Schools and crash hotspots to get 20mph speed restrictions

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New 20mph zones could be introduced to keep children safe outside schools and reduce the number of accidents in crash hotspots.

Wakefield Council will introduce 20mph restriction zones on the Bull Ring in the city centre, outside Ossett Academy, on Storrs Hill Road, and Gawthorpe Academy, on High Street, as well as Havercroft, Knottingley, South Kirkby if its cabinet committee gives approval on Tuesday.

Wakefield East councillor Ron Halliday said he supported efforts to limit speed on the Bull Ring.

But he called for more zones throughout the city.

He said: “I’ve seen drivers going too fast at the Bull Ring, where children and families enjoy the fountain, so I definitely support this.

“And many of the roads in estates like Eastmoor, Agbrigg, Lupset, Portobello were not designed for the amount of cars we see today, so I’d certainly support seeing more 20mph zones in these places.”

Road safety campaigners claim the current proposals do not go far enough and restrictions should be placed outside all schools.

Brian Coe, chairman of Ossett and Horbury’s Road Safety Committee said speeding was still rife on Towngate in Ossett, which has a primary school in the area but has not been selected for a 20mph zone.

He said: “I think anything designed to reduce the number of accidents should be supported, but they’ve singled out these two schools when all schools should be on a level playing field.

“The 20mph zone has done nothing in Horbury. You’d think with lots of pedestrians, bus stops, speed humps and narrow streets people would slow down, but a lot are still speeding. Police will not enforce 20mph zones, and until they do this will not make a big enough difference.”

A report to Tuesday’s cabinet meeting said the areas had been chosen based on the number and severity of accidents over the past five years.

And it said the proposals were just the beginning of a wider scheme to introduce more zones.

Colin Aylward, secretary of Normanton and Wakefield Road Safety Group, said his members would discuss the issue.

He said: “This is something that needs looking at properly and investigating where the best places would be for these zones.“They don’t have to be limited to just outside schools, why not have them outside old people’s homes as we have quite a few of them.”