County council puts brakes on 20mph speed limit

By Rob George Wednesday 20 February 2013 Updated: 20/02 23:31

CALLS for a 20mph speed limit on all residential roads in Worcestershire were rejected by members of the county council at a meeting last Thursday (February 14).

Liberal Democrat county councillor Tom Wells demanded the limit and a 50mph restriction for all rural roads and accused drivers of treating some roads like ‘their own personal race tracks’.

He also highlighted figures obtained through research which revealed 33 people had been killed on rural roads in Worcestershire since 2009 and 174 were seriously injured.

As well as a blanket 50mph limit on all rural roads, Coun Wells also called for roads on all new housing developments to have a mandatory 20mph speed limit.

“We need to work towards a point in time where we in Worcestershire view speeding as socially unacceptable as drink driving,” he said.

“This is not a war against the motorist, we are all motorists at the end of the day and share the carriageway on a day-to-day basis.”

Liberal Democrat leader Coun Liz Tucker also suggested decision-making about speed limits could be given to local residents if they expressed fears about speeding in their areas.

Despite being backed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, the proposal was rejected by the Conservatives who questioned how the limits would be enforced.

Coun Liz Eyre said: “Here we have something which suggests doing something before we know whether taking action will have any effect.”

County council leader, Adrian Hardman, said: “We are extremely passionate about road safety, but the issue we need to resolve here is that some residents in the county will not obey speed limits.

“A culture change is what is needed and I think that will be an extremely long process,” he added.

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