A NEW 20 miles per hour speed limit is being implemented in Uppermill to combat speeding and improve social distancing.
However, other Saddleworth villages may follow depending on the success of the scheme to be introduced by Oldham Council.
Full details of the initiative have yet to be released by the local authority. The future Traffic Regulation Order is likely to be in place for 18 months.
A spokesperson for OMBC said: “In the next couple of weeks, a 20mph speed limit will come into force to boost safety and help with social distancing.
“Uppermill, like many of the Saddleworth villages, has narrow footways which often mean people have to step into the road when walking past other pedestrians. Widening footways is not an option.
“Reducing the speed limit will mean if there are any collisions the severity of them will be lessened.
“We’ll be installing road markings and signs to tell roads users about the change.
“Traffic Officers will closely monitor the situation over the comings months.”
Saddleworth North councillor Garth Harkness welcomed the decision but is also puzzled.
He said: “I have been campaigning for a long time with regards to 20 mph speed limits, backing the ‘20 plenty’ campaign.
“The council failed to support my motion for 20 mph on residential roads across the borough.
“After the HGV incidents in Dobcross, residents and I have been pushing for Dobcross to become a 20mph zone.
“Despite this happening in other parts of the country there has always been an excuse not to do it.
“It seems we can introduce the measures for social distancing but not for road safety.
“I call on the council to again introduce 20mph speed restrictions in Dobcross and other Saddleworth villages.”
Another councillor told the Independent: “I did complain I thought it unnecessary and a complete waste of money to do the side streets off high street with 20mph.
“I tried to explain to those in power that the lanes/streets are so small, narrow and parked up all the time that there is no chance of going much above 10mph.”
Last year, the Dobcross Road Safety Group handed in a 473-name petition to OMBC asking for a 20mph limit through the village.
In Denshaw, concerns have been expressed at speeding vehicles along the A672 Ripponden Road while Greenfield’s main street – Chew Valley Road – has seen increased traffic numbers, partly due to increased visitor numbers at Dovestone Reservoir.
A new safety zone was recently implemented outside St Mary’s School.