Alliance Councillor Michael Long has welcomed a recommendation to introduce 20mph speed limits to cut road deaths in Castlereagh. However, Cllr Long has said the reduced speed limits should not just be introduced in conjunction with traffic calming measures but introduced as a stand-alone response to reduce road deaths.
Cllr Long said: “The new 20mph limits being introduced close to schools are very welcome. The reality is that pedestrians deaths and injuries will most likely drop substantially. A child hit by a car at 30mph has a 50 percent chance of being killed, but this figure is reduced to 10 percent at 20mph. The new measures are a step in the right direction.
“However, I have one major concern. It has been suggested that these reduced limits should be coupled with traffic calming measures. However, traffic calming is only provided at a fraction of the sites they are required at due to budgetary constraints. So if the reduced speeds are linked only to these schemes, they will have little impact. It would make more sense to introduce more 20mph limits in areas where calming measures are not provided so that they can have the maximum degree of impact.
“For example, I was recently told that my request for a 20mph limit at Stirling Avenue near Lisnasharragh primary school would not be granted as there were no traffic calming measures in the area. Surely the fact that Roads Service refused a previous request for traffic calming makes it all the more important to reduce the speed limit in the proximity of the school?
“I hope that the proposed 20mph limits will be introduced in their own right, and not just in conjunction with traffic calming measures. I have written to Roads Service again about the Stirling Avenue issue in light of this announcement, to try to encourage greater concern about child safety.”