Seven more 20 mph zones in new road safety drive

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SEVEN more 20 mph zones are set to be rolled out across Sheffield over the next year-and-a-half in a drive to cut numbers of accidents and to make neighbourhoods more pleasant to live in.

Each area will be designated with signs and street markings - but there will be no road humps, which have often proved contentious with residents.

Lined up are parts of Walkley, Woodthorpe, Parson Cross, Stocksbridge, Lowedges, Gleadless and Crookesmoor, many including schools.

The council’s community assemblies have chosen one area each, with a budget of £40,000 per zone.

But city highways officers are warning that declaring the zones is not the whole answer.

“The success of the 20 mph speed limit strategy hinges on the willingness of the Sheffield public to alter their own behaviour when driving in these areas,” says a report today (Thursday) to councillors.

“That will not be achieved by traffic signs and road markings alone. The roll-out of the strategy will be backed up with long-term investment in both driver and community education, with publicity to keep the focus on driver behaviour in all residential areas whether or not they are subject to a 20 mph limit.

“The report continues to say that introducing the signs may result in drivers cutting their speeds marginaaly “But it will be a far lengthier project to achieve the goal of a fundamental change in driver behaviour.”

The first zone to be changed will be Woodthorpe, including Nodder Road and Hastiliar Road South, which was chosen by the east community assembly because of its high accident record.

It will be followed by six others. The Walkley scheme runs from the top of Blake Street south to Oxford Street, linking with the Upperthorpe 20 mph zone, the west of Parson Cross includes Buchanan Road and Adlington Road and Chaucer Business and Enterprise College, Spink Hall in Stocksbridge includes four schools, Lowedges covers the area between Gresley Road and Greenhill Parkway, Charnock runs from White Lane to Bowman Drive, Charnock Dale Road and Arnold Avenue, and Steel Bank is between Crookes and Crookesmoor.

“Reducing the speed of traffic in residential areas will, in the long term, reduce the number and severity of accidents, reduce the fear of accidents, encourage sustainable modes of travel and contribute towards the creation of a more pleasant, cohesive environment,” says the council, which is talking to police about enforcement.

National pressure for more 20 mph zones has come from the ‘20s Plenty’ campaign. A spokesperson said: It’s time to wake up to the fact that the national default road speed of 30mph is no longer appropriate for our community streets. ‘20’s Plenty’ if you want a quality of life that allows walkers, cyclists, children, families, the elderly and people with disabilities to safely cross, and jointly use, the roads alongside motorised traffic.”