A LEADING county councillor is concerned a new speed limit review will allow motorists to continue driving at 60mph on country lanes.
Cllr Eveleigh Moore Dutton (Con, Broxton & Malpas), executive member for highways and transport, said local authorities had been asked to carry out speed limit reviews based on new criteria but only relating to A and B roads, not unclassified roads.
Speaking at Malpas Parish Council, she said: “The Government’s White Paper – we are still trying to assess the impact it will have – it’s about speed limits.
“It’s implied the majority of speed limits for A and B roads will be 50mph but when you go on to an unclassified road the speed limit again becomes 60mph and that’s barking mad.”
Her comments came in a discussion about the impact of Malpas housing developments at St Joseph’s and Corbett’s hay yard on the road infrastructure.
Guest speaker Paul Parry, from County Highways, said there had been a move away from traffic-calming schemes in recent times because of the impact on emergency vehicles and vibration issues for people living next to them.
He said most schemes coming on stream these days were paid for by developers whose housing schemes were likely to impact on local roads.
A traffic-calming scheme on Tilston Road would be a condition of planning approval for the St Joseph’s development. Mr Parry said the road was already on the county’s list as a road in need of safety improvements due to its accident record.
He said there had been “a lot of discussion” about bringing in 20mph limits in residential areas but the measures required to achieve this speed were “quite draconian”.
“Controlling speed at 30mph is a lot simpler and more cost-effective. We have got them in Home Zones but they are self-contained areas with no through traffic,” he said.
One male member of the public said a survey had shown speeding was an issue for 60% of Malpas residents but so far there was “nothing to suggest we are addressing the problem”.
But PC Rob Boulton of Cheshire police told the meeting the deployment of speed guns around the village showed speed limits were “pretty much adhered to apart from the odd idiot”.
PC Boulton said he had been “pleasantly surprised” that most drivers were also sticking to the new lower 30mph speed limit outside Bishop Heber High School and the 40mph limit from the school down to the A41.
l Ronald Crowe of Tattenhall has started an online petition to the Prime Minister calling for the speed limit on country roads to be reduced from 60mph to 50mph because of the lack of footpaths and hazards such as walkers, cyclists, horse riders, farm livestock and wildlife. To sign it go to: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/RuralLanes/#detail