Urgent plea to cut speed limit on A6 through Barton
How can a council give the go-head for traffic to drive through Broughton village at 20mph and neighbouring Barton at 40 mph?
That is the question being asked by the Chairman of Barton Parish Council Graham Jolliffe.
He has spoken out as Lancashire County Council's cabinet prepares to meet on Thursday to vote on plans to introduce the lower speed limit in Broughton on the outskirts of Preston, and retain, pending further investigations, the 40mph limit in Barton village.
Coun Jolliffe has now made an urgent appeal to cabinet members to think again.
The cabinet will be asked to approve the new Broughton 20mph limits on parts of Garstang Road, Whittingham Lane and Woodplumpton Lane. It will also consider introducing a 7.5 tonne weight limit on Garstang Road in Broughton and a bus only lane.
A report to councillors says the changes are intended to “encourage motorists to use the new (Broughton) Bypass”, reduce pollution and congestion and improve safety for Broughton residents.
Coun Jolliffe said he welcomed the speed changes for Broughton but warned a million cars passed through Barton each year and speeds in excess of 100mph had been recorded twice earlier this year.
He said: ““I live in a small village of 1500 people. There are over 20,000 vehicels travelling through our village every day with thousands doing so at unsafe speeds. The Department of Transport has issued guidance in 2013 setting it as Government policy that villages should have 30mph speed limits....it’s clearly a breach of Government policy. It's a Conservative controlled council. They should be upholding Government policy."
A report to cabinet members noted concerns about the changes had been raised by a Barton resident, by Preston City Councillor Lona Smith, who represents Preston Rural North and by Barton Parish Council.
Broughton Parish Council had also asked if the speed limit on Woodplumpton Lane could be extended to include Broughton High School.
The report noted speed limits on the A6 locally were last reviewed in 2008 and the new Broughton ByPass had "changed the nature" of some sections of the A6, but the majority of objections came from outside the area immediately affected by the By-Pass.
But it said given "the level of concern" raised by residents and their representatives and the fact that it was nine years since the last review an assessment of the current speed limit through Barton would be made.
This review would follow the opening of the By-Pass last week so that the new road's impact on through traffic speeds in Barton could be assessed.
Any advice notes and legal changes since the last review would be considered and if a lower speed limit was deemed appropriate the council will, it said, seek changes through a Traffic Regulation Order.
But Coun Jolliffe dismissed this as " a feeble attempt to offer the promise of action tomorrow .. .in the face of a real and persistent danger to the lives and wellbeing of families."
He added: "Not only is reducing the speed the correct thing to do in accordance with Government policy, scientific evidence and a cost benefit analysis, it is also the morally correct thing to do."