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Councillors to press ahead with Wells 20mph speed limit plans

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 March 2010 | UPDATED: 11:13 07 July 2010

Wells councillors agreed to push ahead with requests for a blanket 20mph speed limit for the town after a community survey showed mixed opinions to the idea.

Wells councillors agreed to push ahead with requests for a blanket 20mph speed limit for the town after a community survey showed mixed opinions to the idea.

Chris Hill

Wells councillors agreed to push ahead with requests for a blanket 20mph speed limit for the town after a community survey showed mixed opinions to the idea.

Wells councillors agreed to push ahead with requests for a blanket 20mph speed limit for the town after a community survey showed mixed opinions to the idea.

Norfolk highways chiefs will now be asked to decide whether to approve tighter restrictions throughout Wells after the town council accepted the proposal by six votes to three.

The vote was taken at a meeting on Monday night after councillors heard the results of a survey conducted with the help of the EDP's sister publication, the Fakenham and Wells Times.

Most of the respondents to the newspaper's poll were against the proposal, with 39pc voting to keep limits as they are, 34pc wanting 20mph limits throughout the town, and 27pc favouring 20mph limits in certain areas only.

Meanwhile, a separate poll in the town's The Quay magazine found a 63pc majority of people in favour of the scheme.

Gary Anthony, a member of the council's road safety working group, said: “We worked very hard on this and came to the conclusion that a blanket 20mph zone was the only solution which the county might possibly accept and the police seemed to be happy with it.

“We have been elected to make a decision and, looking at the results of the various questions which have been put to the public, I cannot say I have changed my mind.”

Another councillor, Steve Clark, voted against the scheme. He said: “I cannot see there is a necessity. We have not got a history of accidents causing damage or serious injury with people travelling at 30mph, let alone reducing it to 20mph. You cannot speed on the Quay because of the traffic and on Polka Road where all the children are you cannot travel at 30mph because of all the parked cars.”

Before the debate, a member of the public voiced concern that the survey was flawed as some people had made multiple entries, and said the word “referendum” implied the process was legally binding.

Councillors said the poll was taken simply to gauge public opinion to allow a more considered decision to be taken by the town's elected representatives.

The council's portfolio holder for traffic issues, Campbell MacCallum, said: “The most important thing is that we have provoked a debate about speeding, and it is something we need to do something about.”

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