Faversham’s 20mph town-wide trial goes live!

It’s taken five years of campaigning, researching, speech writing, leafleting, petitioning, emailing, meeting, networking, relationship building, persuading, promoting, debating, discussing and presenting to get this scheme to a trial stage. So today at 20’s Plenty HQ, we are having a mini-celebration.

Campaigning is not easy and you have to be in it for the long game and keep at it, no matter what setbacks come your way. And while we know there’s always more that can be done, we also know that 20mph limits are foundational in creating streets that work as well for pedestrians and cyclists as they do for motorised vehicles and this scheme will make a difference.

Faversham is the location for the first 20mph town-wide limit in the country. This is significant because evidence shows that wide-area limits are more effective in enacting long term behaviour change, easier to promote and understand and therefore more likely to be complied with, more affordable and therefore achievable and tend to be better for air quality. This is why the campaign to make 20mph the default urban speed limit across the country is ongoing.

Please help to make the Faversham scheme permanent by registering your official support on the KCC Consultation page here.

And please sign up to the Commonplace community hub and say where you think more needs to be done.

Thank you.

And we’ll leave you with “10 Top Tips for Community Campaigning” by Tim Stonor:

1) expect it to be a long run

2) celebrate small victories

3) gather the opinions of local people (local people are local experts)

4) gather the opinions of non-local experts

5) don’t accept “no” as an answer (“no” is an excuse, not an answer)

6) keep a record of everything (because people will come and go and they won’t otherwise know what has gone before)

7) expect setbacks (because nothing is linear and you’ll go in circles from time to time),

8) be patient with the naysayers since they can sometimes become your firmest advocates

9) be active online to promote and rebut

10) hang on to the fact that, unlikely as it may sometimes seem, common sense will prevail!

slowdownintown# noneedtospeed# 20splentyforus #20splentyfaversham

Some of the community campaigners, with scheme designer Phil Jones.

KCC approves Faversham 20mph limit: significant community engagement must now take place

The Faversham 20’s Plenty Community Group welcomes Kent County Council’s decision to establish a town-wide 20mph speed limit in Faversham. The evidence is clear that 20mph limits create safer conditions for vulnerable people. They also have significant benefits for air quality by reducing levels of the harmful fine particulates created through continuous acceleration and braking. In addition, 20mph limits encourage walking and cycling, leading to healthier lifestyles.

This is not just the view of a small group of local people – or even just the view of the town, borough and county councils, our local MP and leading transport professionals, all of who back the town-wide limit. 20mph limits are also supported by the World Health Organisation, Public Health England, South East Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust (incorporating Faversham Community First Responders) as well as numerous healthcare professionals.

We await further information on KCC’s proposals. In particular we encourage KCC to engage directly with the 20’s Plenty for Faversham Community Campaign Group and to tap into the wealth of local knowledge that we have generated in over 5 years of campaigning. Local people need to know what is happening but, more importantly, why it is happening. This means engagement now, not later: before the measures are implemented, not afterwards. Schemes that seem foisted upon places are less popular than those that are carefully explained in advance. There is much therefore for KCC to do in the next few weeks and we look forward to helping in this important effort.

Tim Stonor speaks to The Academy of Urbanism about the 20’s Plenty scheme in Faversham

Campaign member, Tim Stonor is a director of The Academy of Urbanism and was invited by them to speak about his current work in designing buildings and urban places for living with COVID-19.

See from 10:44 onwards for his work in Faversham, including the 20’s Plenty project.

20mph for equality, public health and wellbeing

Today is International Women’s Day and on Friday, I attended the Mayor’s Annual International Women’s Day coffee morning in Faversham’s Guildhall. I took a seat, surrounded by women from my local community, listening intently to the immensely compassionate, knowledgeable and inspiring speaker, Claire Murdoch, National Director for Mental Health, who also happens to be the sister of our town Mayor Alison Reynolds.

The event set me thinking about 20mph limits, how they are rooted in the Equality Act 2010 and the foundational role they play in improving public health and wellbeing for all.

Continue reading 20mph for equality, public health and wellbeing