Roger Proudfoot: on 20mph speed limits - cutting speeds will save lives

Speaker's Corner columnists -  Peterborough Telegraph -, @peterboroughtel on Twitter,
Speaker's Corner columnists - Peterborough Telegraph -, @peterboroughtel on Twitter,
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In January, I presented a petition of over 500 signatures on behalf of residents of Werrington, concerned that our residential streets are unsafe.

At a meeting of full council in January, I presented the petition of over 500 signatures on behalf of residents of Werrington, not in my capacity as chair of Peterborough Green Party, but as one of the hundreds of concerned residents who is worried that our residential streets are unsafe. The petition called for the introduction of 20 mile per hour speed limits on those roads in Werrington that are heavily used by older people and children.

20mph sign

20mph sign

The petition came about after a high number of residents reported near misses involving people and property, pet fatalities and injuries on residential roads in Werrington.

Older residents fear for their lives when they try to cross the roads and parents constantly worry about their children walking to school.

People also complain of noise pollution and broken sleep when they are woken in the night by cars being driven at excessive speeds. 

The village area of Werrington includes local businesses, community centres, churches, playgroups, schools, a chemist, a post office, a health centre, a garage, three pubs, two takeaways and a tearoom.

A bustling, vibrant area, it attracts a high number of pedestrians and a large volume of traffic. And it’s worth noting that in South Werrington, more than 37% of residents are aged over 60.

The Department for Transport encourages traffic authorities to keep speed limits under review with changing circumstances.

Circumstances in many areas of Peterborough have changed in recent years, with more congestion and faster cars.

In fact, motor vehicles have been allowed to dominate, a fact which flies in the face of Peterborough’s ambition to be a city that puts the safety of pedestrians and cyclists first.

In response to the Werrington residents’ petition, Councillor Hiller put forward the following motion: “I propose that council refers the petition with a recommendation to establish a cross-party working group to explore the options for introducing a 20 mph speed limit on the roads indicated, to review the evidenced pros and cons, the cost implications and the likely impact to this authority and its budget and to make suggestions on any precise areas or not and report back to cabinet with those recommendations.”

The proposal was seconded by Councillor Walsh and was carried, with 52 votes in favour, one against and no abstentions.

The menace of speeding is not unique to Werrington or Glinton or Bretton or any other area of Peterborough where 20mph has been or is being considered.

It is time to put a stop to speeding near every Peterborough home and school.

Speeding endangers 
older people and children alike.

This is why Peterborough Green Party supports the call for 20mph speed limits on Peterborough’s residential streets.