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Speed cut for city’s streets

PUBLISHED: 13:51 23 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:05 22 October 2010

SHAUN LOWTHORPE

Speed limits in Norwich could be cut to 20mph in all residential areas in three years, under plans to be discussed by Norwich City Council next week.

Speed limits in Norwich could be cut to 20mph in all residential areas in three years, under plans to be discussed by Norwich City Council next week.

Judith Lubbock, the Lib Dem's transport spokeswoman, is seeking support for the cut by 2009 at a council meeting next Tuesday.

She said the cut would improve air quality and cut noise, increase cycling and walking and make streets safer - and the move is in response to public demand.

And she said the limits could be introduced in phases without the need for expensive traffic calming measures such as speed bumps to keep costs down.

“I hope there will be a change in attitude to speed in residential areas.

“In the same way that drink driving

has become unacceptable I hope that

those travelling at more than 20mph will be seen as anti-social and the speeding unacceptable.

“We have got 20mph zones already in some areas. This is what people want and it's what's good for the city.”

Labour has previously supported 20mph zones as part of its “twenty is plenty” campaign.

And the Greens are also likely to approve.

But the big stumbling blocks remain finding the cash for the zones and traffic orders and persuading the Tory-run county council to support the initiative.

Steve Morphew, council leader, welcomed the Lib Dems support for a 20mph limit but wondered why they failed to back it while during their four years in office.

“It's something we've been campaigning on for ages, so I find it bizarre they are trying to steal the idea,” he said.

“For years she has been making excuses not to support out 'twenty is plenty' campaign. We're quite happy that the highways committee should look at it.”

Green Party councillor Adrian Ramsay said: “Reducing the speed limit would make our roads safer and help encourage more people to walk and cycle more often.

“We do need to consider how a city-wide 20mph speed limit would best be implemented and enforced.

“This requires research into the details of such schemes from elsewhere.”

Adrian Gunson, the county council's cabinet member for planning and transport said: “I'm not against the principle of people driving slower in residential areas, but in terms of Norwich's traffic problems I'm not convinced a 20mph limit is the top priority.

“If a speed limit doesn't need enforcing that implies that people are already going at a reasonable speed.”

Mrs Lubbock said while in power her party had followed officer advice that such a move would be too expensive.

“We received information form our officers saying we couldn't do it without traffic calming,” she added.

“But it's been proved you can do it - Portsmouth have done it.

“The hurdle we have got to get over is the county. I think it's in the county's mind long term, but we want to bring it forward.”


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