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.”
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.”