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Public could sway vote on new 20mph limits in Brighton and Hove
Public support for reduced speed limits on three roads at the centre of a political spat could override councillors.
The Green Party wanted to reduce speed limits on Surrenden Road, Preston Drove and Stanford Avenue when the party launched its second phase of a speed limit roll-out.
But when it was discussed at Brighton and Hove City Council in December last year opposition Labour and Conservative members claimed the lower limit would hinder buses and taxis.
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Since then the public have been given the opportunity to comment on the plans and 700 people have signed a petition and 70 other individuals have called for the streets to be included in the phase two roll out.
About 5,000 children are pupils at schools near Surrenden Road while Preston Drove and Stanford Avenue are near two busy community parks.
The project – and the public’s opinions – will be discussed at the council’s transport committee on Tuesday.
Chairman of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, Coun Pete West, said: “We’ve taken on board the public support and listened to the safety advice from officers, who are recommending that we proceed with slower speeds on Surrenden Road, Preston Drove and Stanford Avenue.”
He added: “As we found previously the majority of residents who responded were in favour of introducing 20mph.”
The first phase of the road scheme was introduced in April last year in the city centre to a mixed reaction.
According to initial speed checks carried out in the first six months of the project speeds reduced by about 74%.
But both the Conservative Party and Labour have criticised the city’s leading party for rushing ahead with the second phase of the speed limit plan, stating a proper evidence-based evaluation should be done on the initial phase before it is rolled out across more of the city.
Conservative group leader Geoffrey Theobald, whose party introduced a number of 20mph limits while in power, said: “Frankly after they introduced phase one then there should have been a period of reflection before phase two.”
Coun Gill Mitchell, Labour’s transport spokeswoman, added: “From my own experience talking to people on the doorsteps it’s a very mixed picture.”
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