Calls for 20 mph speed limit through Cotswolds towns and villages

The council wants a speed limit of 20mph in towns and villages in the Cotswolds. Credit: Cotswold District Council

Cotswold District Council is calling on Gloucestershire County Council to make 20mph the default speed limit for villages and towns through the Cotswolds.

Local residents want roads to be safer for pedestrians and some say drivers regularly pass through towns and villages at more than double the 30mph speed limit.

"I've seen some cars who are clearly doing 70mph into the village and the only thing that slows them down is the sharp corner," one resident in Poulton said.

"Speeding is terrible here", they continued.

Cllr Jenny Forde, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Cotswold District Council said: “I can’t help thinking that our children will be in disbelief when they look back at our love of cars and driving fast whenever and wherever we like.

"Much like not wearing seat belts, drink-driving and smoking in public places. Looking back at all of these things, it seems incredible now that we ever thought this was acceptable. 

“The simple fact is that if you hit a pedestrian - they have a much greater chance of surviving if your speed is lower. The risk of a fatal injury when hitting a pedestrian at 40mph is 90 per cent and reduces to 2.5 per cent when driving at 20mph."

She continued: "Our residents have been shouting about this for so long.

"There isn't a town or parish or village in the Cotswolds that doesn't have speeding on their agenda at all their council meetings."

In 2014, a 20mph speed limit was introduced across six neighbourhood areas in Bristol.

The plans were controversial, with more than 8,000 people signing a petition for the idea to be scrapped.

Residents in Poulton say the only thing that slows drivers down is the sharp corner.

But a major review in 2019 ruled that the speed zones should stay and a study by the University of the West of England found 94% of the roads surveyed had seen a reduction in average speeds.

Cotswold District Council is urging Gloucestershire County Council, that manages the roads in the Cotswolds, to consider implementing a similar scheme.

In response, Gloucestershire County Council said its ideas are not finalised but there are plans in place to introduce some 20mph limits to reduce speeding.

It said they will be introduced on a 'case by case' basis as opposed to all throughout the Cotswolds.

A council spokesperson said this would best serve local needs.