LANCASHIRE County Council is stepping up a £9million scheme to impose 20mph speed limits in all residential areas, after a Burnley pilot project showed a major fall in accidents, injuries, and deaths.

The test covered Rosegrove and Gannow, and was one of three across the county area.

In the South West Burnley pilot, over the 15 months from February 2011 to April 2012, the num-ber of total casualties was seven, all slight, with no serious injuries, or deaths.

That compared with 33 casualties in the three years from November 2007 to October 2010, 11 every 12 months, with five deaths, or serious injuries, 1.66 a year, and 28 slight injuries, 9.33 a year.

The figures for 0 to 15-year-olds in the Burnley pilot areas were five slight injuries, and no deaths, or serious injuries, in the 15 months of the scheme.

For the three-year comp-arison period, the figures were 12 casualties (four a year), one death, or serious injury (0.33 a year) and 11 slight injuries (2.66 a year).

Over all three pilot areas, the overall figures fell from 46 cas-ualties a year, with six deaths and serious injuries, to 25, with two deaths and serious injuries, and no child deaths and serious injuries.

County council leader Geoff Driver intends that by 2014 there will be a 20mph speed limit on all residential streets in Burn-ley, Pendle, Ribble Valley, Hynd- burn and Rossendale, controlled with signs only, rather than further traffic calming measures such as speed humps. Part-time speed restrictions will be brought in for schools on busy roads.

He said: “We have completed half of our programme of bringing in the 20mph limit to 248 residential estates in the Lancashire county area.

“The evidence from the Burnley, and other pilot schemes is that it is cutting serious accidents involving pedestrians, cyclists, and particularly children.”

Lancashire’s assistant chief constable for traffic Andy Rhodes said: “We work with local mot-orists first by persuasion and education, and then by enforc-ement and prosecution.

“We ask residents to help identify persistent offenders and compile a list of the top ten anti-social drivers for each area, who are then subject to police observation and visits.”