Letter to the Editor: 20mph zones
Labour doyen Cllr Sir Jeremy Beecham's letter implies that he does not support the Lib Dem run city council's proposed 20mph zones for residential streets, calling instead for the council to focus spending on A and B roads and locations near schools. Whilst I accept that there is a greater incidence of accidents on main roads, due in part to greater traffic using them, there is nevertheless a strong demand from residents to control speed on quieter local neighbourhood roads as well as near schools, and I am pleased the Lib Dems are delivering on this commitment.
His implication that this is the wrong decision and an unsuitable use of resources does not appear to be shared by his own Opposition group colleagues, who seem to be somewhat split on this issue. They have recently proposed a draft manifesto not only calling for 20mph zones but proposing a network of average speed cameras for residential areas, such as those one might find on the M1, at a significantly greater cost.
I am also surprised he has not mentioned his enthusiastic support for road pricing, as set out in the local government manifesto of the Local Government Association's Labour group, which he leads. This document, published in October this year, also calls for introduction of council tax rebanding to raise more revenue, and proposes moving to fortnightly bin collections.
Is Cllr Beecham proposing that such policies be introduced in Newcastle? If not, why not?
Cllr Greg Stone
Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesman, Newcastle East