A 20mph limit could be introduced for residential areas across Warwickshire after county councillors approved a motion at yesterday's (Thursday's) full council meeting.
The Greens proposal for a ‘costed plan for cabinet consideration’ was given all party backing although a number of Conservative councillors urged caution, warning one size did not fit all.
As we reported this week, a petition for a 20mph zone in central Kenilworth was submitted to the county council by resident Alison Insley and town councillor Richard Dickson on Wednesday June 30 (click here to read the story: Petition for a 20mph zone in central Kenilworth has been submitted to the county council).
Cllr Jonathan Chilvers (Green, Leamington Brunswick) proposed the plan saying that a number of other local authorities had already opted for the lower 20mph limit and that the whole of Wales would follow suit from the middle of 2023.
He said: “There is something for which there is an appetite for. The evidence in other places is that the wider you adopt a 20mph limit the better the compliance - you just know when you come into a town or a village that you are in a ‘20’.
“In 2019 in Warwickshire, there were 629 casualties in 30mph areas and the evidence from all the other places that have done this is that they see at least a 20 per cent casualty reduction - that would be more than 100 accidents a year that would not happen.
The estimate is that it would cost us about £2.2m as a county to change the signs and change all the traffic regulation orders. As a society we would get that money back in police time and NHS time in just over a year.
“It is a big decision for us because it will affect all of our residents.”
Cllr Wallace Redford (Con Cubbington and Leek Wootton), the county council’s portfolio holder for transport and planning, gave the idea a cautious welcome.
He said: “It is important to realise that one size does not fit all. Careful consideration has got to be given to the wishes of residents - not all will welcome a 20mph zone.
“There are benefits - less severe collisions, more welcoming environment for cycling, lower vehicle emissions and with that goes improved air quality.”
And Cllr Clare Golby (Con, Arbury) added: “I think there are appropriate places for them and we need to identify those places.
“An arbitrary 20mph across the board does not work for me and I would not support that so I’m glad that we’ve taken the view that we need to look at horses for courses almost.
“We also need to make sure that residents are in agreement because we are here to represent the residents’ views. I think it needs a lot more investigation before we move forward.”