School safety a priority in driving down speeds
Cllr Scott Dickinson member for Druridge Bay welcomed the investment saying: "Schools need assistance managing ever increasing traffic outside schools, not only for the safety of those attending school and parents picking up but the general public. We all know areas that can be a bit manic in the mornings and afternoons, people correcting their speed and everyone moving at 20mph must be welcomed by all and ease some of the pressure caused by some driving to fast. Areas where school crossing patrols need help keeping everyone safe will also welcome this development."
Up to £1m is being invested by Northumberland County Council over the coming years to introduce 20mph limits outside schools.
Around £200,000 has already been allocated in the current year’s Local Transport Plan to drive forward the safety scheme. Similar amounts will be allocated over the next 3-5 years until the programme is complete.
During this year the council is concentrating on schools where known issues exist, for example where drivers are going too fast.
The programme is currently in the design stage and will start being rolled out on the ground before Christmas.
Councillor Ian Swithenbank, Cabinet Member for Local Services said: “Residents are rightly concerned about the volume of vehicles travelling at high speed through their communities.
“Slower speeds bring obvious benefits to places and people – particularly outside schools. They help to reduce the risk and severity of collisions and the reduced speed makes it easier to cross roads.
“The public have told us they want more 20mph limits around schools and we’re investing significant resources, at locations where this is appropriate, to make it happen as soon as possible.”
Councillor Anne Dale, chair of the Council’s Walking and Cycling Board added: “Evidence shows 20mph speed limits improve safety around schools.
“We want all our children to be safe and encourage walking or cycling wherever possible and the introduction of 20mph limits and other safety measures will be a great help.”
Alongside the 20mph limits programme, the Council has also introduced a new ‘First Response’ Initiative to schools where there is a history of traffic problems. First Response brings together council officers with the head teacher, the local County Councillor and a parent governor in finding solutions and agreeing responsibility for actions.