A senior councillor says community concerns over safety at a Kendal road junction have reinforced the need for a new policy on 20mph speed limits.
Councillor Peter Thornton, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet member for Highways and Assets, says concerns about Windermere Road at its junction with Queens Road and Green Road illustrate the importance of the council’s recent decision to develop a comprehensive 20mph policy and to allocate £300,000 towards implementing new schemes.
An independent assessment of the Windermere Road junction, which is on a hill and has a crossing point used by families walking to nearby primary schools and a nursery, has concluded that reducing the speed of vehicles would have a significant safety benefit.
The road safety assessment was commissioned following concerns raised by the local community. Many of the remedial measures suggested in the report are designed to slow vehicles down, with speed a common factor in most of the safety issues identified.
“This is consistent with what we hear so often from our communities’’ said Councillor Thornton. “We get lots of requests like this from residents, parish councils and schools asking whether we can help improve safety on their local roads, and often speed is the single biggest problem.
“There are lots of physical measures such as speed bumps and re-aligning carriageways that can prevent people from going too fast.
“Introducing 20mph limits in the correct places can also promote safer roads, reduce congestion, reduce vehicle pollution and noise, enhance the environment for walking and cycling and support communities having a sense of place.
“We have heard repeatedly from our communities that they want us to be looking at speeds and this new 20mph policy is our commitment to addressing those concerns.’’
The council's Highways and Transport Strategic Board agreed that the policy be developed and in June Cabinet agreed to set aside £300,000 to implement new 20mph zones in areas where communities want them.
The 20mph scheme is one of 14 key projects identified as part of a £5 million priority investment programme by Westmorland and Furness Council in the coming year. Click here to find out more about the investment programme.
Other projects include funding for projects around biodiversity and nature, sustainable transport, social care, children, culture and education.
Under the new 20mph policy, which is set to launch later this year, requests for new 20mph zones will come forward from the communities through local ward members and/or parish and town councils.
Each scheme will require a Traffic Regulation Order to introduce the reduced speed limit with consultation to be undertaken within the community to allow consideration and if necessary to address any valid concerns.