24/05/2021 - Permalink

Major scheme to introduce 20mph zones outside schools set to begin

Related topics: Children's services / Highways, transport and environmental maintenance

The first stage of a major scheme to introduce 20mph speed limit restrictions outside schools in the county is set to begin.

Shropshire Council voted to develop the project in September 2020 – and now a programme of data collection and feasibility wok is set to get under way.

The programme is designed to be put in place where road conditions allow and will help improve both safety and reduce emissions around schools. The first batch of surveys will commence next week, primarily in the vicinity of secondary schools.

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s deputy Leader and Cabinet member for physical infrastructure, highways and built housing, said:

“I am pleased that this work is progressing outside our schools so quickly, with the surveys due to be completed by the end of June.

“There is no single generic approach for the introduction of a 20mph speed restriction, and site-specific characteristics will determine the level of intervention that may be required.

“In some circumstances this may be physical traffic calming and in others current conditions could suggest that a 20mph speed restriction is unnecessary or inappropriate and would deliver minimal benefits.

“This is a very important project for Shropshire Council and I look forward to working on it in the coming years to the benefit of all our communities.”

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, said:

“We are really pleased to be progressing with this work to introduce 20mph zones outside schools which do not have one already.

“The safety of our children is paramount, and we are delighted to be progressing this to deliver the greater benefits to the school community, local residents, highways users and also the environment.”

As surveys are programmed, the relevant town or parish council will be alerted and headteachers, who have already been notified, will be spoken to again.

Data collection and feasibility work will only be carried out where schools do not currently have a mandatory 20mph speed restriction or where schools with multiple access points would benefit from the introduction.

At schools where data collection is carried out, this will provide an up to date insight into current traffic behaviour outside of school and could present the following potential benefits:

  • Identification of funding to implement a low speed environment outside the school
  • An opportunity to promote active travel to school which can improve the health of pupils, improve air quality outside of school and help to relieve parking pressure.
  • An opportunity for Shropshire Council to enforce parking restrictions outside of school.
  • An opportunity for school pupils to engage in the process. We have offered schools the opportunity to discuss how we can link into their curriculum work.

It is currently planned that the programme of scheme delivery will commence in April 2022 and will span several years.