Green light given to develop 20mph policy to help protect communities

A new policy on the introduction of 20mph limits is to be developed to assess requests for their introduction from Westmorland and Furness communities.

The council’s Highways and Transport Strategic Board has agreed that the policy be developed for future approval. On the same day, Cabinet agreed one-off additional funding of £300,000 for the scheme.

The aim is that the new policy will support the council’s three Locality Boards for Eden, South Lakeland and Furness decide whether or not to agree to community requests to reduce speed limits from 30mph to 20mph in residential areas, towns and villages.

Councillor Peter Thornton, Cabinet Member for Highways and Assets, said: “Our communities want people to be respectful when they are travelling through their town or village and introducing a new 20mph policy is meeting a pledge that we have made, it is something that we have heard repeatedly from our communities that they want us to be doing. This will be a new policy that has come from the ground up and we know it has support from our residents.”

Introducing 20mph limits in the correct places can promote safer roads, reduce congestion, reduce vehicle pollution and noise, enhance the environment for walking and cycling and support communities having a sense of place.

Research by the UK Transport Research Laboratory has shown that that you are seven times more likely to survive if you are hit by a car driving at 20mph, than if you are hit at 30mph. If a child suddenly steps in front of a car, you are much less likely to seriously injure or kill them if you keep to a 20mph limit.

Requests will come forward through local ward members and/or parish and town councils.

Each scheme will require a Traffic Regulation Order to introduce the reduced speed limit with informal consultation to be undertaken within the community to allow consideration and if necessary to address any valid concerns.

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