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Lymington Town Council debates implementing 20mph limits on local roads

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LYMINGTON councillors backed calls for 20mph speed limits after a cyclist said she was often "downright frightened" on local roads.

Making a passionate plea at a recent town council meeting, Fiona Rogers said she often "did not feel safe" on her electric bicycle because of the way motorists drove.

Another resident, Mr Collins, warned that failing to improve safety could hit the tourist trade as Lymington attracted holidaymakers who liked to get out on their bikes.

Lymington High Street is one area suggested for a 20mph limit
Lymington High Street is one area suggested for a 20mph limit

In a presentation, the two residents argued that lower speed limits would be safer for pedestrians and schoolchildren, as well as being more environmentally friendly and saving fuel costs.

But despite agreeing on the need to cut the speed of vehicles in the town, councillors were unable to agree a way forward.

Two councillors, Cllr Jack Davies and Cllr Barry Dunning, put forward motions in favour of joining the national "20 is plenty" campaign which pushes for lower limits in residential areas.

Cllr Davies also suggested the town council call on the county council to implement a 20mph limit on all Lymington and Pennington roads, and outside every school in Hampshire.

Cllr Barry Dunning
Cllr Barry Dunning

He also wanted ringfenced funding for the issue from public health, sustainability and transport budgets.

While colleagues were sympathetic to a lower limit, they were uneasy as a town council about calling for county-wide measures.

A separate motion by Cllr Barry Dunning called for 20mph limits outside primary and junior schools in Lymington and Pennington during the school run, and on High Street and St Thomas Street.

However, members said other routes deserved a 20mph limit, such as Ridgeway Lane, because of incoming development.

Cllr Martina Humber pointed out the proposal did not include Priestlands School and that children arrived and left schools throughout the day.

Cllr Jack Davies
Cllr Jack Davies

Cllr Dunning proposed amendments, suggesting other roads it could cover and inviting input from the Pennington and Lymington Lanes Society and the Lymington Society.

Amid confusion and arguments, Cllr Andrew Sutherland remarked: "This is fast becoming a dog’s dinner."

Cllr Alan Penson said he did not want to make a decision based on anecdotal evidence, so could not support either motion.

Cllr Jacqui England warned that if both were voted down, under council procedures the matter could not be discussed for another six months.

Ultimately, Cllr Davies’ motion was defeated by 10 votes to four, with an abstention.

Cllr Dunning withdrew his to enable more evidence-gathering. The matter will be discussed again at a future meeting.

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