PLANS to slash speed limits on roads across Lancashire have been hailed as a life-saving move.
The county council have said the speed limit on all residential roads will be cut from 30mph to 20mph by 2013.
The plans, which will affect Fylde and Wyre, has been welcomed by local residents – many of whom have campaigned for drivers to slow down.
Fylde councillor Karen Henshaw, who represents Kilnhouse ward, St Annes, said: “It will definitely save lives.
“People do tend to rush all the time and don’t think of the consequences – if someone’s hit at 20mph they have a much better chance of survival.
“This 20mph speed limit will be very popular with the people who live down The Hamlet, in St Annes.
“They put a petition in over a year ago with 70 signatures to stop the speeding down their road because there have been three cats killed and a child knocked down.”
In Newton-with-Scales, near Kirkham, residents have been campaigning for more than 10 years to see 20mph limits introduced across the village.
However, plans hit a stumbling block because residents did not want to see other traffic-calming measures introduced.
The new Lancashire County Council plan to implement the measures with signs alone is something parish councillor Pam Winlow has welcomed.
She said: “There’s quite a lot of concern about speeding traffic in the village and the idea of making the village a 20mph zone has been on the agenda for many years.
“But in the past that meant you needed traffic calming measures, which met with opposition. But having 20mph areas which don’t have any humps or bumps is a good thing.”
The county’s highways boss Coun Tim Ashton said he wants the £9m scheme to “change hearts and minds”.
The new rules would largely be enforced by members of the local community, although police would be deployed in areas where community pressure fails to slow drivers down.
Coun Ashton said: “We need to change driver’s habits – it’s not just about putting signs up and expecting them to work.
“People are more likely to pay attention to their neighbours and friends and speeding will become unacceptable. One person a week dies on Lancashire’s roads and if I can get that number down – which I intend to do – I will have done my job.”
The move won’t affect main commuter routes and Coun Ashton said consultation would take place before any speed limits are changed.