CHILDREN playing in streets on two Blackburn estates are set to have a safer new year, after council bosses secured more than £200,000 to reduce accidents.

About £180,000 is to be spent on the Shadsworth estate, while £50,000 will be pumped into the Openshaw estate.

Both have a poor history of pedestrian casualties.

Two new 20mph zones will be created -- one in each estate -- along with various forms of speed humps on the main roads through the estates.

A spokesman for the council said: "To address the problem of child pedestrian casualties, a special application was made to the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions for the funding of 20mph zones in the Shadsworth and Openshaw Drive estates.

"In the Shadsworth estate, over a five year period, 37 people received injuries as a result of accidents. Of those 37, 18 were child pedestrians.

"Within the Openshaw estate, over a five year period, 11 people received an injury as the result of an accident. Of those 11, seven pedestrians were involved, resulting in the death of one child pedestrian.

"In principle, the DTLR approved £180,000 for Traffic calming measures within Shadsworth and £50,000 for the Openshaw estate.

"Confirmation of this award is due shortly, enabling us to claim for reimbursement of the initial monitoring work and design costs.

"Both schemes fit within the council's safer route to school policy, and local primary schools within both areas will be targeted for training and publicity exercises."

It is predicted that the number of accidents will fall by up to 50 per cent, although a similar, £120,000 scheme introduced in Sudellside, Darwen, in 1999 was declared only a partial success.

Traffic surveys were carried out counting cars and monitoring speed and noise and a survey was carried out among residents to find out what their experiences had been.

The report concluded that the restriction had been successful in reducing the amount of traffic and noise had been reduced.

But a report to last week's planning and highways committee said that the majority of residents were in favour of the new traffic measures.

Similar schemes have been introduced across Lancashire by Lancashire County Council.