It's been longstanding Green Party policy that there should be 20mph limits in residential areas and town and village centres. 20mph is safer, promotes walking and cycling which is both healthier and reduces emissions, reduces noise and creates a more pleasant environment for town and village life. The time lost by motorised traffic is usually minimal. And it's popular.
Even the Government is much keener these days. Many cities now have wide areas with 20mph limits. But Dorset lags behind, still in practice imposing old ideas like no 20mph limits on A or B roads, which rules them out in most larger villages, or saying they can't be imposed if average speeds are above 24mph, that is where they are most needed.
Dorset Council's Highways Board is now looking at the policy, and I'm the one Green Councillor in the room. The discussions are hard work, but there is increasing support for 20mph, not least from the Conservative representatives of villages whose centre is dominated by a busy main road. I suspect the real problem is funding. Even schemes that require little more than some 20mph signs, and don't propose traffic calming, can be quite expensive. The Council may be reluctant to stoke up demand it's not prepared or able to fund.
This is a great campaigning issue for the Green Party, and campaigning is well supported by the National 20's Plenty Campaign. It's a great way to get Greens on the map locally, and if you like the idea of running a campaign in your town or village please get in touch either with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or with the Dorset Coordinator for 20's Plenty, Dilys Gartside (email@example.com).
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