Campaign launched to cut speed limit in Peterlee streets

Andrew Watson outside of  Acre Rigg Academy.

Andrew Watson outside of Acre Rigg Academy.

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A CAMPAIGN has been launched to cut the speed limit on streets in a bid to increase safety.

Peterlee Town Councillor Andrew Watson wants suburban streets in the town to have the limit cut from 30mph to 20mph.

But Durham County Council says it is assessing the effectiveness of 20mph zones before any more are implemented in the town.

Coun Watson is the 20’s Plenty for Us campaign co-ordinator for Peterlee.The Free Association for Independent Representation Party councillor – a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents (RSPoA) Advanced Drivers and Riders scheme – said he wants the speed limit to not just apply to areas around schools. He added: “It’s not just about preventing accidents, it’s about making the place safe.”

He has handed out petitions at residents’ meetings and so far, about 80 per cent are in favour.

Coun Watson said staff at Acre Rigg Academy are supporting the scheme, and a petition has been left in the school for parents to sign.

He said: “The 30mph speed limit is more than 70 years old. It’s outdated with the amount of people and cars these days.”

Coun Watson hopes to get the subject on the agenda for the next Peterlee Town Council meeting, and then hopes the county council will look into his proposals.County council traffic and community manager Keith Jameson said: “We have been supportive of 20mph zones, particularly near schools and in areas where there is a higher-than-average number of accidents.

“However, our experience in introducing these limits has been mixed.We are currently carrying out further research into the effectiveness of 20mph zones and our findings are due to be considered by cabinet in spring of next year.

“At the moment, there are no plans to introduce 20mph limits in the Peterlee area until the report has been considered by cabinet.”