20mph zones in Herts given a boost

A special meeting will be held to discuss such zones

A special meeting will be held to discuss such zones - Credit: Archant

CAMPAIGNERS calling for 20mph zones across Comet country have been given a boost, after councillors unanimously agreed to properly explore the possibility.

Over the past year, councillors have called for the speed limit to be imposed in certain areas, particularly outside schools and some residential roads.

It moved a step nearer to reality on Thursday, when Herts County Council’s scrutiny committee agreed to hold a special two-day meeting later in the year to hear evidence from interested parties and experts.

A decision will then be made on whether to adopt a policy for such zones.

County councillor and chairman of Hitchin area committee Ray Shakespeare Smith said: “Whether it’s across the whole town, we’ll have to see. We need to take advice from all people involved.

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“There are certainly some areas which are in particular need, particularly outside schools and some of the narrower roads, for example in Bearton Road.”

The proposals have received the backing from cross-party councillors, who say they are acting on requests from residents.

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Baldock county councillor Michael Muir, who sits on scrutiny, said: “I certainly think 20mph should be introduced outside schools in Herts, and all residential areas that want it should be able to have it as well.”

And district councillor Lisa Courts said she had been inundated with emails from residents who want the scheme.

She added: “This is good news and hopefully HCC will listen and implement 20’s Plenty around Hertfordshire.

“The positives of this outweigh the negatives.”

Members of the public also attended the meeting, with Hitchin Forum chairman Mike Clarke among them.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “There was some frustration that the process of introduction of such measures has taken so long, but Central Government advice has only recently changed to make such policies more possible.

“What was evident at county, as well as district level, was the all-party support. Congratulations to all parties on managing this.

“A sensible moderation of road behaviour seems possible, with benefits to all town and village dwellers a little closer.”

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