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  • Emma Hallett

Newton Abbot 20mph plans

Devon County Council are seeking the views of residents and people who work in Newton Abbot on their plans for more 20mph zones in the town. At present, almost all the roads have a 30mph speed limit, including the town centre and outside schools. It's long been known that the risk of someone being killed or seriously injured significantly increases with speed. The road safety charity Brake have been campaigning for years for 20mph speed limits to be more widely introduced in built up areas. The questionnaire asks for views on a reduced limit in different parts of the town rather than just introducing a blanket speed limit. You can also add comments to a map if you feel there is a problem in a particular area.

I believe there are many areas that would benefit from reduced speed limits, such as in the town centre and near the various schools that are situated on or very close to main roads. However, I feel that making the main routes around the town 20mph would lead to increased driver frustration and more dangerous overtaking. Part of the idea behind the plans is to increase alternative forms of transport such as walking and cycling, but if drivers are taking more risks this will not make people safer. A change in mindset and attitude would help, people need to accept that travelling across a busy town is going to take time and allow enough time for their journey. The council could change road layouts

to help traffic flow better. Drivers are often held up travelling around the town due to traffic lights and drivers blocking roundabouts, there are only so many routes that can be used and often people need to travel through the town to get to the destination. This has been made worse in recent years by the increased number of new homes being built before the infrastructure has been put in place. This is a good starting point but there is far more work to be done to make Newton Abbot safer for greener modes of transport.

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