Kent’s Euro MP calls for police to reconsider 20mph zones around schools

1st November 2010 Following a meeting with Cllr Sams in Lenham, Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for Kent, is writing to Kent’s Chief Constable Ian Learmonth to urge Kent Police to support 20mph areas without other traffic calming measures. This type of 20mph zone, without other traffic calming measures, is in use in other areas in Keith Taylor’s constituency, such as Portsmouth and Oxford, yet Kent Police are blocking proposals for 20mph areas around schools without expensive traffic calming measures.

Councillor Tom Sams has been working with Maidstone Greens and the 20’s Plenty Campaign to press for 20mph zones around schools and his wife Janetta Sams presented a 1000 signature petition collected in Lenham to the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board calling for reduced speed limits.

Keith Taylor MEP, who is the Green responsible for road safety issues on the European Parliament’s Transport Committee said: “Both Oxford and Portsmouth have shown that 20mph residential streets reduce the speed of traffic without the need for other traffic calming measures. The government’s advice on 20mph zone is also very clear, however there is still resistance from both Kent County Council and Kent Police to implement these sensible changes. I can’t think of anything more reasonable than reducing the speed limits around schools, yet there seems to be little enthusiasm to do this despite the overwhelming support of local people. The facts are clear, a pedestrian hit by a car travelling at 20mph is likely to suffer slight injuries, but at 30mph they are likely to be severely hurt. At 40mph or above they are likely to be killed.

“I met with Councillor Sams and his wife Janetta who have been working with campaigners in Maidstone and the case for change is very strong. I will be writing to Ian Learmonth asking for Kent Police to consider this again”.

ENDS

Notes to Editors
1. The 20mph petition was presented to the Maidstone Joint Transportation
Board on 28th July and further discussion on 20th October highlighted opposition to the speed limit changes.

2. Details of Oxford’s 20mph limits:
http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/wps/portal/publicsite/councilservices?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=http://apps.oxfordshire.gov.uk/wps/wcm/connect/occ/Internet%2FCouncil+services%2FRoads+and+transport%2FPlans+and+projects%2FMajor+projects%2FRT+-+MP+-+20mph+-+Home