Calls for 20mph speed zones across Canterbury
Cyclists are more likely to
suffer injuries in Canterbury than anywhere else in Kent prompting
calls for 20mph speed limits across the city.
A report commissioned by
Canterbury City Council has outlined a number of recommendations to
promote safe cycling in the district including signing up to the
20’s Plenty campaign following authorities in Portsmouth and
The campaign has been adopted by
33 local authorities across the UK with a further 12 committing
themselves to introducing more 20mph zones in residential
Any changes to the speed limit
would have to receive approval from Kent County Council.
In total, 13 recommendations
have been issued in Canterbury including producing up-to-date
district cycle routes, teaming up with universities to promote
cycle use and the city council designating a senior officer and
member to act as a ‘champion for cycling.’
Cllr Bill Oakey, who led the
review, said Canterbury had the worst record for cycling accidents
and said he personally wanted to see more speed
He said: "We tried to look at
every aspect of cycling in Canterbury.
"We have the worst cycling
accident record throughout Kent which is nothing to be proud
"Possibly because we have a
large number of cyclists, a large student population and we have a
medieval city which was never built for cycling."
In the past three years, there
have been an average of 43 cycle crashes a year with five people
killed or seriously injured every 12 months.
Figures presented to the council
did not include two cycle deaths including 29-year-old Graham Epps
who was killed on the A2 in August and 57-year-old Stephen
Vanhinsbergh on the Thanet Way 10 days later.
All recommendations received
unanimous backing the city council’s executive with members
congratulating the team behind the report.
However, Brian Macdowall, from
the Association of British Drivers, said enforcing 20 mph zones
would do little to cut the amount of accidents arguing that bad
driving was the main cause of fatalities rather than
He said: "We totally disagree
with a blanket 20mph zone which is none other than a futile
"Speed limits are not the main
cause of accidents and if they are really serious about promoting
road safety they need to include all road users."
Council leader John Gilbey said he expected the
recommendations to be heard at the council’s next joint
transportation board meeting.
Would you like to see more 20mph zones in
Canterbury? Is cycling unsafe in the city? Leave your comments
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