Speed limit of busy Weston-super-Mare roads to be changed after safety campaign
PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 November 2017
The speed limit of busy town centre roads could be reduced after it was warned 'someone will be killed'.
North Somerset Council has proposed to reduce the speed limit in Weston-super-Mare’s Orchard Meadows – made up of Meadow Street, Orchard Street and Orchard Place – to 20mph after calls from business owners and councillors.
The proposed change is currently under consultation, with the speed limit reduction expected to be ratified next year.
It is hoped changing the limit from 30mph will ‘drastically increase pedestrian safety and improve the shopping experience’, according to a council spokesman.
Last summer, Corrie and Barry Cahill, the owners of Bazzy’s Bargains in Meadow Street, started a campaign to reduce the speed limit amid fears ‘someone is going to get killed’.
Central ward councillor Mike Bell, who supported the campaign, welcomed the changes.
He said: “In most urban areas, 20 is plenty. If a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle at 20mph they have a 97 per cent chance of survival.
“We know lower speeds in town centres help to create safer streets and more vibrant communities where people can live, work and shop. I’d like to see 20mph zones created much more widely across the town centre area to show it is genuinely pedestrian-friendly.”
The council has also introduced new safety measures in Oxford Street, near Dolphin Square, to make the area ‘more pedestrian-friendly’ ahead of the anticipated influx of people when the site fully opens next year.
The council spokesman said: “Oxford Street now has traffic calming measures to give pedestrians greater priority and reduce through traffic.
“Speed cushions have been installed along with a raised table, which will encourage footfall from Dolphin Square through to the High Street and the seafront.
“The pedestrian crossing has been removed and a 20mph speed restriction will soon come into effect, with signs going up imminently.”
Cllr Bell, however, is disappointed the crossing has been removed.
He added: “I welcome the reduction of the speed limit and introduction of the speed cushions.
“Once Dolphin Square is completely finished this will be a very busy area, with lots of pedestrians. Given that, it is a pity that the council removed the pedestrian crossing. It would have been better to leave it in place.”