Hertfordshire County Council's method of extending a 20mph speed limit in St Albans city centre has been dubbed "expensive and intrusive" by Green councillor Juliet Voisey.

The St Peters ward representative has welcomed plans to extend the restrictions, but has deemed the local authority's approach on the subject unnecessary.

Cllr Voisey said: "We welcome the extension of 20mph speeds, as they make streets quieter, safer and more attractive for people on legs and wheels, but the method the council is using is unnecessarily expensive and intrusive.

"If the council simply imposed a default 20mph limit in built-up streets, it would be easier, cheaper and more effective, with fewer signs everywhere and no annoying speed bumps.

Herts Advertiser: Green councillor Juliet Voisey was elected during June's by-election.Green councillor Juliet Voisey was elected during June's by-election. (Image: Matt Fisher)

"The council should be spending money on publicising the change, rather than building speed humps.

"The lower limits then become largely self-enforcing as people get used to driving a bit slower, and because you can’t drive faster than the vehicle in front of you.”

In response, Hertfordshire County Council has outlined its reasons why simply imposing a new speed limit is not enough to address the issue.

Herts Advertiser: Councillor Simon Grover called last year's 20mph zones almost completely pointless.Councillor Simon Grover called last year's 20mph zones almost completely pointless. (Image: St Albans Green Party)

A spokesperson for the authority added: "When they are implemented in the right way, 20mph zones can have significant benefits for residents and road users, including improving safety and air quality, and reducing traffic noise.

"However, our experience is that actually slowing traffic down often requires more than just changing the speed limit sign, and we frequently also need to make changes to the road environment including line painting and traffic calming measures for them to be effective.


“We're targeting lower speed roads around places where people live, work, learn and shop – places where we want people to feel safe and comfortable in the street environment and encouraged to walk and cycle their journeys."

Despite welcoming changes this time around, the Green Party in St Albans described 20mph zones implemented in December last year as "almost completely pointless" due to the restrictions impacting areas that are often affected by traffic.

Cllr Simon Grover said at the time: "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."