Speeding clampdown for Saddleworth villages

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 08 September 2020

A new crackdown on speedsters could mean a 20 mph limit across Saddleworth villages.

Oldham council are examining the situation with Uppermill the first of a number of locations being considered for the restrictions.

Confirming the move, a council spokesperson said : “The Coronavirus crisis has allowed us to fast track this proposal which was being considered for future capital programmes.

"This Uppermill location was tackled first owing to its narrow footways, busy road and popularity with visitors.

“We’re aware of the recent issues in Dobcross, but these issues were found to be not speed related but rather as a result of inappropriate “rat-running” and mis-use of Sat-Nav.

“That said, Dobcross is one of the other Saddleworth villages where 20mph limits are being seriously considered. 

“Oldham Engineers continue to work closely with police in developing the most appropriate, self-enforcing speed limit strategy along its roads and in its residential areas.”

Campaigning Jayne Gibson commenting  on behalf of Dobcross Road Safety Group, said: “It is great news that the authorities have recognised the issue of pedestrian safety by reducing the speed limit to 20mph through Uppermill High Street, and that they are also considering reducing the speed limit to 20mph in Dobcross. 

“This follows on from our petition submitted in November 2019, signed by 473 local people asking for Dobcross to be a 20mph zone.

“We are not sure rat running or mis-use of sat nav fully explains the regular high speed vehicles along Delph New Road and Wall Hill Road, for example, and would welcome further discussions with the Council regarding its findings.

“Speeding through Dobcross is not a recent issue, and similar to Uppermill, there are several places that have either narrow or no footpaths meaning people either have to walk on the road or every close to passing vehicles.” 

She added: “There are also no safe places to cross the main roads in Dobcross and a 20mph limit the village is well supported by locals.

“It is very promising Dobcross is included as one of the other areas where 20mph limits are being seriously considered and we are grateful for the time Oldham engineers and other staff are spending looking into this matter, particularly during the pandemic when resources are stretched.”

Ward councillor Garth Harkness, has welcomed the decision but is also perplexed.

He said: “I have been campaigning for a long time with regards to 20mph  speed limits, backing the 20 plenty campaign. The council failed to support my motion for 20mph on residential roads across the borough. After the HGV incidents in Dobcross residents and I have been pushing for Dobcross to become a 20mph zone.

“Despite this happening in other parts of the country there has always been an excuse not to do it. It seems that we can introduce the measures for social distancing but not for road safety.”

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