A CAMPAIGN to introduce a 20mph speed limit in an area of Bury St Edmunds has suffered a blow following a county council row over the issue.
Green Party councillor Mark Ereira-Guyer proposed a motion asking the Conservative-run authority to support, help fund and engage with communities and groups who want 20mph speed limits in residential areas during its meeting last Thursday. He wanted to help a long fought campaign for the lower speed limit in the Southgate corridor.
However, Cllr Guy McGregor, cabinet member for roads, amended the motion pledging continued support of the ‘20s Plenty’ programme, which is not enforceable by the police. They will also support lower speed limits where they meet the right criteria and work with Suffolk Police to maintain and improve road safety.
The move led opposition councillors to storm out of the meeting. Cllr Ereira-Guyer, who remained in the meeting despite the walk out, said: “We’re not calling for a revolution and millions of pounds to be spent. It’s a fairly modest measure.”
He has been working with borough and town councillor Paul Farmer, who first campaigned for the limit in 2002.
Keith Horton, chairman of the Southgate Area Association, said they were ‘disappointed’ with the council’s move and wanted the ability to have their views ‘seriously considered’. He added that the corridor was ‘quite a hazardous road to negotiate at 30mph’.
Cllr McGregor said the motion put forward was ‘confusing and didn’t give a clear direction as to what the policy of the county council was’. He noted that he checked his amendment with the monitoring officer to ensure it was ‘in the spirit’ of Cllr Ereira-Guyer’s proposal.
When asked about the Southgate campaign, he said: “I’m happy to have meetings and discussions with them and see what’s appropriate.”