Lib Dems call for 20mph zones in all residential areas of Kirklees

MOTORISTS could be forced to slow down to 20mph on all residential streets in Huddersfield.

MOTORISTS could be forced to slow down to 20mph on all residential streets in Huddersfield.

Kirklees Lib Dems have proposed the radical move to make roads in the district safer.

The centres of Honley and Meltham already have 20mph zones.

Earlier this year the Department of Transport announced changes which make it easier for councils to introduce the speed limit reductions.

Clr Christine Stanfield called on Kirklees Council to use the new powers across the district.

The Lindley Lib Dem said: “Reducing the speed limit to 20mph in our residential roads will provide residents with a real choice in how they travel by removing the fear of fast traffic from community streets.

“I would like to see Kirklees roads transformed with significant improvements in the levels of residents walking, cycling and using public transport.”

Clr Stanfield added that the radical change would benefit drivers.

She said: “Financially, the motorist will save money, with less repair bills from wear and tear of their vehicle in the long-term.”

Clr Stanfield believes a blanket 20mph restriction in residential areas is the best approach.

“The option of a having short lengths of 20mph speed limits, say, outside a school, may result in drivers speeding up significantly once they have passed the particular zone,” she said.

“Therefore, I support the introduction of a more consistent approach over an area consisting of several roads.”

Clr Stanfield added there had been a 7% reduction in accidents in Portsmouth since 20mph zones were introduced across the city in 2008.

Twelve Lib Dems have submitted a motion to this week’s monthly council meeting calling for officers to prepare a feasibility study about making all residential roads in Kirklees 20mph.

The issue will be debated at the meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall from 5pm tomorrow.

The traffic-calming scheme introduced in Meltham last year was the first 20mph zone in a town or village in Kirklees.

The council spent £90,000 on the plans to make Meltham’s streets safer.

The scheme includes a 20mph zone on streets in the centre of the village, as well as speed plateaux and mini-roundabouts.

The idea of 20mph zones has also been backed by the Huddersfield road safety charity, Brake.

Officials claim studies show that accidents at speeds lower than 30mph mean significantly fewer serious injuries.

Meltham has been the site of several road traffic collisions, some involving pedestrians, in and around its centre.

 
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