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20's Plenty for Sway

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History

Our campaign started in earnest in mid 2012 following one accident too many that resulted in a car which was travelling too fast for the conditions colliding with an oak tree and stuck in a ditch having narrowly missed one of our members!

For a year prior to this we had been gathering a large body of evidence indicating that the current 30mph speed limit is totally inappropriate for the conditions. Responsible drivers familiar with our lanes and their dangers travel at 15-20mph, however there are a minority who seem to think that the 30mph speed limit is a target to be achieved regardless. Some have openly stated this.

We have looked at a number of strategies to solve the problems of excessive speed in our area. Firstly it seemed as though Natural England's "Quiet Lanes" project might well be the answer, but according to Hampshire Highways, this initiative has not been particularly successful elsewhere and looked to be too difficult to achieve here. Then we discovered a programme entitled "The South East Protected Landscape Country Lanes and Villages Project" but there seems to have been little or no progress there. Then in July 2012, the government announced its intention to give local councils more power to introduce 20 mph speed limits. Finally it seemed there may be a policy under which we can achieve our objectives of regaining some of the tranquillity of these lanes. When this was soon followed by news of Hampshire County Council's own residential 20 mph pilots, we felt at last we had a chance to get our voices heard and some action taken.

We fought long and hard for nearly a year to be included in these pilots, however although our own County Councillor made sterling efforts on our behalf, we have failed in that attempt. This is in spite of providing Hampshire County Council with a large dossier of evidence that they have acknowledged as being unusually detailed, and our County Councillor having stated that in his opinion, the current 30mph speed limit along our lanes "is an invitation to indulge in dangerous driving".

It is worthwhile noting that with 84% of all residents in our area demanding a 20mph speed limit, we have four times greater support than in the 8 areas that Hampshire County Council have chosen for their pilots. We congratulate all those in the chosen pilot areas on their success.

We officially joined the "20's plenty" organisation in May 2013 in order to raise the profile of our campaign.

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