Award for campaigner who created 20mph signs on 50 roads
by William Mata | 9th October 2018
THE co-ordinator of a road safety scheme aimed at tackling speeding has been named Campaigner of the Year by the group 20 is Plenty for Us.
Volunteer Adrian Berendt, 60, has lobbied local councils into implementing a 20mph speed limit on 50 residential streets near St John’s area in Tunbridge Wells since taking the role in 2014.
In that time he has also helped establish 21 campaign groups in Kent. The grassroots organisation provides support to communities and estates wishing to create a 20mph zone.
They can do this by providing publicity along with advice on how to approach authorities. Campaigners can also learn about using speed detectors.
Mr Berendt, who lives with wife Louise Robertson in Queen’s Road, Tunbridge Wells, said that research had shown 80 per cent of drivers had complied with the new limit in the St John’s area.
Mr Berendt said he was ‘delighted’ to accept the award from Rod King, founder of 20 is Plenty for Us, in a ceremony in Cardiff.
He told the Times: “The award is an acknowledgement of the work of all the campaigners in Kent.
“We have 21 campaign groups in Kent now and it’s because of them that we are slowly making progress. There are nearly 1,000 streets in Kent that are now 20mph.
"However, there is still a long way to go before politicians fully embrace 20mph as the default speed in built up areas.”
Around 1,300 have signed a petition in Tunbridge Wells, calling for their respective estate to have a 20mph zone. There is also a Tonbridge set-up that has helped establish 20mph zones in streets off Pembury Road.
But it has not all been straightforward. Mr Berendt said it took five years to get the zone established in the first place, due to ‘county council resistance’.
The group is also looking for more volunteers.
Anna Semlyen, Manager of 20 is Plenty for Us, said Mr Berendt’s ‘perseverance’ was behind the award win.
She said: “Adrian both organises in Tunbridge Wells, across Kent and has assisted other county-wide campaigns. He fully understands the statistics and is insightful in many ways.”