Fiona Radic: ‘20’s plenty’ in residential areas

Speaker's Corner columnists -  Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/opinion, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
Speaker's Corner columnists - Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/opinion, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
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This month, another car took another bite out of another brick wall in Park Crescent, near Peterborough Regional College. A month or two back, a car ploughed into a garden fence on Park Road. Both cars hit lampposts and everybody said “What if..? Last week, PT shared dash cam footage of a car overtaking at speed on Park Road.

In Park Road, Dogsthorpe Road and Broadway, speeding is always the main worry.

Parents across a much wider area don’t dare let children walk or cycle on roads their children have an equal right in law to use. A parent (and anyone with any sense) knows that a near miss is still far too close. Residents of a city with green aspirations deserve better.

I have long campaigned for 20’s Plenty in any residential road, and Peterborough Green Party adopted this as a local policy on the grounds that per pound spent it offered the best value improvement to our environment.

A 20mph speed limit for residential roads commands up to 80% - 90% support among residents and support has crept up over the past decade as more and more people experience the safety, environmental and community benefits of 20mph limits in other parts of the country (15,000,000 people now live in 20mph areas).

Recently, Parliament has discussed making 20mph the national default speed limit for residential areas: to replace the current 30mph default limit. The policy has been adopted by the World Health Organisation.

Meanwhile in Peterborough, many residents despair of seeing even the 30mph speed limit enforced, and others assume that we couldn’t afford to enforce 20mph limits.

In Peterborough City Council we still wait for the 20mph village trial to report back to full council.

However, the council has shown itself ready and able to enforce the Bridge Street cycle ban and this is now producing a steady stream of fines at the Magistrates Court and regular publication of lists of offenders in the paper.

Much as I dislike this approach to dealing with cyclists (because, while some may be riding inconsiderately, others are doing no harm at all), the Bridge Street cycle ban enforcement policy shows us that Peterborough City Council can enforce something effectively once it puts its foot down.

It isn’t widely known that if Cambridgeshire Police approved, the council could also institute public prosecutions of speed limit offenders. It could act as a “public prosecutor”.

Personally, I’d prefer the police to have the resources to do the job themselves, but if pressure on police resources means that empowering the council to enforce speed limits is the only way to get enforcement at all, then we have a way to enforce regardless.

So if you want to see speed enforcement, please ask your elected councillors to look into this and ask Peterborough City Council to have a conversation with Cambridgeshire Police.

More information on how local authority enforcement works is available at www.20splenty.org.