20mph speed limit change scrapped for Midsomer Norton?
A 20mph speed limit is unlikely to be introduced in Midsomer Norton after only a poor response to the recent consultation.
With just 42 votes in it between those in favour and those against the speed change which would have seen speeds dropped from 30mph to 20mph in residential estates.
Bath and North East Somerset Council distributed 4,484 leaflets to addresses in the town and received only 860 responses back.
Of these, 435 (51%) agreed with the proposal and 393 (46%) did not and 10 (1%) gave no opinion.
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Cllr Roger Symonds (Lib-Dem, Combe Down), cabinet member for transport, has now said plans to introduce the new restrictions in the town could be scrapped while the local authority continues to ask members of the public what they think about the £500,000 scheme in other area of the district including the current consultation in Radstock and Westfield.
He said: "There is not a clear majority as there has been elsewhere and Midsomer Norton Town Council also said no. I am inclined to now put it to the end of the programme to see what residents think once it has been introduced in other places. I could say it is still a majority in favour and continue but I'm not prepared to do that. "
Mr Symonds said he will be discussing the idea with ward councillors in Midsomer Norton and his fellow cabinet members before finally deciding on what to do. He also added that the £500,000 allocated for the scheme to be rolled out across B&NES may not cover the cost of implementing the scheme and said there will be no alternative road safety schemes introduced instead of the signs only speed limits - insisting that if new road safety measures are needed they must be looked at fairly and objectively before being considered for funding.
The 20mph speed limit change has already been introduced in Peasedown, Southdown and Twerton where Mr Symonds said police had already been enforcing the limits in those areas.
He added: "It is about beginning a cultural change by giving the streets back to communities where they have been taken over by motor vehicles. We want children to be able to play in the streets and we want people to be safer, especially pedestrians and cyclists. We are trying to undo 40 years of a different culture if we can reduce the speeds to make residential estates it will certainly help."
During the consultation there was warning from councillors in the town that the speed limit change must not be at the expense of other road safety schemes.
Councillor Michael Evans (Con, Midsomer Norton North) who also sits on Midsomer Norton Town Council said: "The town council was against a blanket approach. We think it would be counterproductive. What the town really needs to improve road safety is right measures in the areas."
Mr Evans suggested two schemes he felt are required to improve safety – a crossing outside Welton Primary School and more suitable speed bumps along Gullock Tyning.
He added: "The speed bumps there are totally unsuitable and need replacing. There is a particular issue with anti-social racing drivers and the road is right next to the skate park and children's adventure play area. It is essential it is made safer. The campaign for a crossing has been on-going for a long time and will continue."