If we were to put in place a 20 mph zone in the village, where would we start? The aim would be to create a zone where walkers and cyclists feel safe in moving about the village. That means vehicles would need to slow down before entering areas where the majority of the active villagers would be met.  That would suggest the start of the zone is a little further out from the centre than would at first be thought reasonable. It may mean moving 30 mph signs so that we can create a deceleration  zone for drivers.

Some points are obvious because they are already part way to establishing the zone. Entering the village via the School Lane for example, you will enter a variable speed limit zone. When children (and parents) are expected to journey to and from school an advisory speed limit of 20 mph is triggered. So the first point in our zone would be a short distance from the junction of School Lane with the A49. In effect changing the advisory speed restriction to a manadatory limit. Next, I would suggest the junction of Bunbury Lane with Long Lane by the Yew Tree Pub would seem an obvious point. The junction of Long Lane with the A49 would inconvenience drivers not intending to enter the village. The Junction at the Yew Tree will only restrict the speed of those vehicles entering the village. The third point could be the top of the Bowes Gate bank as you ‘enter’ Upper Bunbury.  The College Lane entry point would also need to be established next to the Dysart Arms. The final point would need to be where Wyche Lane becomes Bird Lane.

Together these points would create a closed zone without other vehicle access to the village. It is, I believe,  a reasonable zone in terms of the pedestrians’ needs for safe movement and not onerous to vehicle users needing to access the village. Drivers may complain (!) that it slows journeys through the village by too much. “Too much” is a subjective feeling. For every mile traveled at 20 compared with 30 mph it takes about 18 seconds longer. So, going through the village might take 36 seconds longer at worst. A price worth paying g for a safe, quiet village where we can walk, talk and cycle in safety at any age?

This is what it would look like on a map

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This is of course just one possible solution. Smaller zones are possible.

About the Author

Peter Gorman ()

Now retired from teaching. Involved in supporting the Village Day Committee, Village websites and Secretary of the Bunbury Action Group.