A paper presenting the recommendations of the Task and Finish Group.
Portfolio Holder – Councillor Wallace Redford
Councillor Wallace Redford (Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning) explained that the Task and Finish Group had been convened following a motion at full council to consider the evidence, cost, impact and/or benefit of 20mph speed limits in residential areas including schools and other sites of wider interest across Warwickshire and to report the outcome of this work to Cabinet. The Group had concluded that a blanket approach offered little benefit and had engaged in discussion over a wide range of how effective 20mph schemes already implemented in Warwickshire were and also looked at the options for advisory signage and what would benefit schools in particular. To support the work, the Group had looked at two specific areas in Warwickshire investigated for a blanket approach (New Arley and Kenilworth) but neither showed the benefits for full schemes and this supported the Group’s conclusion that a targeted approach was more suitable. Discussions with the Police had drawn the conclusion that 20mph limits were only effective when motorists were already abiding by 30mph limits. The final recommendations were set out in the report.
Councillor Tracey Drew read a statement from Councillor Jonathan Chilvers who was unable to attend the meeting. The statement reflected on Councillor Chilver’s perception of the approach the Task and Finish Group had taken to the topic and the resulting quality of its report, which Councillor Chilvers considered mis-represented the findings. Councillor Chilvers suggested that Cabinet should request further work be undertaken to assess the success of schemes around the country in places like Warwickshire and then put in place a fair and costed process to support communities that wanted 20 mph speed limits. Councillor Seccombe requested that the statement be sent to the Portfolio Holder in accordance with normal custom and practice.
Councillor Drew drew attention to the government’s £30 million investment in highways decarbonisation projects which would enable councils to complete for small amounts of money to deliver ‘pioneering projects’ to decarbonise. She noted that residents in Kenilworth were supportive of a change to slower speed limits and traffic calming subject to consultation, and that road safety was a key concern for residents hesitating to walk and cycle who would have greater confidence if there was a 20mph speed limit. She considered that the benefits were tangible and credible. She asked how quickly the council could consider applying to the aforementioned fund with an innovative scheme to effectively introduce 20mph speed limits.
Councillor John Holland recognised that there were clearly divided views on the subject. He noted that the Secretary of State had indicated a presumption that residential streets would be subject to 20mph speed limits, which were also popular with residents. However, he noted that there were two elements to their introduction with the council being required to implement them and the police to enforce them. He welcomed the report’s emphasis on the role of the local councillor in the debate and considered that this represented a workable way forward if the Portfolio Holder was minded ... view the full minutes text for item 6