Plea to lower speed limits in three villagesBy Laura Herbert
June 19, 2012
Lower speed limits have been called for throughout Shinfield, Spencers Wood and Three Mile Cross after a petition was handed to council bosses.
The petition calls for speed limits in all three village centres to be lowered from 40mph to 30mph.
It also calls for a reduction to 20mph outside Shinfield Infant and Junior School and Lambs Lane Primary School in Spencers Wood.
The petition, which has 720 signatures, was presented at Wokingham Borough Council’s annual meeting on Thursday, May 24.
Green party member Marjory Bisset, who presented the petition, said: “When I first moved to the area I was amazed to find the village centres were still 40mph, including just before the school.
“When I became involved in politics I started talking to residents and I found most people agreed they wanted lower speed limits and it is something the parish council has asked for years.”
Ms Bisset added: “We would also like the speed limit to be lowered on sections of road in between the villages but that is up for debate.
“By the school it is currently 30mph but it only drops from 40mph to 30mph about 50 yards before you get to the school. There is also a bend there and the entrance to the nursery is just feet away from the road.”
Ms Bisset said 96 per cent of people she asked signed the petition. Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, also lent his support to the campaign when he visited the area last year.
She added: “Residents of our villages overwhelmingly support lower speed limits. Our villages suffer while similar villages and suburbs of Wokingham benefit from safer traffic conditions. Please Wokingham borough councillors, listen to the people.”
Councillor Keith Baker, executive member for highways and planning, said: “We are looking at improving safety where we need to.
“We had a meeting with Marjory and her MEP about a month before the elections talking about this subject and we explained everything that was possible and what was not.
“A key part of this is looking at road accident statistics. We have got more than 1,700 roads in the borough and we have to prioritise.
“The road accidents statistics for those roads were pretty good, there were hardly any. No serious accidents and very few non-serious accidents.
“We also look at the natural speed of a road. If you are trying to reduce driver’s speed below the natural speed it is very difficult to do unless you use road humps or chicanes.
“The other issue is enforcement, which is down to police.
“If police don’t support a reduction in the speed limit they may not enforce it and drivers won’t reduce their speed as they know they are not going to be caught.
“The final piece of the jigsaw relates to 20mph as it is a policy that it must be self-enforcing, which would the include measures such as width restrictions and speed humps.”
Cllr Baker explained the next step would be to hold a meeting with Ms Bisset and council officers to discuss the petition and any viable options.