Wednesday, December 10, 2008

20mph Zones - Now Politically Attractive?

Rewind back nearly two years to our call in February 2007 for Darlington to introduce a town wide 20mph zone. At the time we were told the whole idea was "impractical" by our Labour-controlled local authority.

Now Lib Dem run Newcastle upon Tyne are rolling out a programme of 20mph zones that will, over three years, result in a blanket 20mph speed limit for all non-trunk road streets. Given the experience in this Sustainable Travel and Cycling Demo Town of ours, you would imagine the Labour opposition in Newcastle would be crying "impractical"?

Far from it. The Lib Dem council has been criticised by Labour for being too slow off the mark. In fact, the Labour Group called for such a scheme in April 2006. Labour leader Coun Nick Forbes said:
This is exactly what we called for two years ago. The Lib Dems would have saved a lot of time and money by accepting our proposals at the time. I’m delighted they’ve finally seen sense.

Answers on a postcard, please, as to why Sustainable Travel Town status gives us more backward policies than towns and cities without.


Karl McCracken said...

I'm in North Tyneside . . . maybe it's time to make that phone call to the cabinet member with transport responsibility, and ask when we can expect the same.

Of course, the down side with a 20 mph speed limit is that I might start getting ticketed on my bike . . .

David Hembrow said...

Over here cyclists are not subject to the speed limits. Which is just as well.

I think the same is true in the UK, actually, though there is some daft old legislation about cycling "furiously" (or some similar wording).