Sep 10 2013 by Jamie Bowman, Formby Times
FORMBY will become the first 20mph town in Sefton, after controversial plans to impose the lower speed limits were backed by Sefton Council.
Councillors on the Central Sefton Area Committee voted 15-4 in favour of the proposals at a packed and highly charged public meeting last week.
The limits will apply on the majority of Formby’s roads, with only Liverpool Road, Altcar Road, Church Road and Southport Road exempt.
The scheme has been welcomed by Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson.
He said: “20mph zones have been proven to make residential roads safer, not just for children and older people, but everyone.”
Harington Ward Labour councillor, Nina Killen, agreed with Mr Esterson adding that 57% of Formby residents who replied to a Sefton poll agreed to the proposals.
She said: “I have always been happy to go with the consultation results because this needs the support of the public. It is largely self-enforcing so has to be what the people want. A small number of people have been very vociferous in their opposition which is fine but that does not negate the fact that the majority of residents in Formby support this.”
In his report, Sefton Council’s director of built environment, Alan Lunt, admitted there had been problems with the consultation process, with many residents complaining that they did not receive papers.
He said: “There were five roads in Crosby that received Formby consultation packs and five in Formby that received Crosby’s consultation packs. These were re-delivered to all of the affected roads.”
The council’s claims have been rejected by Ravenmeols Conservative Cllr David McIvor, who said: “It has been a very poor exercise by the council and the actual views of the majority of the resident have not been exposed. I was mobbed by members of the public saying that is was wrong and made a farce of democracy.”
Harington Ward Conservative Cllr Gillian Cuthbertson said: “I was disappointed that despite four out of the six Formby councillors being opposed to the scheme and voting against it – it was passed because the vote included councillors from Crosby, Maghull, Lydiate etc.
“I am also concerned that the police , despite their written commitment to the council, will not have the resources to enforce this 20mph.”