To all our supporters, here’s an update on progress with the campaign:
1. KCC agrees to a town-wide scheme
In March 2019, KCC and the 20’s Plenty Working Group, gave a joint statement to the Swale’s Joint Transportation Board, stating that they have reached agreement in principle to a town-wide scheme, subject to funding and a positive public consultation outcome.
2. KCC accepts the preliminary scheme design
In May, Kent County Council approved all the recommendations of the 20’s Plenty Technical Report – produced by transport experts PJA and commissioned by the Town Council – with two minor caveats, one of which they have already actioned.
3. 20’s Plenty Community Working Group created
At the end of May, the new Town Council dissolved the 20’s Plenty Working Group, (established in 2016 and consisting of councillors and community members, with equal voting rights) and set up a council committee. So we renamed ourselves the “20’s Plenty Community Working Group”.
We have yet to receive a credible explanation as to why this was necessary. The reasons we have been given do not make sense.
4. KCC announces 20’s Plenty policy changes
In May, KCC published its revised policy on 20mph limits, acknowledging the work of the 20’s Plenty Working Group in its recognition of the importance of community-led schemes.
In June of this year, Mike Whiting the cabinet member for Transport visited the Faversham Society and spoke of the contribution the Faversham campaign had made in changing KCC’s 20mph policy.
Adrian Berendt of 20’s Plenty for Kent and Tunbridge Wells has been leading the policy change work and we have been working in support of him for several years. Hard won, these changes are significant and should simplify our scheme here in Faversham, making it even more affordable and achievable for us and for communities across Kent.
The two main policy changes are:
A need for schemes to be community-led and no longer dependent on casualty or deprivation statistics
Less need for physical calming, making schemes more affordable.
5. Town Council Committee agrees a town-wide scheme (again)
On Monday, 23rd September, Amanda presented to the new Town Council “20’s Plenty Committee” and a motion was agreed unanimously to pursue a town-wide scheme.
This decision did no more than repeat the unanimous agreement of the previous Town Council and of Swale Borough Council in December 2016. Nevertheless it was reassuring to get the new committee’s approval, as agenda item 5. Road Review, suggested that a different approach was being considered.
You can read about that 2016 Swale borough council decision here.
6. Press coverage
You may have seen the project covered in this week’s Faversham News. Regrettably, none of the councillors quoted and photographed in the article mentioned that this is a community-led project, a fact that is important under the new KCC policy in terms of accessing the support required to implement it.
7. Next steps
We are now hoping that the new Town Council 20’s Plenty Committee will vote in favour of the Community Working Group’s request that they re-appoint PJA to continue with the next stage of scheme design.
PJA principal, Phil Jones has been working with us in our role as the 20’s Plenty Working Group since 2016 and his expertise has been key in effecting the policy changes and persuading Kent County Council that a town-wide limit is achievable.
Phil Jones has also been appointed chair of the Welsh 20mph task force, where his role will be to identify how a national limit of 20mph can be introduced to residential areas across Wales.
We can’t think of a more qualified consultant to take us into this next exciting phase.
20’s Plenty for Faversham is first and foremost a community-led campaign. We are cross-party and non-political.
Please keep engaging with us and sending in your letters of support and comments on the scheme. We welcome all views, both positive and negative.
Thank you all for your continued support.
20’s Plenty for Faversham Community Working Group
Monday, 7th October 2019
Amanda Russell (Chair)