20mph bid for resort streets

20mph zone

20mph zone

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A tide of residential streets in Blackpool are set to be made 20mph or less in a bid to cut out rat runs used by drivers.

The brunt of the new speed limits will cover roads in Marton - many of which are used as cut throughs by drivers seeking to avoid traffic lights on Preston New Road.

But the scheme also includes a number of roads in South Shore.

More than 50 roads will come under the scheme. Blackpool Council has not revealed how much the scheme would cost - but a hugely controversial Lancashire-wide scheme recently cost £9m.

Coun John Jones, cabinet member for highways and transport on Blackpool Transport, said they wanted to make roads safer.

He said: “The proposed 20mph zones concern residential streets in both Marton and South Shore that are regularly used as cut throughs by commuter traffic.

“The recorded speeds of vehicles in these areas, are higher than is appropriate for conditions and there have been incidents involving more vulnerable road users.

“We want to make it safer for them without the fear of cars potentially causing them a danger.”

Former Conservative councillors Jim Houldsworth and Tony Lee, who have both since died, were among those who had called for 20mph restrictions to be introduced.

Coun Jones added: “Before they sadly passed away, making these roads safer was high on both Coun Lee and Coun Houldsworth’s agenda, so hopefully they’d be proud that we’re progressing with their plans.

“I must emphasise that this is only a proposal at the moment and if people want to comment on the plans then they can do so until October 10. As always, I am happy to speak to anybody who is affected by the proposals.”

A report by Blackpool Council traffic chiefs says: “Ward councillors have been concerned about speeding complaints, particularly in Lawson Road, Preston Old Road and Doncaster Road.

“All three, regardless of traffic calming, are used as rat runs between Preston New Road and East Park Drive.

“The recorded speeds are between 20 and 30mph.

“This is not unusual for the category of road, although it could be considered inappropriate for conditions, given the parking and a significant presence of more vulnerable road users.”

Blackpool Council was not able to confirm what the cost of the scheme would be.

The measures in South Shore are in response to complaints about traffic using St Luke’s Road and St Martin’s Road to cut through between Lytham Road and St Annes Road.

They affect mainly Waterloo ward, and part of Squires Gate ward.

Squires Gate ward councillor Douglas Green said: “I am not opposed to the measure. However, as the move is to restrict the speed limit without the street furniture such as chicanes and speed bumps, I do not know how effective it will be. I am therefore conducting a consultation in Squires Gate ward as to residents’ opinions.”

Coun Debbie Coleman, who represents Marton, said: “At the moment we are having drivers going along Preston Old Road at 50mph, and it is only by luck that there has not been a serious accident.

“There are families with children living in this area, and there is a school, and so it is just not safe to have high volumes of traffic travelling along these roads at this kind of speed.

“I know motorists want to avoid the junction at Preston New Road and South Park Drive, which gets very busy, but it is a nightmare for residents.

“I just hope by doing this, it will do something to make the situation better.”

20mph limits have already been introduced on residential streets in Fylde and Wyre after Lancashire County Council set aside £9m in 2011 to introduce the restrictions across the whole county.

Early indications are the move has seen accident rates cut by around a third.

Blackpool already has 20mph restrictions on Grange Park and Mereside, along part of Central Promenade, and around some primary schools.

Anyone wishing to comment on the proposals can write to Transportation, Layton Depot, Plymouth Road, Blackpool, FY37HW or email traffic.management@blackpool.gov.uk.

THE FULL LIST OF ROADS AFFECTED BY THE PROPOSALS...

Abbotsford Road, Allenbury Place, Barmouth Avenue, Bassenthwaite Road, Briercliffe Avenue, Cadby Avenue, Camborne Court, Clifton Crescent, Colchester Road, Cornwall Place, Dalkeith Avenue, Doncaster Road, Dovedale Avenue, Dryburgh Avenue, Elterwater Place, Fredora Avenue, Goldsboro Avenue, Halifax Street, Higham Grove, Kelmarsh Close, Kingsley Road, Kipling Drive, Knaresboro Avenue, Knutsford Road, Lancaster Road, Lawson Road, Lomond Avenue, Lulworth Avenue, Meadowbrook, Mereland Road, Norfolk Road, Paddock Drive, Patterdale Avenue, Pittsdale Avenue, Preston Old Road Between South Park Drive and Preston New Road, Quernmore Avenue, Rosefinch Way, Skelwith Road, Southbourne Road, St Leonards Road, Suffolk Road, Torquay Avenue, Weymouth Road, Wheatlands Crescent, Worcester Road, Wordsworth Avenue, Ash Street, Green Avenue, Lodore Road Sackville Avenue, Seventh Avenue, St George’s Avenue St James Road, St Luke’s Road, St Martin’s Road