Councillors call for 20mph zones to stay for good

TWO councillors have raised their concerns that several 20mph zones throughout Saddleworth could be removed as part of plans to improve Oldham’s roads and infrastructure.

The Independent reported last month that Oldham Council has been awarded more than £3.8 million of funding this year to improve streets, pavements and bridges across the borough.

The money has been distributed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority under the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement.

Among the works earmarked over the next couple of years include traffic calming measures between Uppermill and Dobcross, a new zebra crossing being installed on Greenfield’s Chew Valley Road and Dunham Street bridge in Lees being either fully replaced or majorly refurbished.

20 mph signs Uppermill High Street

Saddleworth councillors Max Woodvine and Luke Lancaster have said they are “pleased” to see the programme of works include measures they have called for, including the zebra crossing on Chew Valley Road and the resurfacing of Wall Hill Road, which links Dobcross to Scouthead, plus work on Queensway in Greenfield.

But the two Conservatives have written to the local authority’s head of highways to express their view that the current 20mph speed limits should not be increased in the villages of Lydgate, Delph and Greenfield.

Cllr Woodvine, who represents the Saddleworth South ward, commented: “We need to keep 20mph limits on the table and look to strengthen them when opportunities arise.

“Raising the speed limits again would increase general speeds, potentially reducing road safety, and would be tantamount to throwing the towel in.”

Although the council has not confirmed whether the current 20mph zones will be removed, the councillors believe there is an “increasing likelihood under the present circumstances” that it could happen without highways support for making them permanent.

Cllr Lancaster believes the removal of any existing 20mph speed limits would “send a damaging signal” about road safety to residents in those villages.

Cllr Luke Lancaster and Cllr Max Woodvine

In his letter to the head of highways, the Saddleworth North councillor wrote: “I fully understand that budgetary constraints may not allow investment across all village zones simultaneously, and that prioritisation will be necessary.

“I would encourage though that these zones will still be considered for permanency, or at least have their temporary operation extended until such time that they too can be strengthened with traffic-calming measures.

“To remove any of the existing 20mph speed limits would send a damaging signal to those concerned about road safety that OMBC does not recognise their concerns in their villages. Furthermore, although permissive in nature, the zones are still somewhat effective in reducing general speeds.”

7 Replies to “Councillors call for 20mph zones to stay for good”

  1. Editorial censorship of comments, should know better than to question if the “story” had been fact checked. Don’t let facts get in the way of sensationalism will you?

  2. I would be interested to know whether there’s any evidence that the speed limit reductions have resulted in a decrease in road accidents/injuries/deaths. I’ve always suspected they were a solution in search of a problem, but I may be wrong.

  3. The existing 20mph limit between Uppermill and the viaduct is completely pointless and I doubt if it has prevented a single accident. It needs to be scrapped, not retained.

  4. Some 20mph signs in Delph are not correctly placed. Some signs are missing. The scheme though welcome, needs to be revised. / completed. At present it is a disgrace.

  5. It’s just the insouciance displayed by drivers who break the speed limits that gets me. If they can not notice the signs – or notice them but choose to ignore them – then what other rules of the road will they break?

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