Please Register Your Support

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

Bysing Wood Rd: : mostly about the planters, which have now been moved

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.

The Red Dots map that started it all and today’s Commonplace engagement platform.

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:

http://www.kent.gov.uk/faversham20mph

Thank you all for your support, we wish you all a safe and restful festive break.

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Fact makes the news, joins 20’s Plenty for Us and confirms Town Council support.

May and June have been busy months for FACT, so here’s all the latest…

May 28th saw FACT in the news following two traffic accidents involving pedestrians in a single week, both requiring an air ambulance response. I won’t reiterate the events or the article, which you can read in full here. What I will say is that it’s really horrible to hear news of traffic accidents and then be asked to comment. I know it’s a necessary and inevitable part of running this campaign, press attention leads to more exposure and (hopefully) support but first and foremost it is very upsetting. Faversham is a small and close-knit town and the consequences of these accidents reverberate all the more because of that. It also leaves me in no doubt that more needs to be done and soon.

In June I agreed to be the official contact for Faversham’s very own branch of 20’s Plenty. This is the national campaign to make 20mph the default speed limit where people live. The wide-ranging benefits of this scheme are already a reality for many towns up and down the country and you can watch a short video featuring the campaign’s founder Rod King MBE here. Being part of the national campaign means we will benefit from all their research, campaigning experience and resources. It also means we’ll be working alongside other 20’s Plenty groups across Kent to achieve the same goal. I was sent a starter pack with lots of useful things in it, my favourite being this “20’s Plenty Where People Live” wheelie bin sticker, which is such a clever idea.wheelie bin imageHow amazing would it be to have these stickers on as many wheelie bins as possible? I’m convinced it would make motorists think – if only for a moment – and reduce their speed through town. I’ll be launching our 20’s Plenty for Faversham website and petition in the next few weeks.

You can buy your own sticker here and I’m currently trying to raise money to purchase a larger number to sell and give away at events, so if you are a local business and would like to support the campaign in this way, please do get in touch.

On June 29th, I attended the town council meeting with two other FACT members, Tim Stonor and Tina Hagger (Swale Green Party). Our aim was to confirm the town council’s support and find out what happens next. Cllrs Cosgrove and Kay had already expressed their support at March’s Local Engagement Forum (you can read my previous post about that here) and had pledged to make Faversham 20mph in their election literature (see below) but I hadn’t heard anything more since the election and didn’t know if this view was shared by the entire town council.

Cosgrove Kay Pledges 002
Cosgrove Kay Pledges 001

Your Borough Council Candidates leaflet, Election 2015.

To my relief, the town council responded with a unanimous YES, which is excellent news. As for a more detailed discussion, this would have to wait for another day and another meeting; that of the Public Realm Group, which takes place on Thursday the 23rd July, 9:30am (should any of you wish to attend.) Not the best time for a working parent or a working anybody in fact, but needs must.

One last piece of news is that Helen Whately MP has apparently expressed her support for FACT and 20s Plenty for Faversham. I haven’t managed to track her down in person yet but I’m hoping to meet with her in the coming month.

Thanks for reading and supporting,

Amanda