Call to speed up 20mph decision


- Credit: Archant

A campaigning councillor has urged the county council to “stop arguing” and impose 20mph restrictions on residential roads across the whole of North Hertfordshire.

County councillors from a cross-party overview and scrutiny committee met last week to discuss Hertfordshire County Council’s (HCC) current strategy regarding the introduction of 20mph speed limits and zones.

Among the draft recommendations were to support the expansion of 20mph zones and limits in Hertfordshire, without the need for measures such as bollards and speed humps where possible.

The county councillors also endorsed the proposal to use mean speeds for determining all speed limits rather than 85th percentile speeds as in the current strategy, and the need to look again at traffic and environmental scheme costs.

Speaking to the Comet, Cllr Lisa Courts, who represents the Hitchin Bearton ward at North Hertfordshire District Council, said: “Although they held this debate I don’t think that the 20mph speed should only be limited to certain roads, I think they should be on all residential roads across North Hertfordshire. Other cities and towns have done this and it works well. We need to stop arguing and debating about it and just do it.”

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Cllr Courts said that one road in particular, Grove Road in Hitchin, needed to have a 20mph speed limit.

“The road is used by parents and schoolchildren and as part of our speed awareness project I have recorded cars, HGVs and even school minibuses going above 30mph,” she said.

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Cllr Courts said that by bringing in the 20mph district-wide would also be beneficial to taxpayers and cost less in the long run to HCC.

Alan Searing, chairman of Hertfordshire County Council’s overview and scrutiny committee, said: “We have had a very constructive couple of days and we were able to thoroughly examine evidence from a number of witnesses and consider all aspects of the 20mph issue.

“Our recommendations will be submitted to Cllr Terry Douris, Cabinet member for Highways, for his consideration and comment. He has two months to respond.” A Hitchin Forum spokesman said: “Hitchin Forum supports the introduction of zones, where the speed limit is 20mph, and the inclusion of some residential streets which happen to be A-roads, such as Fishponds and Nightingale Road. It looks forward to further discussions in this district, where councillors have to be congratulated on their active support for an overdue review of traffic speeds.”

A public consultation on the new draft speed management strategy is currently open and will close on November 22. To submit your views, visit

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