A Call to Action…
The Faversham trial 20mph scheme has now been in place for twelve weeks and we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who is observing the limit and doing their bit to create a safer and healthier community for all. Despite the scheme being reliant on signage alone during this, its trial phase and very much in its early stages, we are already seeing an improvement, especially when cycling.
However there are people who are driving too fast and they are all the more visible for it. I am noticing them on my street and I am sure you are too. It is important to remember that it is people who exceed speed limits, vehicles are all driven by people, who are making a choice.
The general feedback gathered so far, shows that most residents support the scheme. This is consistent with the findings of national surveys, which repeatedly show 70% of residents support 20mph, with popularity increasing after their introduction. It is key to demonstrate the popularity of the scheme for many reasons, one of them is that it makes it a more likely recipient of the active travel funding, needed to complete it.
Once officially approved, the next stage is to analyse your feedback and decide what else is needed, to improve the scheme and increase compliance BUT none of this can happen, until the scheme has been approved.
So first things first, how you can help?
Please go here and register your support at KCC’s consultation page: http://www.kent.gov.uk/faversham20mph
And please share the link with your friends and neighbours and ask them to officially register their support too.
All speed limits rely mainly on self enforcement and 20mph limits are no exception. We do need the Police to enforce these new limits but technology and car manufacturers are imminently poised to play a more significant enforcement role, as Rod King MBE, founder and campaign director for 20’s Plenty for Us writes:
“…the scene is being set for far greater compliance with all speed limits, as new car models from 2022 will incorporate speed limiting devices as standard. Indeed, the answer to the question “Who will enforce new speed limits?” will be “Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, etc” as all manufacturers fit such Intelligent Speed Assistance controls to ensure that drivers keep to the posted speed limits.
We know very well that the next phase of slow speed interventions are needed and they will draw on the technical recommendations of Phil Jones Associates and feedback from you, the residents, gathered from surveys, markets stalls, phone calls, emails and the Commonplace community engagement platform.
Like the Red Dots map, your feedback demonstrates that concerns about road danger are spread across the town and locations that have attracted particular attention include:
Whitstable Road: speed and volume of vehicles and lack of pedestrian crossings
South Road / Ospringe Road: vehicle speeds; and lack of pedestrian crossings
The Mall / Forbes Road / Station Road: lack of pedestrian crossings, not feeling either cycle or pedestrian-friendly
In the town centre in particular, some have complained about bike-users riding on pavements and one aim of 20mph limits is to provide cyclists with a standard of safety and the confidence, to cycle on the road rather than pavements. The town council has also increased the number of town centre cycle racks at the start of the pedestrian centre and added signs asking that cyclists dismount in those areas.
The list of potential slow speed interventions is being finalised and is dependent on funding, but could include:
Creating a walking route based on the historic route across the town.
Using build-outs to widen pavements and narrow junctions at key walking points to make it easier for pedestrians to cross streets.
Removing centre lining on some streets to help gain compliance with 20mph.
Adding formal pedestrian crossings on, for example, the Mall and Forbes Road, and at Stonebridge Pond.
Tightening the radii on certain junctions to reduce the speed of turning vehicles.
We now have a genuine opportunity to shape our streets so that they are safer and healthier for everyone. If that’s what you want please register now. Here’s the link again:
Thank you all for your support, we wish you all a safe and restful festive break.