Kendal Town Council

Kendal Town Council agrees that 20mph should be fast enough

Kendal Town Council has welcomed a report from its Environment and Highways Committee recommending that Kendal adopts a town-wide speed restriction of 20mph.

At a meeting of the full Town Council on Tuesday 4 January, Councillors heard that a scheme covering the whole town could cost as much as £850,000, but other cost effective solutions could be available for less than £50,000.

Councillor Jon Owen, who chairs the Environment and Highways Committee, assured councillors that they did not envisage any scheme deploying unpopular speed bumps, but there were many other, less damaging, interventions which would help discourage motorists from driving too quickly. He cited concerns about the environmental impact of faster moving vehicles, pointing out that often slower general speeds led to fewer hold ups, which were major contributors to poor air quality.

Road safety was also a major factor with other road users feeling far safer when motor vehicle traffic speed was reduced. The cleaner, greener approach to travel across the town should include more cycling and more walking, and reducing traffic speeds would go a long way to promoting this.

The Council commissioned the study on the impact of a 20mph speed limit following extensive consideration in Committee over the preceding 18 months on the impacts of traffic in the town. Previous studies had shown that there may be widespread support for such limits, but new data would be required to gauge current opinions, and any new scheme would be subject to effective community-wide consultation.

The Council adopted a resolution which called on Cumbria County Council to back a town-wide approach to reducing speeds to 20mph, and the Council Committee’s report will now be forwarded to the highway authority for further consultation and development. Funding for a subsequent scheme would be considered at a later date, but the Town Council felt it was important to show leadership on the matter, and make a significant contribution to the final costs.