Yesterday about 20 or so residents of Sparhawk and Southgate Streets made the effort to come to a meeting I had arranged with senior representatives of both the Police and Borough Council engineering staff in the council chamber.
The bad news we heard was that government guidance, which the Borough Council has to adhere to because we operate highways on behalf of the County Council, does not permit 20 mph speed limits unless average speeds are already not much higher (24 mph). This is partly because the police will not enforce these limits, something they confirmed at the meeting.
Do you find this as bizarre and unacceptable as I do?
Both parties have now made it absolutely clear to us all that the only way to get such a limit is to slow speeds by other methods first; so at least residents may now believe the unbelievable information I have always told them! The situation can be reviewed in a year’s time, and although I shall not give up the fight it would seem that unless other measures can reduce speeds I and residents will not win.
Some good came out of the meeting though. The police will now designate the Southgate corridor a special area of priority for 30 mph enforcement, by overt and covert methods. They have been carrying out similar work elsewhere in the town, as you can see from today’s Bury Free Press report.
Also, the Borough Council Senior Assistant Engineer will draw up and cost plans for further traffic calming. This would take the form of extending the insides of the two main bends so as to force drivers to slow down, coupled with appropriate road markings. There will be local consultation about this in due course, but this will take time - and be subject to funding!