Today sustainable transport charity Sustrans has called on the government to take action on road safety following an alarming increase in road deaths and injuries.
In a statement issued today Chief Executive Malcolm Shepherd said:
“A great start would be to reduce our default residential speed limit from 30 to 20 miles per hour, which will make our communities safer for everyone.”
Action for Whitchurch
The effect of traffic speed can have a wide range of effects on quality of life in a community. Three months ago Whitchurch Town Council unanimously agreed to ask asked Hampshire County Council to include the town in a 20mph pilot study.
Local County Councillor Tom Thacker took this forward and it is now under active consideration.
So popular is the call for lower speeds that 45 areas across the County have been proposed from which just 5 or 6 will be selected to part as a pilot.
THE QUESTION: So what area of Whitchurch should be included in a pilot study?
Campaigners who proposed the pilot to the Town Council are calling for a community-wide approach to be taken, saying:
“20mph should be a the default limit where people live and work. It creates a more pleasant safer environment for all; for children walking and cycling to school and for shoppers using local businesses” adding “It returns the streets to the people.”
A safer, more pleasant community
It is claimed slower speeds enable walking, cycling and driving to becomes safer and more pleasant. The community feels safer and children can once again play outside.
Slower speeds provide the basis for active travel, lowering obesity, heart disease and stress as well as smoothing traffic flow and cutting congestion. There are now over 2000 20mph schemes in England – should Whitchurch be included?
The Whitchurch Minute
Given the compact nature of Whitchurch if limits were reduced from 30 to 20mph, no journey would take more than one minute longer, less time than it takes to pack a lunchbox – The Whitchurch Minute.
Road safety worsens in Hampshire
Campaigners say there is now an added incentive, as figures for casualties on Hampshire roads are showing an alarming 24% increase in deaths and a 21% rise in serious injuries.
Selecting the area
Whilst HCC will finally select the areas there is an opportunity for local input from residents. If HCC selects Whitchurch as a pilot there will be a need for community involvement, including speed monitoring and surveys with public perception being the most important measure of success.
- Does local traffic concern you?
- Are you interested in a 20mph pilot for Whitchurch? What area should it cover?
- Should it be the town centre, or perhaps near the schools? Or somewhere else?
- Are their other traffic safety issues that concern you?
What do you think?
Anyone who wishes to support a 20mph limit – or has other ideas – or has suggestions as to which area would be best are asked to contact:
It is hoped an informal meeting will be arranged.