Walking and cycling set to be improved with clearer 20mph guidance on Hertfordshire roads

The strategy includes a framework for setting speed limits more consistently across Hertfordshire. Picture: Danny Loo

The strategy includes a framework for setting speed limits more consistently across Hertfordshire. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Over the summer, Herts county council consulted on an updated strategy for setting speed limits on the county’s roads, including clearer guidance on the introduction of 20mph areas that aim to improve conditions for people walking and cycling.

The strategy includes a framework for setting speed limits so that they are more consistently applied across the road network, reflecting the design of the road and the way it is used, as well as guidelines on the measures that can be used to reinforce those limits, such as traffic calming, signing and technology.

Following the consultation, the speed management strategy was debated at the county council’s highways and environment cabinet panel, and will now go to the council’s cabinet to be formally adopted.

Cllr Phil Bibby, cabinet member for highways and environment, said: “We want Hertfordshire’s roads to be safe for all road users, and making sure we have the right speed limits in the right places is an important part of that.

“In particular, we want people to feel safe walking and cycling, and to make sure that residential areas and town centres feel like safe and pleasant places.”

Liberal Democrat county councillors proposed an amendment allowing 20mph limits in all suitable residential roads, but Conservative councillors voted this down.

The Lib Dem spokesperson for growth, infrastructure planning and economy councillor Steve Jarvis: “The council says that it wants more people to walk and cycle but that depends on making people feel safer when doing this. Although 20mph limits don’t make everyone drive at 20mph, the evidence shows that they do reduce traffic speeds.

Most Read

“Every county councillor knows of roads and neighbourhoods where there is widespread support for speed reduction. Yet it seems that the Conservatives want to make it as difficult and expensive as possible to introduce 20mph limits that make our roads safer.

“Most residents will regard the new suggestion that if drivers don’t obey the speed limit then the limit should be increased as ridiculous.

“Other councils have introduced widespread 20mph limits on residential roads in towns and villages without expensive and intrusive traffic calming. There is no reason why Hertfordshire should not do the same.”

The strategy supports the county council’s local transport plan, which sets out the vision for transport in Hertfordshire, and in particular how active travel such as walking and cycling can play a bigger role in helping people get around.

The highways and environment cabinet panel papers, including the speed management strategy, are on HCC’s website.