Mayor urges residents to speak up on 20mph scheme for Newton Abbot.
NEWTON Abbot Mayor Cllr Mike Joyce has urged residents to have their say on proposals for a blanket 20mph speed limit across town before it’s too late.
The idea is being promoted by Devon County Council which claims it will improve highway safety and cut pollution.
All roads inside the town’s boundaries, including major through routes, could be included.
A consultation exercise is due to end at 5pm on November 25 but so far few people have taken part.
Cllr Joyce is concerned that unless people speak up the scheme will be forced through.
‘Newton Abbot Town Council supports the idea of lower speed limits in sensitive areas such as residential streets and outside schools but we fear a blanket 20mph limit could be damaging,’ he said.
‘I am a Speedwatch coordinator so no one can doubt my intentions on this subject but the fact is Newton Abbot is being viewed as a highways experiment for the rest of Devon and frankly we are not keen on the idea of being treated as guinea pigs.
‘We know that other towns have been asking for 20mph zones but they’ve been told to wait until the lessons are learned from Newton Abbot.
‘That’s not fair on them or us but to date only 1,000 people or so have taken the time to log their feelings about the Newton Abbot proposals and my fear is Devon will take that as meaning we don’t mind what happens.
‘I don’t think anything could be further from the truth but perhaps people feel it’s a done deal anyway so why bother taking part in the consultation.
‘But remember, if the 20mph blanket rule is approved this won’t be a pilot scheme, it will be permanent.
‘If that’s what the people of Newton Abbot really want then so be it.
‘But if that’s not the case then the clock is ticking, people only have a few days left to register their views.
‘So come on, let’s get those surveys back, for or against.
‘You’ve been given a voice, please use it for our town’s future.’
To take part visit www.newtonabbot20.org.uk.