Slow down for safety’s sake

A 20mph zone in Wigan
A 20mph zone in Wigan

WIGAN Council has embarked on the final stage of its plans to put the brakes on speeding motorists in built-up areas.

The local authority has now begun phase three of its 18-month project to roll out 20mph speed limits on all of the borough’s residential roads.

Work has now been completed in Atherleigh, the first ward in the third phase to receive the new speed limits, joining the 17 wards which had roads reduced to 20mph in phases one and two.

Just seven wards are now awaiting the installation of speed restrictions, with the roll-out expected to finish in Winstanley in September. Council officers say the move to curb excessive speeding near homes has proved popular with residents.

Mark Tilley, Wigan Council assistant director of infrastructure, said: “We’ve received extremely positive feedback from the community which is vital as the support of residents will help aid the success of the scheme. We’re aware a mind-set change is necessary and working with the community will help to ensure 20mph becomes the norm in residential areas.

“Monitoring equipment along with the continued support from Greater Manchester Police will help us in continuing to promote the benefits of the reduced speed limit in residential areas beyond the end of the installation phase.”

The council is working with GMP on a range of community engagement activities encouraging people to slow down at the wheel, including visits to schools, workplaces and local organisations.

The town hall is also using the Twenty’s Plenty campaign slogan to get its road safety message across to residents.

The authority says lowering speed limits can seriously reduce the number of serious injuries on the roads, with a pedestrian struck at 20mph suffering only slight injuries compared to being severely hurt at 30mph or probably killed at 40mph.

The phase three work will take place in Aspull, Astley Mosley Common, Lowton East, Orrell, Shevington, Standish and Winstanley.

Phase one, which was carried out between April and September 2013, saw the 20mph speed limits introduced to Abram, Atherton, Douglas, Ince, the three Leigh wards, Wigan West and Worsley Mesnes, with the scheme extended to Ashton, Bryn, Golborne and Lowton West, Hindley, Hindley Green, Pemberton, Tyldesley and Wigan Central during phase two.