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PM's backing for Lancashire Telegraph road safety campaign
DAVID Cameron yesterday gave a major endorsement to 20mph speed limits in residential areas as he announced that eight cities, and four national parks, are to share £94million to promote cycling.
The Prime Minister and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin made clear a condition for the urban areas getting the cash was low speed limits zones to improve bike users’ safety.
The announcement was seen as clear backing for the Lancashire Telegraph’s ‘Slower Speeds, Safer Streets’ campaign by Blackburn with Darwen Liberal Democrat leader David Foster.
The major part of the money, £77million, goes to Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich.
Mr Cameron said: “This government wants to make it easier, and safer, for people who already cycle, as well as encouraging far more people to take it up, and local government has a role to play in helping to achieve this.”
Mr McLoughlin said: “I want to help open up cycling to more people, and these measures to make cycling safer on our roads are an important part of that.”
The Ten Downing Street website says: “The government has already made it easier for local authorities in England to help cyclists. Measures include removing bureaucracy to introduce 20mph speed restrictions, which make streets safer for all road users.
“All of the cities receiving funding have either already implemented, or are looking to expand, the network of 20mph zones, with Norfolk and Cambridge looking to introduce extensive area-wide 20mph schemes.”
Coun Foster said: “This is a major endorsement from the highest levels of government for 20mph zones in residential areas.
“Blackburn with Darwen is keen to promote cycling, but has missed out on this grant cash. Perhaps its failure to implement 20mph zones across the borough is why. The Prime Minister and the Transport Secretary have made clear they believe 20mph residential speed limits make streets safer for all road users.”
Council highways boss Maureen Bateson said “Our understanding is this money is for cities, mainly to promote cycling, so we are not eligible. We are piloting a 20mph area in Mill Hill so we can fully assess it and then make a decision about rolling it out across the borough.”
Former Lancashire county Tory leader Geoff Driver, responsible for the auth-ority bringing in 20mph limits in all residential areas, said: “This is endorsement from the top of government that 20mph limits make life safer for everybody that uses the roads.”
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
THE Lancashire Telegraph’s ‘Slower Speeds, Safer Children’ campaign last month persuaded Lancashire County Council to complete its introduction of the zones across the authority area, including Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale.
It still aims to complete a change the attitude to driving in East Lancashire by:
- Persuading Blackburn with Darwen Council to take a strategic decision to introduce 20 mph limit in all its residential areas a programme to roll out the low speed zones within five years starting with a pilot this summer, ensuring that 20 mph speed limits are rolled out in all residential streets in ALL our boroughs, and
- Winning a commitment from Lancashire Police and local councils to make speed awareness courses available to all motorists convicted of breaking 20 mph limits.
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