It is time to slow down the pace of driving in our town.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to a conference in Shrewsbury on 20mph speed limits. I was spurred to attend by our very active campaign by local green group, Ludlow 21. Its members want all residential streets in Ludlow to be 20mph. According to a survey of nearly 500 people, four-fifths of residents want a town-wide 20mph limit on local streets. Even more want a 20mph limit on their streets.
I think we need 20mph streets. We don’t have many accidents in our town but we should be as ambitious as London’s mayor. Sadiq Khan wants zero deaths and serious injuries from road collisions by 2041. We should aim for the same.
We also need our streets to feel safe. That means that older people should feel confident crossing the road. It means that children should be able to play and make mistakes, like chasing a ball, without a risk of being injured.
It will not be easy to get a 20mph policy introduced in Ludlow. Although some town councillors support the ambition, many are sceptical. West Mercia police rarely seem interested in enforcing speeding in Ludlow, whatever the speed limit. The police commissioner is adamant that he doesn’t support 20mph limits. The director of public health for Shropshire hasn’t got the issue on his radar. And many drivers, who might complain about speeding when they are walking, seem to become oblivious to the plight of pedestrians when they are behind the wheel.
Just because something is difficult, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to achieve it.
This article first appeared in the Ludlow Advertiser.
A public meeting in support of 20mph limits on residential streets will be held at the Methodist Church, 7.30pm, 23 November.