big Parish petition and much more...
Well now at last with the Community Offer by Highways we are moving forward again...Gloucestershire Highways cannot
fund non priority schemes and police enforcement resources are
limited and therefore communities are being given the opportunity to look at what they can do to put in place
traffic calming and speed reduction measures in partnership with GCC. The
Gloucestershire Highways Community Offer details can be found on the GCC
At our working group meeting in Westrip we looked at the options with a Highways Officer and have now embarked on further research into options and costs. Reducing speeds is clearly the aim - and a key issue raised with me on the doorstep - we basically are exploring two ways - should we go for a mandatory 20 mph across both Parishes - or just go for an advisory? Advisory is cheaper but how much do people really take notice of such advice...
The mandatory is a more complex process and more costly although Highways pay half and the two Parishes would split the cost - mandatory is also about changing the culture of speed - increasingly residential areas are wanting to create more pleasant environments which are not determined by giving priority to traffic. We also all know that hit at 30 mph you are much more likely to die than hit at 20 mph - see my 500
words in The Citizen here, the
report I wrote here
and the letter to GCC councillors here. Of course some of a mandatory speed limit's effect will also wear off as they do with the advisory - speeds can creep back up - but to me it is also a message about caring for our villages and the people in them - in Norway for example and other places in Europe 30 kph (about 20 mph) is mandatory in residential areas - drivers get used to it - already there is huge demand from Parishes across Gloucestershire for traffic calming and indeed across the country - Portsmouth has just turned their whole city 20 mph. I am convinced the better option is a mandatory but clearly even an advisory would be an improvement.
Of course none of this is possible without other traffic measures - 'gateways' are being considered - these are entrances to the villages - in some places they are earth bunds, others white gateposts (not like the Standish ones), some have lots of planting and in some places Cotswold stone walls (set back from road) - but basically a way to tell drivers you are entering a different area - a village with people in the streets...they work in many areas with strong evidence they cut speeds. I personally don't like humps or rumble strips as they urbanise our village environment......
Anyway we have a way to go - TRO's take about 2 years but we have at least started the process and will also be looking at how residents can be consulted - do drop me a line with any thoughts.