Campaigners urge East Lancs council to follow London's '20mph' trend
A VOTE by councillors in The City of London for a 20mph limit for all roads should prompt Blackburn with Darwen to take the same action, campaigning Liberal Democrat David Foster said last night.
The decision earlier this month covering the internationally famous ‘Square Mile’ of the UK capital’s financial hub brings the number of local authorities committed to the lower limit nationwide to 44, covering more than 10 million people.
Whitehall ward’s Coun Foster said the vote by The City of London’s full Court of Common Council was further ammunition for the Lancashire Telegraph’s ‘Slower Speeds, Safer Children’ campaign. It has already seen Lancashire County Council’s incoming Labour leadership decide, after a review, to complete its programme of 20 mph zones including in Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley, Rossendale and Chorley.
So far, Blackburn with Darwen has only committed to a trial 20mph ‘sign only’ zone in Mill Hill on top of its current 16 low speed limit areas despite the worst record for under-16s killed and seriously injured in England.
The Founder of the national ‘20’s Plenty for Us’ campaign, Rod King, said: “The City of London has chosen wisely in civilising streets for people with 20mph limits. Twenty mph limits create an environment that encourages active travel and health through walking and cycling.”
Coun Foster said: “If a 20mph limit is good enough for our capital city, it certainly should be good enough for our borough.
“What else does Blackburn with Darwen Council’s ruling executive board need to happen before it realises this lower limit in residential areas is a vital for the safety of our children, our pedestrians, cyclists and motorists? It’s time our senior councillors pulled their fingers out.”
Eight of London’s 32 boroughs either have a total 20mph limits policy or are moving towards a 20mph speed limit.
BwD leader Kate Hollern said: “Road safety is a major priority for the council. Evidence shows that the majority of accidents in the borough would not have been prevented by 20mph zones. However, considerate parking by parents, particularly around schools, would prevent many.
“Education is part of our key role. A number of road safety initiatives have been introduced across the borough, including new safety measures at Ashleigh School, following parents concerns. These include new zig-zag lines, road safety education, a parking crackdown and cycle training.”
Council highways boss Maureen Bateson has previously said: “We are piloting a 20mph area in Mill Hill so we can fully assess it and then make a decision about rolling it out across the borough.”
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