Picture Researcher Amanda Russell has been awarded a National Award from the charity Brake for 20mph volunteering.
She began 20’s Plenty for Faversham and the town now has the first 20mph town-wide scheme in Kent. Great work!
20’s Plenty For Us say: Amanda Russell began 20’s Plenty for Faversham in 2015 following two fatalities on zebra crossings and a hit-and-run involving a child. Amanda and a small team of campaigners built up a strong supporter base of local people, who expressed concern about road safety across the town. By placing a series of red dots on a map, residents showed where they felt most vulnerable. The dots were widespread across the town, demonstrating the need for a wide area solution. The campaigners joined a working group with local councillors to examine how to implement the scheme, drawing on independent advice and best practice elsewhere. With the support of an expert transport designer and 20’s Plenty for Us, they were able to change KCC policy. The town-wide 20mph scheme was implemented in Autumn 2020, the first in Kent. Funding came from the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.
Not only did Amanda and her group persuade the Highways Authority; they also had to gain support from local town and borough councillors. Faced with initial reluctance, the persistence of campaigners resulted in clear enthusiasm across all political parties and the Town Council is now fully behind 20mph. The amended county level policy has also allowed other places to benefit, with the number of 20mph streets in Kent doubling in 2020 from 1,000 to over 2,000.
Amanda beat competition from five other contenders, with Hackney Living Streets in second place. The criteria was “To award a grassroots community-led campaign that has achieved a change on local roads that has resulted in a road safety or active travel improvement aligned with the safe systems / Vision Zero approach. The primary focus is the community campaigning effort”
Rod King MBE 20’s Plenty for Us Founder and Director is delighted and said:
“Amanda is a worthy winner. She spearheaded Faversham’s wide area 20mph scheme. This went far beyond infrastructure to challenge and change how streets are viewed by everyone involved. Campaigners brought new members of the public into debates about how we use, value and share streets.”
Amanda Russell said:
”I’m honoured to accept the 2020 Community Campaign Achievement Award from Brake, on behalf of all our campaigners and supporters. I hope our story can spur on more people to campaign for safe speeds. The 20mph limit in Faversham will make our streets, and in fact the whole community, feel so much more welcoming, especially for people wanting to get about by foot or by bike. 20mph limits are becoming increasingly common across the UK, and hopefully they will soon be the norm, not the exception.”
Adrian Berendt 20’s Plenty Coordinator for South East England said:
“As well as being good news for the residents of Faversham, this helps other communities in Kent and elsewhere to see how they can bring about similar beneficial changes.”