Two new town-wide 20mph trialled next month in Faversham and Tonbridge

Two new town-wide 20mph speed limits will be trialled next month in Faversham and Tonbridge.

Work in both towns is due to start mid August and be completed by September 18.

These trials form part of the government’s push for ‘active travel’ in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and Kent County Council has provisionally been allocated just over £8 million by the Department for Transport to invest in walking and cycling.

The first round of funding that has been agreed by government is £1.6 million with the remainder dependent on this first round being spent within eight weeks.

Faversham’s 20mph area

Cllr Michael Payne

KCC Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Michael Payne said: “Throughout these trials, we will be monitoring how they perform and after six months, consulting with people on whether they approve of the scheme.

“I am pleased that the Department for Transport has agreed to fund the Kent Highways and Transport officers decision to implement a trial in in both east and west Kent.

“We will hold discussions with the communities before deciding whether to make it permanent.”

The schemes are being introduced through an Experimental Traffic Order, which means Kent Highways can change the speed limit, test the impact and monitor to see how it performs.

Kent already has around 1,300 roads with a 20mph zone or limit.

Since lockdown on March 23, cycling has increased nationally by 300%.

There are studies that show 20mph schemes encourage healthier transport choices such as walking and cycling, and they increase levels of walking and cycling by about a fifth.

Tonbridge 20mph area

The county council is also anticipating more people will be travelling to work and to school by bike or on foot so is hopeful the change will make this safer and easier for the people of Faversham and Tonbridge.

Mr Payne added: “I hope these changes will bring about reduced pollution with drivers not accelerating and braking so often. I would encourage everyone to do your bit and keep to 20mph and encourage others to do the same if, as I have been informed, the majority of residents wish to see such schemes.”

An awareness campaign will take place with the hope to encourage a change in all road users behaviour so that communities in both Faversham and Tonbridge may also continue to benefit from lower traffic levels, reduced congestion, and less road noise.

 

Two new town-wide 20mph trialled next month in Faversham and Tonbridge was last modified: July 24th, 2020 by Thom Morris