‘TWENTY’S plenty’ is the message to drivers from parents, teachers and pupils at a Chorley school - the first in the county to benefit from a new programme to lower traffic speeds near schools.
New signs with flashing lights which will make the lower limit effective at school opening and closing times have been installed on the stretch of Bolton Road outside Abbey Village Primary.
Lancashire County Council is currently introducing 20mph limits in all residential areas.
They will also bring in part-time 20mph limits for around 160 schools located on busier roads which have a higher speed limit.
Tim Ashton, Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We already work closely with teachers and parent’s to plan the way children travel to and from school with safety in mind.
“Whether that’s encouraging parents not to park outside the gates, or introducing measures such as a walking bus for pupils.
“The new part-time 20mph limit outside schools is another step towards improving safety by managing traffic speeds at what is a high-risk time of the day as many parents and pupils are walking or cycling in the vicinity.”
Abbey Village Primary School welcomed the arrival of 20mph by unveiling a banner featuring pupils’ artwork which will be displayed at the school gates to highlight the new limit amongst parents and the wider community.
The lower limit is now operating automatically between 8am and 9am, and from 3pm to 4pm, every weekday during term time.
Stephen Knight, headteacher of Abbey Village Primary, said: “We are delighted to be the first school to benefit from lower traffic speeds outside our school.
“Bolton Road is a very busy main road and the new 20mph limit will ensure greater safety for our pupils at high-risk times.
“Our children have also been involved with the artwork on the banner and were really thrilled when they saw their designs actually printed on the poster.”
Lancashire County Council is supporting schools to make the new speed limits work with a package of information on how to use their introduction as a basis to teach pupils about road safety and engage parents and the local community to improve safety outside the gates.
As the limits outside schools are rolled out there will also be the opportunity for schools which continue to experience particular problems with speeding traffic to work alongside the county council and the police to monitor traffic speeds and issue warnings to drivers who break the limit.