Last week the Ross Gazette asked its readers on social media what they thought about the 20mph speed limit roll-out in Wales and whether or no they’d like to see a similar policy come to Herefordshire.
The community’s response was as varied as it was passionate.
James Hodges was quick to raise concerns about increased congestion and higher vehicle emissions, stating, “What you are really asking is, do you want more congestion and higher vehicle emissions.” In a similar vein, Di Davies, who recently drove in 20mph zones in Knighton, called the experience “madness” on open roads.
Paul Stephens, a top fan of the Gazette, weighed in, saying, “In the right spot no problem, blanket 20mph is not right. It will be changed I think.” His sentiment was echoed by Paul Morgan and received nods of agreement from Claire Griffiths and Wendy Williams, who both believe that speed bumps could be a viable alternative to slow down traffic.
Alison Dunn, who has years of experience in trauma, offered a contrasting view. She argued that “a child has more chance of survival at 20 than 30 mph” and cited the “devastation of careless speeding vehicles.” Bill Ellingford responded to Alison, suggesting that electric vehicles could exacerbate the problem due to their weight.
Many residents also commented on the practical challenges of a 20mph speed limit. Matthew Lawrence stated that driving at such low speeds “up Brampton hill will kill the gearbox on every car,” while Jane Cowles mentioned that her car “starts stalling at 20 in 3rd gear.”
Despite the divisive viewpoints, some areas were mentioned as needing immediate attention. Church Pitch Goodrich, Brampton Hill, and Ledbury road were all cited as area where speed control measures are urgently needed.
A petition against the 20mph speed limit in Wales, cited by Susan Simpson and Pauline Bacon, has garnered significant attention, with hundreds-of-thousands of people signing.
While the debate rages on, it’s clear that the issue of speed limits is far from settled in the minds of Herefordshire residents. Whether the 20mph limit is a step toward safer roads or an impractical measure leading to more problems remains to be seen.
Global market research and polling company, Redfield & Wilton Strategies, asked welsh voters is they support or oppose the new 20mph speed limit on roads where cars mix with pedestrians and cyclists? (16-17 September), with 46 per cent saying they support the move and 34 per cent opposing it.