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Thumbs up for Herts County Council scheme for traffic calming in south-east sector of Sawbridgeworth

Residents have given a resounding thumbs up to a proposed traffic calming scheme with 20mph speed restrictions to cover a large area of Sawbridgeworth.

The Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) scheme would bring in restrictions in the south-east quadrant from the town centre area, including Bell Street and Knight Street, to Kingsmead and Norton Road.

Town, district and county councillor Eric Buckmaster put forward the proposals in his role as deputy executive member for highways and environment for HCC.

Cllr Eric Buckmaster (42672023)
Cllr Eric Buckmaster (42672023)

He told a meeting of Sawbridgeworth Town Council that public consultation over the scheme had drawn a 30% response, with 98% of those in favour.

Launching the consultation in September, Cllr Buckmaster said speed and volume studies had been undertaken and indicated the appropriate speeds for the area could be lower.

He added: “In the new circumstances in which we find ourselves, it's important that people feel there’s space in which to move around in the town centre.”

After Cllr Buckmaster reported the response to the consultation to town councillors, Cllr Angela Alder questioned whether 20mph zones caused more accidents, asking whether they “created a false sense of security”.

Cllr Buckmaster responded: “This is a different way of behaving – it’s very much about safety for pedestrians.”

The initial consultation was part of a two-phase process and was open to local residents and businesses. It required a 5% response, 50.1% of whom should be in favour.

The next phase of the consultation will be open to anyone and is intended to take place during October and November.

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