A letter that includes a map showing which roads are proposed to have a 20mph speed limit has started arriving at some residents’ homes. Included in the mailing from Hampshire County Council is a covering letter and questionnaire with a postage-paid reply envelope.
(Note: some who received the letter today report that it is in a plain white envelope addressed to ‘owner/occupier’ with just a second class postage stamp on the front)
A local resident has created a video which shows the areas included and the sections excluded from the proposal – see below.
Conservative Hampshire County Councillor Tom Thacker stated of the scheme,
“The aim is to improve the quality of life in residential areas.”
“I am very keen that the people, who live in Whitchurch, have the chance to express their views on next year’s 20 mph pilot and I encourage anyone that receives a questionnaire to respond.”
The questionnaire can also be filled in online HERE.
MOST BUT NOT ALL ROADS
The map, marked as ‘Rev 2’, shows that most of the roads throughout town are included in the pilot scheme, as requested by our Hampshire County Councillor Tom Thacker earlier this year.
Several informal pedestrian crossings and routes to schools and the Oak Tree and Rising Fives nurseries, though, have been excluded. Most of the excluded roads and sections are those from neighbouring towns like Hurstbourne Priors, Litchfield, Cole Henley and St.Mary Bourne. Station Road is included in the 20mph proposal.
This website asked Hampshire County Council and Cllr Thacker to explain their reasons for the exclusions but received back no further details. Some of the excluded roads are noted at the end of this article.
SIGNS NOT HUMPS
Signs and 20mph road markings – not physical traffic calming measures like road humps – will be used.
The map shows 3 ‘speed survey points’ in town but offers no explanation of what they are. They are located on Lynch Hill Park, Winchester Street and London Road.
The covering letter from Stuart Javis, Director of Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council states, ‘the success of the scheme depends on local residents and their visitors respecting the speed limit’. It is understood that the police may call for volunteers to create a Community SpeedWatch programme.
JUST A MINUTE
Just 10 towns in all of Hampshire were selected for the scheme, on the basis of nominations by County Councillors. Many towns and cities throughout the country have or are adopting 20mph in residential areas.
A local campaign has highlighted that it would take just 1 minute more to cross the entire town at 20mph than at the current 30mph.
The Whitchurch Minute campaign leaflet (HERE) states,
‘When traffic speeds are 20mph the roads are not only safer – they ‘feel safer’, creating a better environment for all for walking to the shops or allowing children out to play.’
EXCLUDED ROADS AND SECTIONS
Notable exclusions, where 30mph will remain, as shown the current ‘Rev 2’ map, are:-
- Bere Hill leading to the Oak Tree Nursery and the Scout hut
- Newbury Road past Station Road, Dances Lane and Kings Walk where many people cross to get to school or the train station
- Kings Walk and Jobson Close where the care home is located
- Church Street around All Hallows where people also cross to access the footpath to the river Test
- London Street at Hillside where there are two informal pedestrian crossings
- London Street at Chatter Lane footpath near the Prince Regent pub
- All of Hillside, The Green and Pound Meadow which is a calmer route to walk or cycle along than London Road into the primary school and town
- Wells Lane including at the tunnel next to the Old Station House where a footpath under the old railway line leads across to Rising Fives nursery and into town
- Winchester Road next to where people cross to the Meadow and allotments
- All of Park View, Caesars Way, Hartley Meadow and Ardglen estates
A video showing some of the roads included and excluded from the 20mph scheme is on YouTube HERE.
On a related note, the Department for Transport is currently consulting on a proposal to raise the speed limit for lorries on all roads across the country – including the B3400. There are no questionnaires or pilot trials proposed for this change. Details on that are HERE.