Tue, 04 Aug 2020
A PERMANENT speed limit of 20mph is being considered for Hungerford town centre.
The issue was debated at a virtual meeting of Hungerford Town Council highways and transport committee on Monday evening.
The committee considered a report prepared for Marlborough Town Council in Wiltshire which had canvassed public opinion on a 20mph limit in the town centre there.
The report, which also considered responses from residents of Aldbourne, Great Bedwyn and Little Bedwyn, revealed that most respondents – 65 per cent – opted for Option 1 – “implement a 20mph speed limit throughout the full qualifying areas of Marlborough”, with the addition of 20mph carriageway roundels on two other streets.
However, councillor John Downe told the meeting: “I’m not that keen on speeding limits... there are very key differences between Marlborough and Hungerford.
“They have quite a record of incidents in the centre of town... they don’t have an alternative route for traffic which skirts round the centre of town.
“And they have parking in the centre.”
Councillor Sally Hawkins said: “This issue keeps coming up in Hungerford.
“I’ve seen near misses on the pedestrian crossing.
“I would have thought a survey was a good thing to do in Hungerford.”
Deputy mayor Keith Knight said: “I agree with that.
“We would at least be getting the facts before drawing any conclusions.”
Town mayor Helen Simpson said: “Evidence gathering is always a good thing to base our opinion on.”
She acknowledged key differences between the two town centres, but added: “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look at Hungerford with its own set of concerns.”
The committee agreed to talk to district councillors Claire Rowles and James Cole (both Con, Hungerford and Kintbury) and investigate how many traffic incidents there had been in the town centre in recent years.
Mr Knight said: “Then we can put it to bed one way or the other once we’ve got the evidence.
“If the evidence isn’t there that there’s been a lot of speeding in the town, then we might as well leave it there.”
Mrs Simpson concluded: “There’s been quite a lot of interest from the chamber of commerce, so we owe it to them to look at it.”