No go to 20mph speed zone plan

PUBLISHED: 10:55 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:14 25 August 2010

COUNCILS have ruled out blanket 20mph speed limits despite pleas from road campaigners to improve safety outside schools.

COUNCILS have ruled out blanket 20mph speed limits despite pleas from road campaigners to improve safety outside schools.

Two-fifths of parents surveyed by pedestrians' campaign group, Living Streets, said they would be happy to allow their children to walk to school if speed limits were reduced to 20mph.

The charity is calling on councils to introduce the zones in areas where people live, work and play.

The findings have been released during International Walk to School Month, running throughout this month.

Chief executive of Living Streets, Tony Armstrong, said: "Walking to school has so many benefits we need to make sure it's an attractive option for families, something that can be impossible when faced with speeding traffic."

Home Office figures show that one in five pedestrians who are hit by a car at 30mph die, but the number drops to one in 40 at 20mph.

Living Streets cited Hull City council which saw a 74 per cent reduction in the number of child pedestrian casualties between 1995 and 2007 after creating 20mph zones on a quarter of its roads.

Bexley council's cabinet member for transport, Peter Craske, said: "There are no plans to add to the existing 20mph zones or reduce any other speed limits to 20."

Bromley councillor Colin Smith said that 20mph zones and other road safety measures are considered on a case by case basis.

He said: "Although we were one of the first councils in the country to reduce the speed limit to 20mph in a road outside a school, we will not be adopting a blanket approach to this.

"Rather than simply reduce all speed limits, we are lobbying, encouraging and working closely with the police to enforce the existing speed limits."

He said road accidents in Bromley are at an all time low and have been on a downward trend for some years and added: "We need to do more and we are by carefully targeting resources at the problems.

"We firmly believe education is the key to improving road safety and by training vulnerable road users, we are tackling some of the difficult issues we face."

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