Residents successfully veto 20mph scheme

Thorpe Bay residents popped the champagne corks after a £400,000 plan to introduce a 20mph limit and speed bumps were kicked into the long grass.

A consultation on two options for a speed reduction schemes in Thorpe Bay were soundly rejected by residents.

Andrew Hall, chairman of the Thorpe Bay Residents’ Association, which was formed in order to fight the scheme, hailed it as evidence of the power of the people.

He said: “It’s a great victory for common sense. It just goes to show how the community has come together and voiced their concerns and made it very clear they didn’t want this.

“It’s a heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported us. We couldn’t have done it without everyone else’s support.”

A recommendation to refuse the scheme will be decided at a cabinet committee meeting on Wednesday.

Mr Hall added: “Whilst I’m cracking open the champagne, it is with a dose of reality because it hasn’t been rubber-stamped yet.”

Both options would have limited vehicles to 20mph, with one, option a, having speed bumps every 50 metres and the other, option b, having them only at major access junctions to the restricted area.

Almost 500 people responded to the consultation with 18 per cent supporting option a and 42 per cent choosing option b but some respondents felt they were under duress to choose an option as there was no alternative to reject the proposal.

A total of 71 per cent of respondents thought that speed was not an issue.

However, Ron Woodley, independent councillor for Thorpe Ward, who spearheaded the scheme, said he would now “consider his position” because the consultation showed a majority 60 per cent wanted some form of the scheme.

He said: “People want change. If it doesn’t go ahead I’ll have to look at my position.

“People want something but the officers are refusing to do something. What am I hear for? I’ll have to decide what I’m going to do.”

Martin Terry, councillor responsible for public safety, said: “It’s been very controversial.

However, residents clearly indicated they wanted a consultation on the matter.

“We’ve delivered the consultation and I’m pleased with the outcome. The people have spoken. They’ve indicated what they wanted.”

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter