20s Plenty


You will have noticed that 20mph limits are springing up all over the UK in areas where road traffic, pedestrians and cyclists combine. In 2023 Wales will adopt them for all residential roads.  Increasingly, villages are adopting them.  The benefits are pretty obvious: fewer collisions, less intimidation, less noise, less pollution, an altogether more civilised environment for people to inhabit and go about their daily business.  The diminished risk of serious injury and death in a collision between motor vehicles and pedestrians/cyclists with a reduction of speed from 30mph to 20mph is dramatic: at 30mph the risk is 50%, at 20mph it is down to 10%.  At 40mph it rises to 90%.  The introduction of 20mph limits is generally popular.  Why wouldn’t it be?  On average it meets with 70% approval rates.  Of course, some motorists ignore it just as they might ignore all other speed limits and, regrettably, 99% of speeding goes undetected and unpunished.  But significant numbers of drivers do take at least some notice of speed limits so that a 20mph limit will bring about slower speeds if only a small reduction in many instances.

Wedmore has a number of narrow streets, several with parked cars so that many drivers already proceed at a speed closer to 20mph than 30mph.  But there are also roads along which 30mph and sometimes higher speeds can be intimidating if not genuinely dangerous.  Fast driving along The Borough is not uncommon.  Conspicuously problematic is Pilcorn Street with its narrow pavements and two sections where there are no pavements.  As this is also a main route to the First School, it is in dire need of improvements in the infrastructure to make it safer, especially for people with children in pushchairs and for mobility scooters.  There is a 20mph limit outside the school, but, as you continue towards the village, the limit changes to 30mph as the road narrows and the pavement disappears!  In other parts of the village, there are no pavements; a particularly tricky road-crossing point is at the mini roundabout at the bottom of Billings Hill where it meets Grants Lane, Glanville Road and Sand Road.  Proper provision for pedestrians is needed at places like this.

The parish council has prioritised improving the infrastructure along Pilcorn Street. But there is also a reluctance to press for the introduction of 20mph limits in the village.  It is hoped that this subject can be widely discussed as there will be many villagers who would like see such a limit imposed.  For more information about the 20’s Plenty campaign, see the website listed above.