A discussion at Hedon Town Council last night is sure to encourage a wider debate about speeding traffic problems and possible solutions. A speed limit of 30 miles per hour currently applies to all single and dual carriageways with street lights, unless there are signs showing otherwise. You must not drive faster than that speed limit.
Speed limits in Hedon town centre, particularly the 20mph limit on Souttergate, were the subject of a discussion at Hedon’s Finance & General Purposes Committee last night. The wisdom of implementing a 20mph speed limit on Souttergate has been generally accepted i.e. reducing speeds, reducing the risk of accidents, less pollution and less noise. However, the enforcement of the speed limit remains a problem; what do you do about those who simply disregard the speed limit and drive too fast?
Hedon Town Council is to seek advice from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council on the enforcement of the 20mph limit.
There is a perception, repeated by some councillors last night, that the police cannot enforce 20mph limits. However, according to traffic campaigners 20’s Plenty for Us then as long as police have enough distance to see oncoming traffic and measure speed, and there is appropriate signage, then enforcement can take place on any street where a traffic regulation order is in place. Another requirement according to campaigners, and perhaps far more crucial to clarify in the case of Humberside Police, is that the local police force must be willing to enforce.
The issue of enforcement is important. But equally so is the fact that the majority of drivers need to see the good sense in any restrictions. This latter point is paramount when we consider the wider idea floated last night at the town council: That the council seeks guidance from ERYC on the idea of implementing a 20mph speed limit across the whole of the town.
Would a 20mph speed limit be appropriate across Hedon?
Whilst the idea of Hedon becoming a 20mph zone is just that, an idea, it’s perhaps useful to look at the current debate on this issue in Wales.
The Welsh Government has agreed to make 20mph the default speed limit across Wales from September 2023 for a cost of around £33 million. The Senedd voted in favour in July 2022 citing the following (see frequently asked questions):
- The new 20mph default speed limit will save lives and reduce the risk and severity of injuries as a result of collisions between vehicles and vulnerable road users
- it will encourage more people to cycle and walk
- will improve the environment and help create safer communities
- under the new Welsh 20mph legislation, local councils can still use their local knowledge to retain a 30mph limit (the current national default) where there is a case for doing so.
Those opposing 20mph speed limits, point out that the limits:
- Will increase journey times, with people having to start journeys earler
- will lead to more congestion and therefore more pollution
- will lead to an annoyance amongst drivers and a rise in careless driving
- will be disregarded by motorists
Is the idea of Hedon becoming an area with a default 20mph speed limit a good one? Is 20 plenty for Hedon? Do leave a comment.