Okeford Fitzpaine councillor and co-ordinator of the campaign group 20s Plenty for Dorset, Dilys Gartside, is urging residents with a passion to reduce ‘inappropriate’ speed limits to get in touch and add their weight to the campaign for policy change.
Dilys took the role of coordinator following a recent meeting attended by councillors and residents, which was hosted by Anna Semlyen the national campaign manager of 20sPlentyforUs, to gauge support for 20mph to become the default speed limit on urban and residential streets.
Anna said: “Already over 20 million people in the UK, which is one in three of the population live in local authorities which are adopting or have adopted this policy.”
In February 2020, Global Ministers mandated 20mph speed limits wherever cyclists or pedestrians mix with motor vehicles, with exceptions only where strong evidence exists that higher speeds are safe. This was endorsed in August 2020 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Several Dorset villages already have a 20mph speed limit for most of their streets thanks to the organisation, which has spearheaded some 500 campaigns.
Dilys said: “People are frightened to step out from their front doors because of the speed of traffic. Many residents and villagers are concerned at the speed of an increasing volume and size of vehicles passing their homes, schools and shops, where narrow often winding roads must be shared by all users, including horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians.”
“There are many aspects to speeding traffic but education to bring about behavioural change is a primary need. During lockdown with fewer cars on the roads, many more people were cycling and walking and one can see the impact which vehicle speed has on these vulnerable road users. If someone is hit by a car at 30mph there is a 20 per cent chance of death which rises alarmingly to 50 per cent at 35mph, while at 20mph that chance drops to just 2.5 per cent.”
Dilys added: “If you have a passion for this initiative and the willingness to give of your time to it, please contact me soon. In this instance it’s a case of many hands make light work, rather than too many cooks.”
The next meeting will be held online mid-March. To get involved or to find out more contact Dilys on 01258 860157 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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