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Average speeds drop in St Albans following 20mph trial
Average speeds in St Albans have fallen since a trial run of a 20mph scheme was introduced to part of the city.
On Wednesday and Thursday last week councillors across Hertfordshire met with representatives from organisations who have knowledge or experience in implementing 20mph limits on roads across the county.
St Albans is the only city in Hertfordshire that has implemented a trial scheme in the streets around the abbey.
Sandy Walkington, county councillor for St Albans, said: "The network of streets around St Albans Abbey is currently the only 20 mph zone in the county. It has been accepted and average speeds have fallen.
"We heard evidence from the Hertfordshire Director of Public Health that St Albans has a higher than anticipated number of vehicle related injuries compared with the rest of the county. During the meeting members of the county council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee raised concerns over the prices proposed to develop the scheme throughout Watford.
Councillor Tony Hunter said: "I am trying to get my head around the actual costing. Previously we had heard that it would be done with just road signs, markings on the roads and consultation. The costings are absolutely ludicrous. Where will these costs come from?"
Representatives from the Cambridge 20mph Project presented their findings to the committee.
Andrew Preston, from the Cambridge project, said they had a capital budget of £400,000 but the costing of implementation, which is currently ongoing, is looking to be nearer £600,000. The scheme is a joint project with Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire county Council working together to promote it.
Mr Preston suggested that a way of lowering costs would be to approach the NHS as they have previously part-funded a similar scheme in Liverpool.
The NHS offered money towards the project because of the health benefits that come with people driving slower.
Mr Walkington added: "Other cities in the UK have introduced successful 20 mph zones leading to more people walking and cycling. So we would welcome a proper consultation with members of the St Albans public about extending 20 mph zones to other parts of the city. Public acceptance is key, but this feels like an idea whose time has come."
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