Hundreds back petition to halt roll-out of 20mph zones across Hertfordshire

£2.3million has been earmarked for the continued roll-out in next year’s budget proposals
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More than 1,000 people have signed a petition to stop the roll-out of 20mph zones across Hertfordshire.

According to Hertfordshire County Council the creation of 20mph areas can improve safety, create calmer streets and encourage more walking and cycling.

And £2.3million has been earmarked for the continued roll-out in next year’s budget proposals – as part of plans to spend £7million over three years.

Hertfordshire County Council will discuss the budget proposals on February 13.Hertfordshire County Council will discuss the budget proposals on February 13.
Hertfordshire County Council will discuss the budget proposals on February 13.

Hertfordshire resident John Dowdle has launched a petition against the roll-out. And in less than two weeks it has been backed by 1,451 signatures.

The petition – running on the county council’s website – highlights the council’s ‘extremely serious financial position’ and calls for the ‘wasteful spending’ to be stopped immediately.

“The administration are squandering £2.3million for the roll-out of more 20mph zones in Hertfordshire, according to budget proposals for 2024/25,” says the petition.

“Already this year (2023/24) the council has spent £3million on 20mph zones – with plans to waste a further £1.7million next year (2025/26) too.

“All in all, the administration at County Hall are prepared to waste £7million in total on mad schemes that few – if any – Hertfordshire residents actually want. This wasteful spending must be stopped immediately.”

A county council spokesperson responded: “We know from a transport survey conducted for us last year by YouGov, that almost two thirds of our residents support the introduction of 20mph speed limits in residential areas and in town centres, and our draft Integrated Plan sets aside money create more 20mph areas.

“However, we think it’s important that we consult residents before reducing speed limits in an area, and clearly not all roads are suited to a 20mph speed limit.

“We will therefore only look to introduce a 20mph zone where there is clear local support and where we’re confident that changing the speed limit will make a real difference to traffic speeds.

“We’re targeting lower speed roads around places where people live, work, learn and shop – places where we want people to feel safe and comfortable in the street environment and encouraged to walk and cycle their journeys.

“When they are implemented in the right way, 20mph zones can have significant benefits for residents and road users, including improving safety and air quality, and reducing traffic noise.”

The e-petition will continue to run on the council’s website until February 12.