Slow response to 20mph road plans

Have your say

TRANSPORT chiefs are set to go back to the drawing board after a negative response to plans to introduce a town-wide 20mph speed limit in residential areas.

Hartlepool Borough Council launched a consultation earlier this summer to see if there was much support for their plans.

But due to the low and negative response, officers will instead look to work with councillors to see if they can target specific areas of town. Despite a well publicised consultation, just 62 people responded.

Of those, 18 people specifically wanted the scheme to include Warrior Drive, in Seaton Carew, 35 were against the introduction of a town-wide scheme altogether, while the other nine were in favour.

The council’s cabinet committee was due to meet today to discuss the consultation.

A report by Alastair Smith, assistant director of transportation and engineering, said: “Due to the very poor response to the consultation it would seem to be inappropriate to continue towards the implementation of a town-wide 20mph speed limit.

“However, during the course of the consultation some members did indicate that they were very supportive of the principal of 20mph speed limits on estate roads, and had received representations from residents’ groups to this effect.

“Those members were still keen to see 20mph limits introduced in certain areas.

“As a result of this interest it is proposed that, rather than a town-wide scheme, officers work with members to identify areas in which a 20mph zone can be established cost effectively and in accordance with the wishes of the majority of residents.

“The implementation of school 20mph zones and safety schemes will, of course, continue independently of this process.”

The council carried out the consultation – which involved public meetings and consultation with taxi drivers and driving instructors – after its neighbourhood services scrutiny forum backed the idea earlier this year.

The programme, known as 20’s Plenty, has been used in a number of towns and cities across the country to improve road safety, and is more focused on changing behaviour, rather than introducing physical traffic calming measures.

Under the proposals, main roads in town would stay at their existing speed limits but it was proposed that the majority of residential estates become 20mph zones. Currently, there are only a limited number of roads in Hartlepool with a 20mph limit and those are mainly outside of schools.

It was planned to roll out the programme over three years at a cost of £150,000.

Senior councillors were due to meet this morning at the civic centre.

l Mail view: Page 8

l It’s your vote: Page 8