Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Latest News from 20’s Plenty for Darlington

Darlington Friends of the Earth's Matthew Snedker continues to go from strength to strength with his work on the 20' Plenty for Darlington campaign. Here is his latest update on how the campaign to introduce 20 mph speed limits on residential roads - with out speed humps - is getting on.

First some national news
The Department for Transport has announced that it is relaxing the requirements for 20 mph signage. In a move to remove red-tape and allow local authorities more power to implement 20 mph schemes without unnecessary cost and constraints, the DfT has announced new relaxations to allow far more flexible town-wide 20 mph schemes.

Liverpool city council is entering into consultation over plans that could result in 70% of the cities roads having 20 mph speed limits. It is estimated that this plan could provide savings of over £5.2 million per year in costs associated with traffic casualties.

What has been happening in Darlington
After our successful Green Fair stall we were invited to attend the launch of Green Park’s new play area. It is a lovely space and local residents have worked very hard to update and improve the play facilities.
We met local residents and talked about all the benefits that 20’s Plenty for Darlington will bring. Face painting and the ‘Breaking distance challenge’ proved popular, we sold car & bike stickers and we added another 30 signatures to our petition.

We are pleased to announce that we have received support from George Dent Nursery School. Carol Dawson, head teacher, said "When the policy was explained to me I thought 'What's not to like?' If you care about children and other vulnerable groups how could you not support this campaign. It has been proved to be successful in other parts of the country and it's time we had it in Darlington."

More support comes from Acorn Dairy. Graham Tweddle  said “a 20 mph speed limit, would help reduce the noise generated by vehicles using the roads at night and also improve the fuel economy.” He also went on to say “What is of more concern, is the increasing number of sleeping policemen (of different styles) used by the council. These do have a significant impact on vehicle suspension.”

I have already had an approach from one councillor asking that roads in their ward be included in any trial of 20 mph speed limits.
Does your councillor know that you want slower speed on the roads where you live?

Community Carnival
We will be at the Community Carnival, with a stall in Stanhope Park. The Carnival takes place on Saturday 25th June between 11 am and 5 pm. Please come and meet the team and find out the latest news.


The next month...
I am arranging a meeting with Michael Straugheir, Traffic Management Officer, Durham Constabulary. We will be discussing the 20’s Plenty policy and looking at how to make Darlington’s streets saver for all road users.

I will be looking to meet chairs of the Borough Council’s scrutiny committees to discuss a formal request that they investigate the 20’s Plenty for Darlington policy.

You can get involved

As well as coming to see us at the Community Carnival there are plenty of ways to get involved:

  • Talk to you friends, neighbours and work colleagues about the benefits of 20’s Plenty.
  • Print out copies of our campaign leaflet and pass them around.
  • Print out copies of our petition and collect signatures, please ask for e-mail addresses so that we can keep people up to date with the campaign.
  • Contact you councillors. Let them know of your support for the campaign and ask for their opinions on road humps, child casualty rates and the latest news fro the Department of Transport. 
If you want to help with the campaign, you can contact Matthew at darlington@20splentyforus.org.uk

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