Speed limits across Newcastle could be lowered in a bid to cut accidents
Speed limits across Newcastle could be slashed in a bid to cut accident rates and reduce emissions.
Council chiefs have backed the idea of imposing more 20mph zones around the city.
Green Party campaigner Taymar Pitman urged Newcastle City Council to reduce speed limits on all residential streets, but especially around schools.
Labour council leader Nick Forbes replied that 69% of city roads are already 20mph, but agreed that there is more the council can do .
Ms Pitman, who stood in Newcastle Central at the general election, said: “Given that road safety, speeding traffic and air pollution are all very real concerns amongst residents in the city and Newcastle City Council is committed to both improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions under its Climate Emergency pledge, a sensible approach would be to expand the number of 20mph zones in the city.
“Ideally, all residential streets would have their speed limits reduced. At the very least, all streets within a half-mile vicinity of a school should be 20mph zones.
“Our air would be cleaner, the number and the severity of vehicle-related accidents would be reduced and with improved road safety conditions, more people would be willing to switch from driving to cycling and walking.”
Last month, the council mooted the prospect of roads around Tyneside schools being completely shut during pick-up and drop-off times in order to spare children from the harmful effects of pollution on the school run.
City bosses have also faced criticism recently for not preventing speeding in a 20mph area next to Salters Bridge in Gosforth.
Almost 19,000 drivers were clocked speeding through the Hollywood Avenue rat run in just one week, after the bridge re-opened to traffic in October.
Coun Forbes said that it was important to reduce speeds to improve safety and to help promote more active modes of travel.
He added: “It may not always be practicable to have a blanket 20mph outside schools. But we will seriously consider this and look at variable speed limits at different times of the day to increase safety for our children.”
Ms Pitman raised particular concern about speeding on Netherby Drive in Fenham, saying that she found that one in five motorists break the speed limit in what is designated a school safety zone.
Coun Forbes confirmed that Netherby Drive was set to be designated a 20mph zone in the near future.