Fresh drive to cut speed limit in built-up areas

Date published: 04 February 2014

SPEED limits could be cut to 20mph if proposals by Oldham’s Liberal Democrats are approved.

A scheme to introduce a default maximum speed of 20mph on residential roads has won backing from local councillors, who will take the issue to tomorrow’s full council meeting.

Councillors John McCann and Diane Williamson will raise the issue of safety on Oldham’s roads at the meeting in the hope of convincing the council to investigate the idea’s feasibility.

An average of154 children were involved in accidents in Oldham each year between 2006-2008, 18 of whom were killed or seriously injured.

In 2012 464 people were injured on Oldham’s roads, of whom three died and 49 were seriously injured.

“Cars are often parked along these residential streets and it is impossible to see some adults, let alone children, trying to cross the road,” Councillor McCann said.

Although some 20mph zones are already in operation in parts of the borough, new Department for Transport guidelines make it easier for local authorities to adopt a default 20mph limit on residential roads.

Councillor McCann added: “I think we need to take advantage of these new government guidelines and reduce limits. Parents and grandparents are terrified of letting their children play outside or go on bikes because it can be incredibly dangerous sometimes. I am hoping members, particularly those with children, will recognise this is a problem we can deal with together.”

The motion urges the council to join 20 other local authorities, including five in Greater Manchester, in seeking to implement the change on residential roads with a “20’s Plenty” campaign.