Call to support 20mph road speed safety project in Shropshire
Campaigners and council leaders are being urged to attend a conference looking at bringing in 20 mile per hour speed limits in the area.
The Shropshire-wide conference, to be held at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn on September 30, will be on the benefits of a “default” 20mph limit for all residential roads in the county.
It is being held as part of a national 20’s Plenty For Us campaign, which has branches in Church Stretton, Ludlow, Oswestry, Shifnal and Shrewsbury.
One of the organisers, Professor John Whitelegg from Church Stretton, said three major names had already agreed to speak at the event. They are Rod King MBE the campaign director of 20 is Plenty for Us, Paul Butcher, director of public health at Calderdale Council in Lancashire and Dr Adrian Davis who is involved in public health in relation to transport planning at Bristol City Council.
Prof Whitelegg said the conference would provide all town councils with a strong evidence base for a discussion around the merits of 20mph speed limits. “In the UK, wide area, 20mph speed limits now apply to about 15 million residents and the principle is that every residential street and road is limited to 20mph, bringing significant road safety gains,” he saidHe said: “If a child is hit by a vehicle at 20mph he or she has a nine in 10 chance of survival, which falls five in 10 at 30mph and one in 10 at 40mph.”
“This, wide area, 20mph concept is supported by the National Association of Directors of Public Health, the Local Government Information Unit and a large number of councils.”
He added: said the purpose of the conference was to raise awareness of the multiple advantages of a general, 20mph speed limit in every residential street and road in Shropshire and to bring national and international experts to Shrewsbury to present evidence on the benefits.“We would like to encourage Shropshire Council and town councillors to adopt a policy that is now in place in dozens of local authority areas with a more than 70 per cent approval rate from residents and welcome reductions in road traffic danger.”
Fundraising to ensure the conference can go ahead is still under way with an internet appeal: crowdfunder.co.uk/benefits-of-a-shropshire-wide-conference-for-20mph/ having raised just £275 of the £1,000 needed.
Oswestry Town Council was meeting tonight to decide whether to send a representative to the meeting.
Previously West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia John Campion has said he does not support the plan.
He has said that drivers are more likely to respond to changes to the road layout than a blanket 20mph restriction, and a “one size fits all” approach would require extra effort to enforce.
He said at the time: “Blanket arbitrary impositions of 20mph zones just don’t work across large urban areas. They work outside schools, they work in small sections of town centres, but blanket zones it has been shown just don’t work.”