Almost 300 locals filled a sold-out event at The Carnegie Hall in Thetford on 30 March to question the local Mayor and Norfolk County Councillors in attendance regarding the 20-minute neighbourhood proposals for Thetford in Norfolk. This is because of the growing around these new urban planning developements and what they could mean to people’s freedoms.
This is the second time the people of Thetford have made their voices heard regarding their opposition to the 20-minute neighbourhood proposals in front of local politicians. The concept of 20-minute neighbourhoods has sparked protests and anger across the country as many fear it could lead to restrictions on travel and the eventual curtailment of civil liberties.
The meeting had several high-profile people in attendance including. Jane James the Mayor of Thetford, Lana Hempsall the Norfolk Conservative County Councillor, Terry Jeremy a Norfolk Labour County Councillor, Tom McCabe the Head of Paid Services at Norfolk County Council.
Thetford is not the only place trialling this controversial scheme or other similar schemes which appear to punish the use of private vehicles. Oxford has become well known for the 15-minute city concept and its anti-motorist policies. This is because in Oxford when the ‘traffic filtering trial’ starts in 2024, the public will be limited to 100 trips per household – in a private use vehicle - per year between the newly devised zones. If the citizens of Oxford violate the news traffic restrictions they will be fined through the post by the ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras which are being set up to facilitate the new system. Despite widespread protest and the community polling overwhelmingly against the new filtering system the Oxford County Council have pushed ahead regardless.