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10 years of 20mph: How Norwich’s roads have changed since 20mph decision

PUBLISHED: 08:53 24 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:53 24 May 2018

New 20mph / 20 MPH / 20 miles per hour speed limits introduced on several roads in Norwich. Speed gun /speeding sign
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY
COPY:david bale
FOR:EN NEWS
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009 (01603 772434)

New 20mph / 20 MPH / 20 miles per hour speed limits introduced on several roads in Norwich. Speed gun /speeding sign PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY COPY:david bale FOR:EN NEWS © ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009 (01603 772434)

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009

A decade ago Norwich City Council elected to roll out a blanket 20mph speed limit across the city - in a move described at the time as “unenforceable”.

Norwich Evening front page on May 23, 2008.Norwich Evening front page on May 23, 2008.

Ten years on, every road within the old city walls has just that limit, along with several other residential streets within the city council’s jurisdiction.

Since councillors agreed to the blanket limit as an aspiration on May 23, 2008, more and more roads have been given the restriction - though it was not until 2017 that the 20mph city centre zone was introduced.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said the way it keeps track of the roll-out is through the number of homes in 20mph areas.

In 2008, there were 9,301 homes on roads with 20mph speed limits. In 2016 - the most recent figures made available - 29,260 of the city’s homes were on roads with 20mph limits.

Eastern Daily Press front page on May 23, 2008Eastern Daily Press front page on May 23, 2008

This figure could be boosted by an additional 15,000 homes this year, with limit reductions linked to cycle path improvements currently under consideration.

Mike Stonard, city council cabinet member for transport, said: “It is great to see how far we’ve come over the last 10 
years with putting in place 20mph areas.

“The city council was among the first local authorities to take such an approach and recent Department for Transport funding for the cycle network has meant we’ve been able to considerably pick up the pace of delivery of these.”

As it stands, 45pc of all roads within Norwich City Council’s responsibility have 20mph speed limits, with consultation to begin later this year into a £300,000 scheme to add more roads in the Catton Grove, Eaton, Lakenham, Mile Cross, Sewell and Town Close wards.

Map displaying roads earmarked for 20mph speed limits in future. Picture: Transport for NorfolkMap displaying roads earmarked for 20mph speed limits in future. Picture: Transport for Norfolk

Jeff Jordan, a committee member for the Norwich Cycling Campaign said the pedalways scheme - which has brought much of the speed reductions - has vastly improved things for cyclists.

He said: “Lower speeds limits do make it much safer for both cyclists and pedestrians - when traffic is moving at that speed it is much easier to negotiate it.”

Jex Road, Borrowdale Drive and Vauxhall Street were among the first roads trialled for the limit.


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