A scheme to roll-out 20mph zones near schools in Lancashire is set to come £3m under budget.
It comes as new figures revealed the number of casualties on the some of the county’s most dangerous roads have been slashed since the zones were introduced.
A total 180 residential areas and 100 schools will be covered by 20mph zones by the end of this month.
The £9.2m scheme is set to come in at just over £6m.
Figures released by Lancashire County Council at a meeting of the council’s scrutiny committee showed there were 11 people killed or seriously injured in the West End of Morecambe between October 2007 and September 2010.
There were 81 people slightly injured.
Between December 2010 and October 2012, there were two people killed or seriously injured, and 22 people slightly injured.
In the Larches area of Preston, there were two people killed or seriously injured between July 2007 and June 2010, and 10 people slightly injured.
Between September 2010 and October 2012, there was no one killed or seriously injured and two people slightly injured.
The scheme has however drawn some criticism.
County Coun Janice Hanson, who represents Morecambe West, said: “I would have expected these figures to be zero, zero, zero everywhere. The amount of money and hype that has been spent is unbelievable. We have got a blanket approach across Lancashire that nobody wants. People have been saying to me what on earth are we doing with them.
“They are still going at 30mph and 40mph. They are still speeding.”
County Coun Tim Ashton, cabinet member for highways and transport, said they had not taken a ‘blanket approach’, and had worked with communities to develop different plans in different areas.
He said: “We are targeting resources to make sure everything we do is evidence based.
“We have 12 different plans, one for each district.
“They all have very different problems.
“Admittedly these three areas are ones with high casualty rates. I don’t think they would be repeated in other areas as they were started at a high rate. I know you can’t please everyone all the time.
For Coun Hanson to say no one wants it is a generalisation I can’t agree with.”
He said it was ‘difficult’ to determine which roads were suitable to be designated as 20mph zones.
He said: “The litmus test we use is if there is a high number of pedestrians or cyclists then it’s fit for 20mph. 22 seconds is all it adds to the average journey for a commuter. If we save one life through doing this I will have done a good job.”
The meeting heard that highways bosses would soon be looking at staged reductions in speed on roads.
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Weather for Preston
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 15 C
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Temperature: 11 C to 16 C
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