Several local councillors in Colchester have renewed their support for an introduction of more 20mph speed limits in residentials zones in the Town.

A recent scrutiny report released by Cheshire and West Chester Council revealed that 20mph speed limits have reduced road traffic collision by 65% in that area.

Cheshire and West Chester Council introduced a number of 20mph zones across an area spanning Nestor to Middlewich in 2017. Within one year, the area saw a 65% reduction in road traffic collisions, a 40% reduction in Killed and Seriously Injured (KSI) road traffic collisions and a 69% reduction in slight (minor) road traffic collisions.

In one area, Blacon North, road deaths dropped from four to zero in one year.

The figures also show a 2% rise in children cycling or walking to school, which the council expects to increase as confidence in the reduced speed limit improves.

The statistic come at a time when a number of Colchester Councillors are calling for a similar scheme to be introduced in residential areas across the Borough.

Dave Harris, Colchester Borough & County Councillor, has been working for reduced-speed zones in residential areas for a number of years.

“I have submitted paperwork for several to the Essex County Council Highways panel, for which I am an elected member”, said Councillor Harris.

“The 20mph are supported by residents and fellow Borough Councillors and I have already submitted schemes for Monkwick, Finchingfield Way, Cherrytree & Holt Drive, and Birch Glen.

“A 20mph scheme has already been successfully introduced on the Willows and I am continuingly pushing for more to be introduced”, he said.

Lee Scordis, Labour County Councillor for Abbey Division added:

“At County Hall the Labour Group moved a motion to introduce mandatory 20mph zones outside schools and introduce 20mph for estate roads where residents would like them.

“20mph zones are not only shown to reduce death and injury, but they also increase walking and cycling, which in turn reduces emissions and congestion”, he said.

Councillor Martyn Warnes, who represents the Berechurch Ward, said:

“Essex County Council looked toward only 20 mph speed limits in my ward.  Some of the older estate roads are long and wide and has led to 20mph speed limits being rejected.  On other roads, where a 20 mph speed limit, may be more appropriate have been subjected to a lengthy bureaucratic process that’s time-consuming and costly and has to be funded from the Local Highways Panel’s (LHP) budget which is itself inadequate and has a huge backlog of highway scheme awaiting approval.

“On some of the estates that I represent a 20 mph zones with traffic calming measures might have a greater impact but the cost would fall foul of overzealouss austerity measures typical of Essex County Council which is penny wise and pound foolish. We’ll all end up paying more in the long run”, he said.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) say that 20mph zones significantly decrease the risk of being injured in a collision and their greater use, especially in residential areas.

The full report can be read here.

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