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Motion submitted to reduce speed limit to 20mph on residential streets in Suffolk to save lives and cut pollution




Calls have been made for residential streets in Suffolk’s towns and villages to have a 20mph speed limit as a means of saving lives and improving air quality.

The opposition Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group at Suffolk County Council has put forward the motion, with 30mph to be used only in “exceptional circumstances”.

Group councillors claim it will not only improve road safety, but also result in better air quality.

Calls have been made for residential streets in Suffolk’s towns and villages to have a 20mph speed limit.
Calls have been made for residential streets in Suffolk’s towns and villages to have a 20mph speed limit.

The motion will be discussed at the authority’s full council meeting next week.

Green councillor Robert Lindsay, who is at the forefront of the proposal, said: “We want to make Suffolk’s roads safer for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists alike.

“Implementing a default lower speed limit in residential areas will not only save lives, it will improve lives.

“Lower speed limits mean smoother traffic flow, with less congestion and lower toxic emissions.

“Air quality will be better, and older people and children will be able to walk through their own village or neighbourhood without being intimidated by traffic.”

Currently, most residential roads have a 30mph speed limit but, where there are fears over road safety, 20mph speed limits can be requested, particularly outside schools.

But Cllr Lindsay said it was a piecemeal approach, and having 20mph across the board would be more cost effective, too.

He added: “Communities are required to jump through all sorts of hoops [to get 20mph limits], and the process is very time consuming and expensive, both for town and parishes and the county council itself.”

Andrew Reid, cabinet member for highways at Suffolk County Council, said: “As the council papers have not actually been published yet, I have not seen the exact wording of the motion.

“I look forward to hearing more as part of the debate we will have on this next week when I will be in a position to offer a conclusive view.”

The council has set aside £235,000 in recent weeks to designate more quiet lanes in the county, where motorists must take additional precautions.