Sep 3 2013 by Tom Duffy, Formby Times
A SPEED limit of 20mph will be introduced across the whole of Formby to reduce the number of road traffic accidents following a public consultation.
It is the first area in Sefton to become a completely 20mph town, with the lower speed limit currently being introduced piecemeal across other areas in the borough.
The majority of Formby residents supported the new speed limit in a council study, with 57% of people backing the 20mph limit.
The consultation also found that the majority of residents wanted a 30mph limit to remain in place on the main routes in Formby, although the residents who live on those roads wanted a 20mph limit.
Sefton Council decided to introduce a lower speed limit in Formby due to a high number of road traffic accidents in the town. The local safety scheme review found that there were 46 incidents in Formby – not including crashes on Formby Bypass – which was high when compared to other parts of Sefton.
There were 14 incidents in the vicinity of Southport Road, Church Road, Liverpool Road and Altcar Road. These routes are to remain at 30pmh.
There were nine incidents on Raven Meols Lane-Bushby’s Lane, Duke Street-KirklakeRoad and Woodlands Road-Harington Road, which may remain at 30mph.
There were seven incidents in the village, while the remaining 16 accidents took place in other parts of Formby.
Ward councillor David McIvor (Con) said: “We approve of imposing 20 mph limits in roads where it would significantly improve safety. However, we are not convinced that the present plans have been properly consulted with residents, or that they have been selective enough as to which roads should have the new limits. It seems as though whole blocks of roads have been given the new limits without a full review of the pros and cons of each individual road.”
The decision to impose the new limits will take place at Sefton Central Area Committee this Wednesday (September 4). The meeting will take place at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, on Cambridge Road, Waterloo, from 6.30pm.
In his report, Sefton Council director of built environment Alan Lunt said: “It was decided to review the whole of Formby because findings from pilot 20mph speed limit areas, in Portsmouth for example, for 20mph signed only areas found that larger areas were more successful in reducing injury collisions and traffic speed.
“Larger areas are also more cost-effective in terms of signage requirements and additionally result in less confusion among road users as to what the speed limit is in the area.”
Sefton says that out of the 11,344 consultation packs delivered to homes in Formby, a total of 4,036 questionnaires were returned, which is considered a better than average return rate.
A total of 179 individual letters of objection were received, with residents claiming the new limits would not be enforced, that the limits should only apply outside schools or shops and that the new limits would increase accidents, as it would lead to more overtaking and tailgating – charges that the council has refuted.
If voted through this week, the scheme will cost £59,100 to impose.
A spokesman for Merseyside Police said they supported the move and that they would enforce the 20mph limits with support from the community.