R4U welcomes the recent decision by Essex Highways to confirm the 20mph zone in central Saffron Walden.
As part of the Covid-related measures to improve pedestrian access in Uttlesford, earlier this year, Saffron Walden Town Council persuaded Essex Highways to implement a 20mph zone covering the central town streets, and temporary signs were installed in June. Permanent signs have now been installed by Essex Highways as part of the second phase of Covid-related improvements.
R4U’s Paul Gadd continued “In 2015, after we were first elected to the Town Council, we conducted an extensive public consultation on highways issues. The need for a 20mph zone covering the centre of Saffron Walden and all school roads, and preferably the whole of the town, was repeatedly raised by residents. Given the widely recognised benefits to safety and to public health of lower car speeds in urban areas, the Town Council has been pressing Essex County Council Highways to introduce 20mph zones since then. Unfortunately until now they have had a policy of refusing them.”
Cllr Gadd concluded “Although the area covered by the 20mph zone is much more limited than SWTC would like, getting any zone implemented represents a major advance from Essex Highways’ previous refusals, and so we whole heartedly welcome the implementation. We will continue to press for the 20mph zone to be extended to other parts of the town, including around schools.”
History of refusal by Essex County Council
Five years ago in 2015 R4U surveyed Saffron Walden and produced a map that highlighted over 70 locations for improvements, such as adding, widening or fixing pavements, providing pedestrian crossings, and 20mph limits. Residents prioritised the improvements which the Town Council submitted to ECC for action. Since then ECC has delivered under a dozen of the improvements, but has refused the undertake the others.
In 2015 R4U at SWTC identified more than 70 minor highways improvements for ECC to make to Saffron Walden highways. ECC has yet to deliver the vast majority.
About Residents for Uttlesford
Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties.
R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). It is the fastest growing local political movement in its district. In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In 2017 it solidified its position with a further by-election gain with 60% of the vote. In the May 2019 Local Elections R4U gained majority control of UDC winning two-thirds of the seats. The result delivered the biggest loss of seats by any UK Conservative controlled council in the UK.
R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.
R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.
Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at www.residents4u.org.