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'We want a 20mph limit for our village'
2:10pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
CAMPAIGNERS want a blanket 20mph speed limit in their village.
Under the plans, the whole of the village, including a busy high street and residential streets would be cut from 30mph to 20mph between the junction of Fingringhoe Road and Rectory Road and Head Street and High Street.
Mike Lilley, borough councillor for Rowhedge, said the move is in a bid to save lives.
He added: “We do not want to be like Essex County Council and wait until something actually happens before we act.
“We want to be proactive rather than reactive.
“We do not want to be coming up with it after someone has been seriously injured.”
He added: “There are already problems in High Street, with cars parked all along the side of what is a very narrow street and we see cars speed along it and with children walking on very narrow paths, it is an accident waiting to happen.
“We’re taking this into our own hands to make a difference.”
It will be discussed again in November to agree funding.
If funding for speed surveys is agreed, it will be passed to Essex County Council for final approval and the new rules could be in place by the middle of next year.
Previously, requests for 20mph zones had to be submitted on a borough-wide basis, but under new rules, applications must be submitted by individual wards.
Each application must show significant support from residents and parish councils.
A spokeswoman for East Donyland Parish Council, which covers Rowhedge, said initial plans received the backing of councillors.
She added: “The village was constructed very narrowly, so safety is always a concern but we will have to look into how it would be policed and whether it is supported by our residents.”
It is likely residents’ views would be gauged during a public meeting at a date yet to be set.
- A SENIOR police officer has warned resources are already stretched and enforcing 20mph zones will not be a priority.
John Giblin, Chairman of the Police Federation Roads’ Policing Group, said: “The problem we have with 20mph zones is enforcement – with all the other issues officers have to deal with, enforcement of 20mph limits are unlikely to be top of their list.
“Police officers are going to find it difficult to take action with the resources they currently have available.”
Mr Giblin also urged local authorities to work closer with police forces to choose 20mph zones and decide how they could be set up to promote compliance without the need for policing.
He added: “There is no doubt councils have a part to play in relation to enforcement – it is not only the responsibility of police officers, who are now fewer in number.
“Working together has to be the way forward.”
Guidelines issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers states it is down to local forces to apply a proportionate approach to enforcing 20mph limits “based on risk to individuals, property and the seriousness of any breach”.
But Norman Baker, transport minister, announced to MPs this week guidance will be redrawn.
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