20mph limits ‘may stop race track drivers’

St Martins Road resident Sue Lowe
St Martins Road resident Sue Lowe
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Plans to lower the speed limit across a raft of streets in Blackpool could stop bad drivers from using suburban streets as “race tracks”, neighbours said today.

As reported in Monday’s Gazette, more than 50 of the resort’s streets are set to adopt Blackpool Council’s scheme –which would see a reduction from 30mph to 20mph.

A cluster of streets in South Shore – including St Luke’s Road, St Martins Road and Seventh Avenue – are among those under consideration.

Ken and Judith Vickers, from St Luke’s Road, have welcomed the idea as an extension of proposals set out by the late Waterloo ward councillor Coun Tony Lee before his death earlier this year.

Mr Vickers, 66, said: “We’ve had this ongoing problem with traffic coming up and down here at 40 or 50mph.

“When Coun (Tony) Lee was alive he was trying to get traffic calming measures brought in and he got people out with a speed gun.

“Apparently, they got one who was going at 65mph.

“This isn’t going to change that unless it’s enforced, though it’s a great idea.

“We’ve had numerous accidents down here and it’s a very dangerous road.

“It’s a big bugbear for a lot of people but putting a sign up might not change that.”

Mrs Vickers, 66, added: “It’s been a race track so it’s quite a good idea, but I don’t think it’ll make a great deal of difference if people don’t stick to it.

“They’ve talked about putting bumps and all sorts of things in before but I don’t know what the answer is.”

Both St Luke’s Road and St Martins Road run perpendicular to Lytham Road and St Annes Road, and are frequently used by rush hour drivers to cut between the two , avoiding nearby Highfield Road, which is controlled by traffic lights.

Nancy Chester, of St Martins Road, said: “It will be all right with me because they fly up and down.

“It would slow them down because they go crazy.”

Sabina Ferraday, 70, has lived on the street for just over a year.

She said: “Drivers cut through and if somebody walked out from between two parked cars they wouldn’t stand a chance.

“If they put speed cameras up they’d make a fortune in fines because people cut through when they’re late for work. I’m surprised there hasn’t been an accident.”

Others were not so sure about the need for the scheme.

Fellow St Martins Road resident Sue Lowe, 53, added: “I’m in favour of it, but if they make it 20mph is anybody actually going to come and police that?

“Unless somebody comes and catches people there doesn’t seem to be much point.”

Blackpool Council has not been able to confirm what the cost of the scheme would be, and some residents have already described it as a “waste of money”.

Rick Butcher, 60, from St Luke’s Road, said: “I don’t really agree with 20mph, I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think people will stick to 20mph.

“It wouldn’t have much impact so it’s a bit of a waste of time and money. There are better things for the council to spend money on.”

Cheryl Morrison, 50, believes a 20mph limit should be but in place for cars travelling round the perimeter of nearby Highfield Road Park.

She said: “By the park it’s a good idea but through all the other roads I don’t see why you’d want to do that. I’ve been here since January and haven’t noticed anyone speeding or racing around.”