Calls for blanket 20mph speed limit on majority of Norwich’s roads
- Credit: Ben Price
Calls for a blanket 20mph speed limit on the majority of the city’s roads will be debated by councillors this week.
The reduced limit already applies to every road inside Norwich’s inner ring road, however, the wheels could be put into motion on extending this.
A motion tabled by the Green group at City Hall is calling on the council to lobby the county council to introduce a blanket 20mph limit for the vast majority of roads within the outer ring road as well.
Ben Price, councillor for the Thorpe Hamlet ward, who is tabling the motion, said: “A blanket 20mph speed limit will give uniformity and take pressure off drivers. But it will also be greatly beneficial to safety and to the environment.
“It would help traffic flow as if people are travelling slowly there would be less queueing at lights which would do wonders for emissions as there would be fewer cars idling.”
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The motion does not call for 20mph to be installed on every road, with Mr Price saying it had intentionally been “left open” to leave transport planners room for manoeuvre - but also to make intentions clear.
He said: “Some roads that have plenty of segregation between motorists and cyclists and big wide pavements are more suited to 30mph, roads like the Newmarket Road.
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“However, I’ve been banging on about this in my ward for ages. There are quite a few roads in Thorpe Hamlet that have narrow pavements and a heavy flow of pedestrians that are 30mph. As a father of two young children I worry for their safety.”
However, Mike Stonard, the Labour cabinet member for transport at City Hall said that while he supported the notion of 20mph limits in principle, the motion “lacks ambition and is poorly worded”.
He said: “As a group and a council we have made every road in the city centre 20mph and we are very proud of that. We are working on how best to respond to this motion, but I think it is lacking in ambition and is clumsy.
“I do not see why we shouldn’t be looking at bringing in 20mph on residential roads beyond the outer ring road, but across the whole city area.”
The proposals, which will be debated by council on Tuesday, however, did not sit well with participants on our poll - with 70pc of more than 480 participants saying they opposed the idea.