A St Albans councillor has branded Hertfordshire County Council's plans for new 20mph zones "almost completely pointless".

The Green Party's Cllr Simon Grover, of St Peter's Ward, told The Herts Advertiser of his thoughts on the county council's plans.

Roads affected by the proposed changes include Victoria Street, Hillside Road and Station Way, among others.


Cllr Grover said: "These plans are a missed opportunity and almost completely pointless. They will do nothing at all to improve road safety or increase active travel.

"They don’t include roads with faster speeds because the county council mistakenly believes that such roads would need speed bumps etc.

"They don’t need them, for the same reason that most 30mph roads don’t need them. 

Herts Advertiser: Multiple roads would be affected by the speed limit change.Multiple roads would be affected by the speed limit change. (Image: Hertfordshire County Council)

"Nearly all the roads included never see speeds above 20mph at the moment - several of them are extremely short, such as Althorp Road, Clifton Street, Bedford Park Road, Bowgate and New Kent Road.

"The most ridiculous inclusion is probably Telford Court - a 50 yard entrance way into a block of flats that is soon to be demolished anyway.

"A pattern is becoming very clear with these 20mph proposed schemes - the council is largely selecting roads where it is virtually impossible to actually drive as fast as 20mph.

"The council claims to be following national guidelines, but it is not, it is ignoring them, and it is way behind the work being done in hundreds of areas all round the country.

"We need a district-wide 20mph default speed, that is the rule rather than the exception."

When approached for a response to Cllr Grover's thoughts, a spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said that it welcomes any feedback on the proposals.

The spokesperson continued: "The introduction of 20mph speed limits has been shown to encourage the uptake of walking and cycling within an area, and Hertfordshire County Council has put additional funding in to implement these more widely across the county through our 20mph programme.

"With the 20mph programme we have identified those areas which may be appropriate for lower speeds due to higher pedestrian and cycle movements (due to local land use) and relatively low vehicle movement.

"These are the areas that would benefit most from 20mph areas.

"As a starting point, 20mph areas are potentially appropriate on residential streets and town centres.

"Some high streets may also be suitable, depending on their character and location.

"Once an area has been identified, the first stage is to collect data to understand the speed at which vehicles are currently travelling.

"The area being consulted on in St Albans was prioritised for data collection due to its central location, presence of schools, previous identification of need for 20mph in other strategy documents and proximity to areas with poor air quality. 

"The speed data indicated that average speeds in the area were less than 24mph which makes it suitable for 20mph limits being introduced with signing and without additional engineering measures and therefore could be introduced quickly if there is local support."

The spokesperson also told The Herts Advertiser that other areas in St Albans have been identified, and relevent data will be collected over the coming months.