20mph: Town Councillors back views of big majority of Marlborough residents who responded to consultation
The results are in from the Town Council's consultation on the three options put forward in the Wiltshire Council assessment of introducing 20mph speed restrictions for Marlborough. The consultation ended last Friday (April 27).
A total of 775 responses - online and on paper - were received: 65 per cent (503 responses) favoured Option One - the introduction of a 20mph speed limit throughout the full qualifying areas of the town - with the inclusion of 20mph signage in Kingsbury Street and St Martins.
Nine per cent (73 responses) favoured the introduction but excluding Kingsbury Street and St Martins. And 26 per cent (199 responses) favoured the 'Do nothing' option.
The town council - meeting for an extraordinary full council session and in somewhat depleted numbers - voted seven in favour of Option One with three against with no abstentions. Their vote was applauded by members of the public attending the meeting.
Several councillors had felt they could not ignore the majority view. But some councillors were against the 20mph restrictions. Councillor Kirk Wilson: "What we are embarking on is government by gesture."
So the town council will now propose this option to the local Community Area Transport Group (CATG), and thence to Wiltshire Council for implementation. The cost of Option One is estimated at £10,200 of which the town council must find a quarter.
Many of those - about 70 - responding to the consultation addressed one issue which was not on the table: they wanted a 20mph in George Lane. The Wiltshire Council assessment had found that speeds in George Lane were - counter intuitively - too high to be tackled with a 20mph restriction.
Several responses made the point that the new crossing point by the police station for children going to Marlborough St Mary's needed proper safety protections from the George Lane traffic - which, after all, Wiltshire Council found was travelling faster than it should.
And several responses wanted restrictions widened to include other roads - for example London Road. The advantages of the speed restriction in lessening air pollution was widely mentioned.
The written responses included some acerbic comments: "Waste of money!" and "High Street is like a race track. This needs to stop!!" The huge range of written comments should provide CATG and the town council with much food for thought over the coming months.
The current chairman of CATG is Councillor Fogg who thought they might still need some expert advice before the restrictions were implemented: "I will support on CATG whatever the council decides."