We have been campaigning for years for 20mph limits on residential roads to improve safety for all of us; pedestrians, cyclists, people using wheelchairs or walking aids, children on scooters, elderly people, those with sensory impairments such as vision and hearing problems, and for people with conditions such as autism which can make busy roads feel very frightening. We even had Victoria Pendleton sign a petition in 2011! Motor vehicle traffic is up 15% since 2009 (DfT figures) which confirms our impression that the roads are busier, and cars are heavier and bigger than when we started our 20s plenty petition 10 years ago.
Cheshire East Council is one of a decreasing number of local authorities that has not yet instituted 20mph speed limits for residential roads; our neighbours in Cheshire West did so some years ago (and we share the same police authority) as have most of the UK’s big cities, Wales and the United Nations. What on earth is wrong with Cheshire East?
Their response to requests for 20s plenty was to set up a Speed Management Strategy which is now out for consultation (closing date 31 January). Our transport group has reviewed the strategy and considers that it is fundamentally flawed, as follows:
“The speed management strategy (SMS) for Cheshire East is set out here: SMS It is a very long (49 pages) and technical document. A very brief attempt to summarise is attached (SMS summary): The consultation is here https://surveys.cheshireeast.gov.uk/s/JSOZZE/ We believe the online questions are confusing, leading and using the email or document option is therefore recommended.The Transition Wilmslow opinion and suggested basis for response is as follows – but please respond as you personally see fit. The speed management strategy entirely fails to address the concerns of local residents on the speed of traffic and is not fit for purpose.The speed management strategy must be fundamentally changed to
- Acknowledge the centrality of traffic speed to the use of public space, including quality of life as well as collisions, injuries and deaths
- Put the needs of vulnerable road users, children and the adoption of active travel central to the management of speed.
- Set out measures and a timescale to effect a systematic reduction in speeds of motorised traffic in residential areas, including but not limited to the adoption of a 20mph speed limit as the norm in residential roads.“
We have attached a summary of the consultation to save you the agony of reading through it, and our Transition Wilmslow response. Please respond as you see fit and note that responses are taken more notice of if written in your own words.
If we do not take this opportunity to respond we may have lost the opportunity to make our roads fit for everyone for a generation. Please let CEC know what you think. If you would like to hear more, join this:
Meeting on Tuesday 18 January hosted by Macctastic: all welcome.