A petition calling for 20mph limits on the county's residential streets was launched today by a group of Shrewsbury Councillors from three different parties.
Liberal Democrat, Green and Labour councillors representing Bowbrook, Copthorne, Radbrook, Porthill, Meole Brace and Belle Vue joined forces to ask people to sign up in support of ‘20s plenty’. The petition can be accessed on the Shropshire Council website here: https://shropshire.gov.uk/committee-services/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=500000047
20mph limits in residential areas have been shown to reduce injuries and make those areas more liveable, with quieter and safer streets where more people, from age 8 to 80, feel confident to walk or cycle. Recent schemes in Bristol, Calderdale, Birmingham and Edinburgh are showing significant casualty reduction benefits. Area wide 20mph limits have also been shown to be a cost-effective way to make a real improvement to neighbourhoods. The call for a default 20mph limit where people live is supported by Public Health Bodies in England, Wales and Scotland and has the backing of the World Health Organisation. Wales is introducing a national scheme.
The cross-party group of councillors came together in response to the ‘Active Travel Week’ organised by Priory School. Each of the councillors is looking at ways to make walking and cycling safer for all in their areas. But they all agree that a default 20mph speed limits in residential streets is a priority. ‘20s plenty’ has already been supported by many Shropshire town councils, including those of Shrewsbury and Oswestry.
1000 signatures on the petition will guarantee a debate on the issue in Shropshire Council, and the councillors hope to collect at least that many in time for the September council meeting.
“It’s great to be working together for the good of the area like this” said Cllr. Julian Dean from Porthill. “We hope to continue to campaign together for safer and more liveable neighbourhoods across our area”.
Cllr. Bernie Bentick from Meole Brace said “We were really pleased to see the work being done at Priory School to promote active travel. This can reduce congestion and at the same time help young people create habits that will help to keep them healthy throughout their lives”
Cllr. Kate Halliday from Belle Vue said “We know from our residents that road safety, speed and shortcutting through our areas is a major concern. There are different solutions needed in each of our areas, but for all of them a 20mph default speed limit will make huge difference. The petition is a great way for people to make sure Shropshire Council reconsiders it’s opposition to 20mph limits in our neighbourhoods. The previous council rejected this policy, but the evidence is overwhelming that it will help to improve safety and make our areas both safer and more pleasant to live in. We urge residents across the county to sign.”
The picture above has (left to right): Cllrs. Kate Halliday (Labour), Belle Vue; Bernie Bentick (Liberal Democrat), Meole Brace; Julian Dean (Green), Porthill; Rob Wilson (Liberal Democrat), Copthorne; Julia Evans (Green), Radbrook & Alex Wagner (Liberal Democrat), Bowbrook.