Cheltenham borough council is consulting on plans to introduce a 20mph speed limit on residential roads and in the town centre, in a move that is hoped will address concerns about air quality and safety.
Residents and businesses have been asked for their views on the plan, as part of an online consultation launching today (6 November) running until the beginning of December.
Commenting on the proposals, Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, said: “Cheltenham borough council is concerned about safety and speed on the town’s roads; and the effect that traffic has on the quality of the town’s air. We take the view that use of 20mph limits is one of a number of potential measures that might help address these concerns and we want to know what you think.
“Traffic is managed by Gloucestershire county council, so the aim of this consultation is to help us to test the appetite of our communities and gather information that will help us in discussions on the suitability of 20mph limits with the county council.”
20mph speed limits in urban areas are among the measures recommended in recent guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published this summer as being effective in improving air quality (see airqualitynews.com story).
According to NICE, 20mph zones can encourage a reduced steady speed for longer stretches of road, and avoid emissions from acceleration and deceleration.
Councillor Max Wilkinson, chair of the council’s overview and scrutiny walking and cycling group and the council’s walking and cycling champion, added: “Reducing speed limits helps create calmer and more pleasant streets where people live, while improving air quality and encouraging people to walk and cycle.
“Walking and cycling is proven to make people happier and healthier, while cleaning our air helps the most vulnerable. I think achieving these aims of stronger communities, improved health and protecting vulnerable people is something we should all consider.”