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Wednesday 11 November 2015

Council approves £1m investment in school 20mph zones


A £1m programme to install 20mph zones near all schools in Cheshire East has been approved by Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet.

The three-year programme will tackle more than 130 schools, which are currently located in areas with speed limits between 30mph and 60mph. 

The decision today (Tuesday) follows a 2015 National Highways and Transport survey of Cheshire East residents that placed road safety as a top priority. 

The Council also carried out a local community safety consultation earlier this year, where a significant number of responses related to speeding outside schools.

Evidence also shows that decreased traffic speeds improve the chance of survival when a pedestrian is involved in a collision.  At 20 mph, a pedestrian has a 97 per cent chance of survival compared with a just 10 per cent chance of survival at 40mph.

Cheshire East currently has 160 school sites, of which 23 already benefit from either mandatory or an advisory 20mph speed limit. The remaining 137 schools may have advisory, part-time 20mph limit signs with flashing school warning lights fitted over a three-year period.

Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council with responsibility for Highways said: “Road traffic accidents are a significant cause of death or serious injury for children and young people.

“A total 60 children were killed or seriously injured on Cheshire East’s roads between 2010 and 2012, and the local rate is nearly 50 per cent higher than the national average. 

“We have listened to our residents concerns and are taking action to improve road safety across the Borough and – most importantly – right outside our schools.” 

Cllr Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member in charge of children and families, said: “As a Council we put a high priority on people’s safety and especially on protecting Cheshire East’s children.

“This initiative is in response to the concerns of our local residents and we would look to bring it forward in close discussion with local communities and schools.

“This is also about changing the culture and behaviour of motorists around all schools and we will look at enforcement and mandatory speed limits where appropriate and in discussion with local schools and residents.”

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