A COUNCILLOR has backed calls by road safety charity Brake for the Government to cut red tape to make 20mph speed limits easier to implement on residential roads.
Coun Peter McDonald spoke out after research carried out by the organisation found out a number of stumbling blocks were preventing local authorities from reducing the limits.
Among them were the cost of installing signs in line with current regulations and Government guidance on introducing 20mph limits stating trouble-free compliance was likely on roads where average traffic speeds are already 24mph or below.
This, Brake states, has led to some authorities thinking 20mph limits should not be introduced on roads with higher average speeds.
Rubery, where Coun McDonald represents, is currently being used as a pilot area for 20mph speed limits and, if successful, the limits could be introduced across the county.
Coun McDonald said: “We all know that 20mph restrictions reduce not only the number of accidents but also the severity of them.
“The restriction is going down well in Rubery and there are demands from residents that it should be extended across Rubery. “To put obstacles in the way of reducing speed limits where residents want them is madness.
“The government should be doing all in its powers to remove red tape that stops local authorities introducing measures to reduce accidents.”
Brake wants the Government to make 20mph the default speed limit for urban areas but, short of bringing in that legislation, the charity is recommending more 20mph zones be brought in to make roads safer, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.
Dr Tom Fisher, research manager for Brake, said: “At a time when local authority budgets are being slashed by central government, that government has a duty to do what it can to enable those authorities to spend that cash as efficiently as possible. “However, when it comes to making streets in their communities safer, the government is tying the hands of cash-strapped councils with out-dated and unnecessary regulation.
“20mph limits are an effective and globally-recognised solution to unacceptably dangerous roads in our cities, towns, and villages.”