Hampshire Road safety campaigners call for Government to listen to local councils on 20mph limits

  • Watch this report from ITV Meridian's Mike Pearse

Road safety campaigners say lowering speed limits saves lives and it should be up to local councils to decide where 20 miles per hour limits should go.

It comes after the government announced plans to block local authorities from introducing them without good reason.

In the last five years, there have been 15,000 casualties and 187 people have been killed on Hampshire's roads.

Hampshire County Council Co-ordinator for the 20's Plenty campaign, Hannah Greenberg said: "We’re in a village and as you can see it’s totally dominated and divided by this road with a lot of traffic that travels very fast.

"If you have any sort of mobility needs or have small children, trying to cross this road is really really dangerous and really frightening.

"It limits the amount you can enjoy your life and enjoy your community and that’s a real shame.

"People die on these roads and people have serious injuries on these roads."

Last year, Hampshire County Council launched a survey asking residents if they supported 20mph limits where they live. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Ms Greenberg used to be an A&E doctor and says crashing at speeds greater than 20 mph can result in flipping over, head injuries and life-threatening injuries. 

She continued: “I've seen people who have been crashed into by cars and 20 miles an hour is a really important threshold for humans - because it’s a real human speed.

"We’re kind of built to be able to run up to about 20 miles an hour so if you fall over at that speed your body can cope with it. Above that speed, we don’t really have the armour to cope with it.

"I feel that what the Government is saying is that they want to listen to local communities and we completely agree with that and say listen to your local communities.

"We live in a country where half of the population already lives in a place where it is 20 miles per hour on those roads. Why not in Hampshire too? We deserve that safety here too.”

  • Cllr Hannah Greenberg, Hampshire County Council, Lib Dem

But the Government says there will be new, tighter controls, to ensure it's only implemented in the right places and backed by local people.

The announcement was made at the start of the Conservative Party Conference and there is speculation the policy will be popular with voters.

Paul Harvey, the leader of Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, says its an issue that shouldn't be used for party politics and it should be considered on a case-by-case basis without government interference: "It is about working with communities for what works best for them.

"It isn't a policy about yes or no. You have to listen.

"It's become so political and so silly. We have forgotten what this is all about which is pedestrian safety."

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