Victory for Campaigners in 20 MPH Battle

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Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Tony Heywood, supporting the 20 mph campaign

Bridgwater Town Council has long campaigned alongside residents for a blanket 20 MPH speed limit around our schools and today that campaign bore fruit as Somerset County Council committed £1.5million to tackle the issue rolling out a programme of advisory 20MPH zones across the county. County Council Labour group members from Bridgwater, Cllr Leigh Redman (Bridgwater South)  and Cllr Dave Loveridge (Bridgwater North), welcomed the move saying it was ‘long overdue’. Town Mayor and Eastover campaigner Cllr Tony Heywood said it was “Excellent news”.

Councillor David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “Every year I know all councillors receive complaints about speeding cars outside our County’s schools.This is not acceptable and I’m absolutely delighted to say that we have set aside £1.5m to start a programme to bring in advisory 20mph zones outside all schools in Somerset to improve lives for our children.”

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County Council Labour Leader Leigh Redman ‘welcomes move’

The plans were announced at County Council today and will see £1.5m invested this year to install advisory 20mph zones outside half the county’s schools, with the rest to follow in future years. The programme will be rolled out in discussion with individual schools.

Reducing vehicle speeds increases safety because:

  • The vehicle has travelled less distance before the driver can react to a hazard;
  • Braking distance is reduced, so the vehicle can stop more quickly;
  • A slower moving vehicle will exert less energy on occupants of a vehicle during a crash;
  • A slower moving vehicle will transfer less energy to a pedestrian in the event of a collision.

The programme will also be supported by Bikeability and road safety training for schools and young people.

Cllr Leigh Redman added “I am pleased that SCC have been able to find this money to support this long overdue initiative.  This was something that both myself & Cllr Loveridge had already instigated for Bridgwater schools.  The speed of cars driving past some of our schools is dangerous. Cllr Loveridge and I have instigated this proposal as part of our small improvement schemes  in our many schools in our divisions.  This announcement has to be welcomed and we look forward to working with officers to get this done ASAP.”

6 comments

  1. AvatarChris

    Will this include colleges? I live on Fairfax Road, which has sleeping policemen but there are no speed limit signs once you come from Wyndham into Fairfax and a lot of drivers speed through regardless

  2. AvatarMark

    20mph zones are great at school times,but there is absolutely no reason to keep the restriction outside of the school day. All schools should have variable limit signs. The fact that we are arbitrarily reducing speed limits everywhere aggravates road users. I completely understand reducing limits at accident blackspots,….but it would appear everywhere is now a black spot!

  3. AvatarN Smith

    If the road (esp) Westonzoyland was 20mph at school times – then bk to a sensible 30 at other times, more people would take note! – I travel the country daily, n varirable speed limits are definitely the answer!

  4. AvatarClifford dean

    It’s not just outside school speed needs to be looked at in wembdon the drive up and down wembdon rise like it’s a race track the amount of times my wife has sat in the car outside the paper shop and people have only just stopped before hitting the car and we can both park there we have blue badges and once when I shouted at one driver he threatened me with violence

  5. AvatarMario

    Bigger signs and more of them are needed and for the Police to get involved. The road over the new bridges at the end of Colley Lane has no speed limit signs so hence people race along there. I use that road every day on a regular basis and have impatient drivers trying to get me to go faster than the speed limit. They need to read the Highway code to refresh their minds about speed limits

  6. AvatarPamela Armstrong

    20mph zones outside schools don’t work! Westonzoyland Road has one, for St John & St Francis school, they aldo have a lollipop patrol on the zebra crossing, yet vehicles still travel at 30-40mph along that road, especially when coming over the motorway bridge. Vehicles actually speed up when approaching from Parkway. See it all the time.