John Whitelegg, visiting professor of sustainable transport at Liverpool John Moores University who stood unsuccessfully for the Greens in Arrow ward in May, is organising a public meeting in Hereford next week in a bid to build support for the idea.
According to a House of Commons report, cutting the speed limit from 30 to 20mph reduces the likelihood of pedestrians dying from being hit, from one in two to one in ten.
Yet Public Health England rates Herefordshire as “significantly worse than the England average” for deaths and seriously injuries on its roads, Prof Whitelegg pointed out.
“Herefordshire Council agreed to support the 20mph policy in March 2020, but 41 months later there is no sign of implementation,” he said.
A full council meeting resolved at the time to ask officers to investigate “introducing area-wide 20mph speed limits across Herefordshire’s towns and major villages”.
Asked about this in November 2021, 20 months later, the county’s then head of transport Coun John Harrington said this had not been progressed “due to resource constraints”, although local schemes were being trialled in Cusop and Pembridge.
The Welsh Government will meanwhile bring in a controversial 20mph limit in built-up areas across the country from this Sunday (September 20), citing public health as well as safety benefits.
Such restrictions are not new to England, with over 20 million residents already living in 20mph areas, a limit which is being implemented across Lancashire, Oxfordshire and Cornwall.
The meeting will be held at the Left Bank venue on Wednesday September 20, from 7 to 8.30pm.