Final approval for 20mph roll-out?


TOWN Hall chiefs are seeking final approval of the controversial £740,000 plan to roll-out 20mph speed limits on residential roads across Warrington.
Members of the borough council’s executive board will be asked to give the scheme the green light tonight (Monday).
Councillors approved the scheme in principle in October 2010 and the executive is now being asked to agree to a prioritisation process.
The proposals recognise benefits already achieved from a pilot study in the town centre, Great Sankey and Orford.
A report to the board by executive member for highways and transportation Linda Dirir (pictured), recommends that the roll-out by prioritised by population density, initially linking the existing three pilot areas and then radiating out towards the more rural areas.
Where areas may be similar, roads affected and density priority will be give to those with greater injury collision concerns.
Any objections will be considered by the council’s traffic committee.
The intention is to roll-out the proposals as quickly as possible – but officers say in a “worst case” scenario it could take 10 years.
Roads to be considered must be “residential” – that is there must be 21 of more dwellings on them – and must not be key link roads, primary emergency service routes or primary bus routes.
But these criteria provide a framework only and will not be prescriptive on the inclusion or exclusion of any particular road.
It is expected that about £75,000-a-year will be available for the roll-out.
Officers say a key principal of the project is that greater coverage will encourage respect of the 20mph limit by road users.
“A motorist who resides in a 20mph area is more likely to respect and comply with the 20mph speed limits they are exposed to on their journeys.”
Ward councilors and other interested parties will be consulted on each area where the restriction is to be introduced.
Representations have been received from Rod King, founder of the “20s Plenty for Us” group – who support the proposals – police and Warrington Borough Transport..
The bus company believes it can play a part in improving road safety by persuading more car users to use buses and is concerned that key routes should not become 20mph if this means existing timetables cannot be maintained or improved. They say roads with four or more buses per hour should be excluded from the 20mph limit.
There is also concern that the optimum speed for the company’s new fleet of buses is 30mph.
Police chiefs say a 20mph limit on some routes would not be logical and could lead to confusion and driver frustration, with more incidents of aggressive overtaking and tailgating.
They could not justify enforcement of a 20mph limit on these roads and could not enforce limits without defiance of the limits by a substantial number of drivers.
The report says the trial of 20mph limits in Warrington has demonstrated some undoubted benefits in terms of collision and average speed reduction. Public opinion is also generally supportive, although there is concern that enforcement will not be as rigorous following the trial, with a very high proportion stating that physical measures would be needed to continue to benefit from speed reductions.
The proposed roll out will start in the Bewsey and Whitecross, Orford, Fairfield and Howley and Great Sankey South areas, moving on in the second year to Westbrook, Whittle Hall and other parts of Great Sankey South.
In the third year, the programme will move on to further parts of of Great Sankey and Whittle Hall, Lymm, Penketh and Cuerdley.
Year four will see more work in Orford, Poplars, Poulton North, Hulme and Poulton South while year five will involve Birchwood, Fairfield and Howley, Poulton South, Rixton and Woolston, other parts of Great Sankey, Penketh and Cuerdley and Bewsey and Whitecross.
The sixth year will take in more of Birchwood, Rixton and Woolston, Poulton South, Westy, Latchford, Penketh and Cuerdley, Stockton Heath, Hatton, Stretton and Walton.
Year seven will continue in Stockton Heath, Grappenhall, Thelwall, Appleton while the eighth year will continue in the same areas, as well as Lymm, Hatton and Walton.
In the ninth year, Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft, Burtonwood, Winwick and more parts of Birchwood, Rixton, Woolston, Westbrook, Whittle Hall, will be dealt with.
Finally, in the 10th year, other areas of Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft, Burtonwood, Winwick, Westy, Rixton, Woolston, Lymm, Grappenhall and Thelwall, Appleton, Hatton, Stretton and Walton will be completed.


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.


  1. What a joke this is. What a load of bull they’re going to decide tonight about whether this goes ahead.

    The answer is already ‘yes’ as I’ve seen many signs up on some routes with bin liners over them ready for coming off!

  2. As usual, a vocal and deluded minority gets their views acted upon by the council in clear defiance of both the objective evidence and the wishes of the majority of voters in the borough!

  3. So the police are against it, public transport is against it including on the ground that its is environmentally unfriendly, it is unenforceable and yet it is going ahead? And are cyclists to be prosecuted for speeding too? Unlikely given that they can’t even adhere to the laws concerning the use of lights, traffic controls and cycling on pavements.

  4. What a total waste of money – £750k – money that the Council do not have. Again this demonstrates that OUR Council do not understand what they are being told by its electorate. A totally unenforceable situation and a situation that has clear evidence, on all levels, that this does not work. Why bother to take this sort of decision to the Ecxecutive Board since we all know that the answer is yes before it is discussed! A project that simply puffs up the “ego” of elected members. The fact that the Police are now saying that they do not support these restrictions should make the Councillors think again. Why is the consultation only with Ward Councillors since they have, in most cases, little or no contact with their electorate! Roll on May 2012 when we will be able to have our say.

  5. Total waste of time and money.Thanks to this council,lots of roads are now gridlocked,due to the new traffic lights thrown up all over the town,get real.

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