Twenty is plenty: Northamptonshire councillor considers motion to implement 20mph speeding limit

Councillor Danielle Stone
Councillor Danielle Stone

The introduction of a 20mph speed limit in Northampton’s residential areas could help prevent accidents in the town’s back streets, a councillor has suggested.

Councillor Danielle Stone attended a residents meeting with members of her Abington and Phippsville ward this week where discussions centred on a range of road-related issues from safety, hazards, and the obstruction of dropped kerbs, to poor parking and speeding.

One resident suggested that a continental approach could be taken to deal with speeding issues in Abington by reducing the speed limit to 20mph.

In response Cllr Stone said: “I am intending very soon to, if my group allows me, take the motion again to the county council. I’ve taken it before but it was refused.

“It’s called ‘twenty is plenty’. It’s a huge national campaign which says that, actually, in residential areas pedestrians ought to have priority.

“We’ve all got cars, we all want cars to flow, but there’s no need for them to go at speed.”

However, this was not seen as a solution by one resident who pointed out that a 20mph speed limit was already in place outside his home on Stimpson Avenue, but it was not enforced by the police.

He said: “There’s no point in having it unless someone enforces it, that’s the important thing.

“There’s lots and lots of signs and lots of restrictions but if there isn’t somebody there with a book issuing tickets, it’s meaningless.”

Also attending the meeting was PCSO Pete Middleton, who pointed out that putting police out results in few speeding tickets as drivers almost always spot the officers’ bright uniforms and slow down.

During the meeting, Cllr Stone also asked Andrew Leighton, an officer from Northamptonshire Highways, to undertake a review of the issues raised by residents.

She said: “The issue with Birchfield Road and Collingwood Road is a really serious one, there is a fatality waiting to happen there and I cannot believe that, even with the measures that have been put in, it isn’t sufficient.

“It obviously isn’t the signage that’s the problem, it is the way the priorities change along Collingwood Road and Birchfield Road, and it is the speed of the traffic and it’s the lack of visibility on the corners.

Councillor Stone asked Mr Leighton for a “short, sharp, quick, proper review” of traffic flows, dropped kerbs, parking spaces, as well as where double yellow lines could be shortened.

The residents’ association expect results of he review by their next meeting, in three months’ time.