Beds, Herts & Bucks

Watford Council backs 20's Plenty speed plan for town

Campaigners for a 20 mph speed limit, without speed humps, on all residential roads in a Hertfordshire town, have won the backing of their local council.

Watford Borough Council unanimously agreed to support the 20's Plenty for Watford campaign.

It will now press the county council to introduce the plan, which has already been seen in other UK cities.

Kevin Ambrose, from 20's Plenty, said similar schemes had reduced casualties by up to two-thirds.

"We are fairly confident the county council will back us when they hear the arguments," he said.

"Making 20 mph the default speed for the whole town, without speed humps, is a fraction of the cost of putting in expensive speed humps in small zones, which is what the county council has done up to now."

Accidents reduced

The campaign group wants Hertfordshire to follow the example of places such as Lancashire, Oxford, Portsmouth, Liverpool, Manchester and various London boroughs, which have made all residential streets 20 mph without expensive traffic calming measures.

Phil Gough, from the group, said: "In places that have adopted 20's Plenty, accident rates have fallen, drivers find little difference in their journey times, people feel safer when walking or cycling and there is even evidence that house prices rise compared with those with faster traffic."

Councillor Phil Bibby, from Hertfordshire County Council, said 20's Plenty had a very valid point and he was working with them to put some zones in, but there were practicalities which had to be considered.

"We do want to increase the number of lower speed limits, including 20 mph zones," he said.

"But, under Department for Transport guidelines, there is no obligation on the police to enforce 20 mph speed limits so we need to make sure that [20 mph speed limits] are in zones which can be self-enforced.

"[The plans] will get total backing if we consider any scheme is feasible."

Mr Bibby said that the council was currently running a trial in an area of St Albans and would use the findings to inform how these zones could be put in elsewhere in the county.

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