A new ‘20’s Plenty’ petition calling for 20mph zones to be extended across all Shropshire’s urban roads is finding growing support, according to its organiser.
Green Party councillor Julian Dean says that the petition, which launched earlier this month, has almost two hundred signatories and is sparking lively debate both online and off.
Says Councillor Dean: ‘As Covid restrictions lift, and councillors and candidates have returned to going door-to-door again, I’ve had lots of brilliant discussions about the 20’s Plenty campaign with residents in my Porthill constituency. This issue is hugely popular on the doorstep with voters and there is a growing awareness that the 20mph limit creates safer, cleaner streets for all residents, especially the young and elderly. It’s becoming impossible to refute the logic for lowering speeds.’
Evidence shows that people are seven times less likely die if hit by a car travelling at 20mph instead of 30mph. In the distance a 20mph car can come to a stop, a car travelling at 30mph will still be moving at 24mph. Councillor Dean has been fighting for the 20mph speed limit ever since he was elected as Shropshire Council’s first Green councillor in 2017. Working with colleagues in all parties, he has been tireless in pushing for the 20mph zones to be extended into an area-wide scheme. However, a proposal to do this was rejected in December 2019 by the Conservative majority.
Says Councillor Dean: ‘The Conservative administration is having to be dragged every step of the way to introduce these limits. We are seeing 20mph zones springing up in rural villages, outside schools and, funnily enough, in areas represented by Tory councillors. They can clearly see the overwhelming evidence for reducing speeds, yet the Conservative administration lacks the vision to extend it across the county. Making the whole of Shropshire 20mph would be cheaper and more effective than the current piecemeal approach. A uniform speed limit would ensure that every urban street saw the benefits and help drivers adjust by keeping things simple.’
The petition, which is available online, hopes to pick up more signatories from across the county as the campaign continues to run.
Councillor Dean: ‘20’s Plenty is definitely coming. From Bolton & Brighton to Wigan & Westminster, not to mention the whole of Wales, we’re seeing more areas adopt default 20mph limits in residential streets. It’s disappointing that Shropshire isn’t leading on this. Unfortunately, the current administration is lacking in the leadership, vision and compassion to put people’s safety first. Their blind worship of cars runs the risk of costing Shropshire residents their lives.’