Recent coverage in the EADT of Woodbridge Town Council’s deliberations on a 20mph zone failed completely to acknowledge the work I have been putting in, both as your councillor, and as longstanding member of the Suffolk transport policy development panel, to get the issue on the map and solve it.
I have been attempting to get speeding restrictions in Woodbridge since I became a county councillor, but had been stymied by a lack of standardisation across the county – an ad hoc muddle which came to an abrupt halt a few years back when a previous SCC Cabinet member declared he would allow no more traffic restrictions. The county had enough of them, he said! (Talk about treating the county as a personal fiefdom!)
As founder member of the Suffolk cross-party Transport and Highways policy development panel which was set up under the last SCC Leader, Mark Bee , I was one of the councillors who developed a standard framework for Suffolk to assess and agree 20mph zones. This was to replace the chaos which existed before.
As County Councillor, I also ensured that Woodbridge was then placed on the list for assessment for 20mph zoning in fulfilment of its longstanding and oft-articulated desire for this . Woodbridge has been on this list since last September. The reason it has not progressed is made clear below.
All of this was clearly summarised in my annual Report to Woodbridge Town Council of a couple of months ago, and posted on my blog, for both Woodbridge Town Council and the EADT to refer to!
This letter I wrote on the subject appeared in yesterdays EADT (22/07/2015).
Last week you reported Woodbridge Town Council’s deliberations over speeding and a local community appeal for a 20mph zone. However there was no mention in your report that Woodbridge has been on the SCC waiting-list to be assessed for 20mph status since last September!
Over the last couple of years the County Council had established a successful cross-party ‘policy development panel’(PDP) – of I was a founder member – to make sure that Suffolk’s transport and highways policy in areas such as speed limits was finally standardised to benefit the whole county equally via a joined-up approach.
Woodbridge, which has long needed a 20mph limit, was due to benefit from this refreshingly practical system.
Unfortunately since Suffolk’s mid-term change of leadership, this extremely useful and proactive panel’s scheduled regular meetings have been cancelled at a few hours’ notice. I wrote to ask the reason and for conformation as to whether this productive and hardworking PDP would continue to meet in the future. In reply we were told, “I hope to have a clear future policy on these groups before too long!”
The group was halfway through various pieces of work, continuing the clear benefits to Suffolk that the work of the PDP has shown from the start. If valuable work and joined-up policy-making are to be put to one side because of SCC’s mid-term change of leadership it is to the disbenefit of all Suffolk residents, including my constituents in Woodbridge, still waiting patiently for their long-needed lower speed limit
Let us see what now transpires!