Readers may recall that, last autumn, Lib Dem councillors proposed a new 20mph zone for the greater part of North Watford’s Tudor Estate. They asked for our feedback.

Now we have the result. They admit that nearly one in three of those who responded were opposed to the scheme. But the Lib Dems tell us they will still press on to the next stage, the formal consultation. We already have a small 20mph zone round Knutsford School - they want to extend it to cover the whole of the Tudor area: Knutsford, Southfield, Westfield, Eastfield, Norfolk, Hibbert, Tavistock, Carisbrooke, and Byron Avenues, Devon and Balmoral Roads, Munden Grove, and also Bushey Mill Crescent and Northfield Gardens.

Why do we need this? Our councillors say: ‘We’re always looking at ways to improve road safety’.

Yet there have been no reports for years of any traffic accidents in Tudor where speed has been a factor. And the Lib Dems will know that in November 2018, just as their proposal was first floated, the Department of Transport had issued the result of an official study which found that ‘there is insufficient evidence that a 20mph speed limit has led to a significant reduction in crashes and casualties in residential areas’. The overall effect of a 20mph zone, said the study, was to lower average speeds by less than 1mph.

And, of course, it’s conceded by both police and councillors that there will be no active enforcement of any lower speed limit. So is it really worth spending thousands of pounds on a scheme of such little benefit and effect?

But while any benefits may be minimal and nebulous, there is a very clear environmental downside. At every point of entry and exit to the zone, there will have to be a new speed limit sign and, on some longer streets, repeater signs. Several miles of residential roads would be affected by this legal requirement. We already have too much unsightly and unnecessary ‘street furniture’. Don’t add to the clutter.

But the real environmental impact will come with the inevitable felling of trees to accommodate the new signs and clear the sight lines. How many trees will we lose? We won’t know until Hertfordshire County Council releases its detailed plans. We do know, though, that in 2017 when the council introduced the 20mph zone round Knutsford School, just eight new signs were installed. But three healthy and mature trees had to be chopped down to make space for these signs. How many more trees would be sacrificed if the Lib Dems persist with this scheme?

There aren’t many visual delights in Watford’s grey streets, but in high summer the beauty of the roadside trees goes a long way to mitigate the drabness. And the trees work towards our health in absorbing CO2 emissions. Aren’t Lib Dems supposed to be the champions of ‘green’ Watford?

Think again, please. Save our money and save our trees.

Anthony Bramley-Harker

Hibbert Avenue, Watford