20mph plans blasted

Village 20mph road signs.  Freckleton.
Village 20mph road signs. Freckleton.
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PROPOSED 20mph speed limits for almost 200 streets in Lytham have been slammed as a waste of money and a potential threat to safety.

The consultation process over Lancashire County Council plans to cut speeds in residential areas is now under way, with key roads such as Clifton Street, Hastings Place, Westby Street, Warton Street, South Park and Forest Drive all set to be restricted.

Residents have until October 18 to make their feelings known about the plans for Lytham’s central area and until November 8 for the town’s east end, but the measures are already coming in for stinging criticism.

Robert Silverwood, vice-chairman of the Lytham Business Group, said: “I think it is a waste of money.

“With so many parked cars around, the streets concerned are pretty slow anyway and I think the vast majority of peoople are sensible enough to drive in residential areas in a reasonable manner.

“It concerns me that the new measures could result in frustration and end up with motorists really putting their foot down when they get into an unrestricted area. just no need for this at all.”

Mark Bamforth, postmaster at Warton Street Post Office, said: “I can see why they have introduced it as a safety measure, but in my opinion I don’t think it is a good move. On short roads and cul-de-sacs it won’t make any difference, while on long roads there will just be a constant flow of traffic. Where do you cross? The cars will be bumper to bumper all the way down.

“There is an old people’s home nearby – how will it make it easier for them?”

Coun Brenda Ackers, who represents St John’s ward in the east of Lytham on Fylde Council, says it is important that as many residents as possible have their say on the proposed new limits.

“Consultation is a vital part of the process and it is important the consultation is as wide-ranging as possible,” she said. “It is a good move close to schools but as far of the rest of the plans are concerned, I would reserve judgement.”

As part of £92m county-wide plans, lower limits have already been introduced in some parts of the Fylde and county officials are still analysing feedback from Kirkham and Wesham.

St Annes and Ansdell are in the same phase for consultation and introduction as Lytham’s east end but a county council spokesman said that proposals for those areas were still in the process of being drawn up.

As the new restrictions move ever-closer, a key change at County Hall is that Tim Ashton, the Lytham councillor at the forefront of the lower speed proposals as cabinet member for highways and transport, no longer holds that office. He has stepped down due to his commitments as a candidate in Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

The proposals are available to view at St Annes Town Hall as well as County Hall and on the county’s website at www.lancashire.gov.uk/20mph. Comments should go to The County Secretary and Solicitor, PO Box 78, County Hall, Preston, PR1 8XJ.