Commissioner warns council not to rely on police for enforcement of proposed 20mph speed limits

A plan to implement 20mph speed limits throughout Cornwall should not rely on police enforcement, the region's Police Crime Commissioner has said.

The scheme is part of Cornwall Council's administration's manifesto pledge to introduce more 20mph speed limit zones where there is strong public support locally.

The local authority is considering two options. The first option involves identifying a small number of sites to trial a sign-only approach and undertake monitoring measuring impact in terms of speed reduction achieved.

The second approach would be assessment-based. It would introduce 20mph limits based on methodology from a 2020 review of Cornwall's current 20mph policy alongside current national guidance and best principles.

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According to a report by the council's Service Director for Transport, Vicky Fraser, making roads safer, encouraging cycling and walking, and lowering emissions are among a number of benefits of the scheme.

However, the Police Crime Commissioner for Devon & Cornwall told councillors that while she was supportive of the principle of default 20mph, she warned that the policy should not over-rely on enforcement.

A panel of consultants, including the Police Crime Commissioner, assessed the policy and added that expectations would need to be "managed" to avoid additional complaints or confidence in policing when behaviour does not change, and for unrealistic community expectations around enforcement capability. 

Cornwall said its 20mph approach will be set out within its refreshed Local Transport Plan, which it says will be signed off via Cabinet and Full Council in Spring 2022.

Adam Carey

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