Lib Dem borough and county councillors in Maidstone are calling on KCC, the highways authority, to stipulate 20mph as the default speed limit for all new housing schemes.
At Maidstone’s Joint Transport Committee meeting in July, Cllr Brian Clark raised the issue, informing that similar schemes are present elsewhere, stating “How challenging could it be for the highways authority to adopt a policy to set 20mph as the default. If there were reasons why a 20mph could not be applied on a particular site that could be argued.”
The point was raised during the discussion on the funding for the recently announced “Emergency Active Travel Scheme”. Cllr Clark concluded his point by requesting that the issue be added as a separate agenda item for discussion by the board at a later meeting which was accepted.
Following the meeting, County Councillor Rob Bird added, “We have proactively worked with the highways authority on 20mph schemes at several key areas in the town where road safety would greatly benefit from a reduced speed limit. However, we need to go much further to improve road safety especially around schools and in areas where there are high incidents of road traffic accidents”.
He continued, “The Lib Dems proposed reducing the default speed limit in new housing developments to 20mph several years back. But this was rejected at the time by the Conservative Cabinet Member at KCC. Nowadays, many local residents are pressing their borough and county councillors for 20mph speed limits in their neighbourhoods. Implementing such a policy within new estates would be straightforward and would be a big step towards increasing road safety with future housing developments.”