pre-school group off it, and Bloswood Lane where much future housing is planned. Residents say both suffer from speeding often when drivers from outside the town are going to and from the station area.

HCC say they only want responses from those in the pilot area. The important thing is to return those Questionnaires or complete the ONLINE SURVEY.

Other excluded areas include the top of Newbury Road and the access to Oak Tree Nursery, and also the area around Hillside and the Green, which is on a well-used pedestrian route to the schools.

Creating a better place to live
Supporters say the scheme is less about speed and more about creating a better, safer and more pleasant environment for everyone – residents and visitors alike as well as businesses who will gain from increased footfall. Many towns and villages throughout the country are now introducing 20mph as the norm for residential areas as they recognise the wider benefits. Much of the continent already has 30kph (18mph) limits and it is noteworthy that their road safety record for the vulnerable classes of road user are much better than the UK’s.

See the Previous article where a resident has produced a video.

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