20mph speed limit plan for Castle Road area in Bedford

“A 20mph speed limit will make our streets safer and more pleasant for all road users"

Friday, 5th November 2021, 11:32 am
L to R Cllr Jake Sampson, Cllr Hilde Hendrickx, Cllr Ben Foley, Cllr Lucy Bywater

A consultation on a plan to introduce 20mph speed limits for the whole of the Castle Road area in Bedford has launched.

Councillors from Castle ward teamed up with those from Newnham ward in a bid to bring the reduced speed limit to the neighbourhood.

The councillors shared part of the cost equally from their ward funds with Bedford Borough Council funding part of the scheme as well.

The proposed new 20mph speed limits are marked on this map in blue.

The consultation - which will reveal the details of the plan - will run until November 26.

Businesses and residents are encouraged to comment on the scheme online.

The scheme will not include traffic calming measures such as speed bumps or chicanes, but will rely on obedience to the law and enforcement.

Councillors Bywater and Foley for Castle ward and Councillors Hendrickx and Sampson for Newnham ward collaborated to request the change, sharing a concern that the area east of the High Street all the way to Newnham Avenue was ‘a 30mph island’ when almost all surrounding residential neighbourhoods are already 20mph.

All four councillors say they hear residents often mention speed as a worry and they agree that ‘20 is plenty’.

Councillor Hendrickx said: “A 20mph speed limit will make our streets safer and more pleasant for all road users, but especially for people who walk or cycle.

"We count on the support of all residents for this scheme and encourage everyone to ‘go slow’ when driving through our neighbourhood”.

Councillor Bywater added: “National research shows 20mph as the safe speed limit for built-up areas, reducing casualties. 20mph limits also make for a nicer place to live, encouraging more pedestrians and cyclists.

"Other benefits of lower speed are reduced noise and vehicle emissions as it smooths traffic flow with less ‘accelerate, brake, accelerate”.

The councillors hope that with the support of local people, the new speed limit will be in introduced in spring 2022.