28 APR 2017

Telling the Transport Secretary A20 40mph limit must go

I met with the Transport Secretary this week – and set out why the A20 40mph limit must be axed as soon as possible.

I have been keeping up the pressure on Highways England after they caved into my campaign last autumn and agreed to make the speed limit variable.

Yet local drivers feel Highways England is taking far too long to get the work done. I raised his concerns over the delays with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

I completely share local drivers' frustration with Highways England's failure to get on with the job.

First of all they said they would have this absurd speed limit gone by March. Then they said it won't be gone until June.

Yet again they show they are not fit for purpose and have failed to get on with the job. It's wrong they continue to subject local people to yet more delays.

I passed on our concerns to the Transport Secretary – and called for swift action to be taken.

In recent crunch talks, Highways England told me everything was in place to begin construction work in May and finish by the end of July.

A Notice of Determination, a statement that the new A20 scheme will not have a significant impact on the environment, has been published in the London Gazette.

If it goes unchallenged, highways bosses say a six-week programme to install new digital signs will begin immediately.

Details about road closures are expected to be published towards the end of the Notice of Determination process.

I also spoke to Chris Grayling about the need for the A2 to be upgraded and dualled all the way to the Dover and the planned M20 Lorry Park to be delivered on time.

2 comments

Thank you for all your efforts in this matter. It has had such an adverse effect on so many lives, whilst foreign vehicles wiz past. Let us hope that the changes will be in plea e sooner rather than later.
- Sheilah Ramsey

I had the 'red mist' descend on me this morning over this absurdity. Having exited the A20 and descended into Dover down the B2011 I suddenly realised that, in common with all the other traffic, we had increased our speed to the point where the whole chain of traffic was hurtling down the hill into Dover. As someone who deals in human behaviour for a living it showed me that no one is immune to the consequential influences that the enforced behaviour on the A20 is having on the surrounding roads. There is an assumption that all drivers are idiots. We are not. We drive sensibly and usually to the safe speed for the road. Study after study has shown this. By enforcing a crass system the bureaucrats have inadvertently made speeders of many more of us. An assessment such as this would have gathered all the data necessary in one year. The complete annual traffic flow is then known. The probabilities can all be assessed from that data set. They are learning nothing more about traffic behaviour by extending the study: they just get more numbers to crunch. They are, however, spending public money and they continue to inconvenience the locals from the safe distance of their ivory tower. Thank you Charlie, for campaigning on this issue so hard. I hope that as well as hearing your case, Mr Grayling was actually listening.
- Mark Ridley

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Charlie Elphicke

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