Jan 15 2013 By Sam Yarwood
COUNCILLORS in Formby have passed plans to impose a 20mph speed limit in the Piercefield Road area.
The changes, which were approved at last week’s area committee meeting, will see the current speed limit drop from 30mph on 45 roads across the town.
Consultation packs were delivered to more than 1,500 residents in the area of which 42% were returned.
The questionnaires asked residents three questions:
Do you think vehicle speeds on your road are too high?
Do you think 20mph speed limits will reduce vehicle speeds?
Are you in favour of the proposed 20mph speed limits?
More than 70% of residents who voted said they were in favour of the reduced speed limit, with the majority responding ‘yes’ to the first two questions.
Chief Inspector John Hogan, the head of Merseyside Police's Roads Policing Department, said: "We will be monitoring the areas piloting the 20mph speed limit and will enforce that limit based on data showing a rise in people killed or seriously injured on those roads or if there are community concerns about road safety.
"We welcome any reduction in speed which may drive down the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.
"The 20mph limits and zones are placed in areas where there are particularly vulnerable road users, usually children, who need to be protected from death and injury through the slowing of vehicle speeds.
"These zones will assist us to make the roads of Merseyside a safer place and to deal positively with a small number of offenders who continue to drive with a complete disregard for others."
Laurence Rankin, from Sefton’s 20’s Plenty campaign, said: "It’s great to see more and more areas in Sefton adopting 20mph limits.
"In 2011 the 20’s Plenty campaign carried out street surveys across Sefton and found over 80% support for the limits. National surveys have consistently shown similar levels of support.
"Where 20mph residential speed limits have been adopted there have been significant reductions in road injuries, not just for pedestrians but for drivers and passengers. "Road injuries are a major cause of death for young people, but the likelihood of death or serious injury is very much reduced with a lower speed limit.
"Serious road incidents are also a significant financial cost for local authorities and the emergency and health services, as well as causing disruption to local businesses, so lower speed limits make economic sense as well.
"Also by enabling, and encouraging, safer walking and cycling, 20mph limits can improve the general health of people and communities, and bring people back together – people can reclaim the streets.
"20mph limits have been recognised by the directors of public health across the country as a public health priority.
"We would like to see Sefton, like Lancashire County Council and others, declare a blanket policy with an early fixed date for the adoption of 20mph limits in all its residential streets."
Chief Inspector John Hogan, from Merseyside Police, commented: "We welcome any reduction in speed which may drive down the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads."
Cllr Gillian Catherine Cuthbertson, chair of the Formby Area Committee, added: "I am really pleased that the plans were passed based on the results of the consultation with residents. We received a superb response rate and I’d like to thank all those for taking the time to fill in the questionnaires."