Drivers in Watford could be forced to travel at 20mph on virtually every residential or side road after a feasibility study found hundreds of streets would be suitable for a lower speed.

The study shows that 350 out of 380 streets in the town which have a 30mph limit would fall within guidelines of a 20mph speed limit – and it’s believed it could be done at a “fraction of the cost” Hertfordshire County Council has so far spent on introducing 20mph zones.

More than £3 million has been spent on implementing 20mph zones across just a third of Watford, including in parts of Nascot and central Watford.

Talks are ongoing for a 20mph zone in North Watford.

Campaigners from 20’s Plenty Watford and Watford Borough Council won a grant from the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commisioner’s Road Safety Fund and consultancy firm Mott MacDonald were tasked with finding out how suitable 20mph zones were across Watford.

Watford Observer:

The current 20mph zones in Watford. In purple are the current zones and in green possible future zones

The study found that 20mph zones should be introduced over much wider areas – the county council tend to carry work out in much smaller sections.

Research also found that Croydon Council has spent £1m on 20mph zones across the borough – a borough four times the size of Watford.

Data showed that 19 busier roads in Watford would also be suitable for inclusion in a 20mph scheme with 11 major routes identified as less likely to be suitable.

The report has been presented to county and borough councillors and there is cross-party support for taking the report’s recommendations forward – meaning a Watford-wide 20mph zone, minus the main routes, could actually happen.

Kevin Ambrose, from 20’s Plenty Watford, said: “We were very grateful to the Hertfordshire Police & Crime Commissioner for funding this research. We believe it is the first time anywhere that a voluntary group and a local authority have worked together, with funding from a police authority, to map out a way forward for safer, more pleasant roads in our residential areas.”

Chairman of the Watford Highways Liaison Panel, county councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, added: “We want to make Watford’s roads safer for everyone, we know that the vast majority of our residents want reduced speeds where they live and we believe this major report shows that 20 mph speed limits is both feasible and desirable on our residential roads.”