Posted: Thu 11th Jan 2024

Police to start enforcing new 20mph limits in Wirral

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jan 11th, 2024

Merseyside Police will enforce 20 mph speed limits on more than 1,700 roads on Wirral.

Posting on social media, Wirral Council confirmed speed limits introduced in the first phase of the road safety scheme over the summer of 2023 will now be managed by police. The second phase of the new limits on nearly 1,000 roads will be rolled out in 2024 with two more to follow.

The first phase was unanimously approved in January despite some opposition to the proposals. Speed limits will now be enforced in parts of Wallasey, New Brighton, Bromborough, Prenton, Birkenhead, New Ferry, West Kirby, Caldy, Spital, Eastham, Claughton, Rock Ferry, Oxton, Seacombe, Woodchurch, Leasowe, Bebington, Port Sunlight, Gayton, and Heswall.

According to Wirral Council, 20mph limits are being brought in as part of a wider programme to reduce the number of casualties and deaths on Wirral’s roads and make roads in residential areas safer for children and families. Five people were killed on the roads in 2022 and over the last six years, 27 have been killed and 590 seriously injured.

However the plans faced a backlash with a petition signed by more than 7,000 people and the local authority’s Conservative group later later calling for a pause and review of the policy except around schools and accident blackspots. This was voted down by the other political parties who argued it will save lives.

Posting on Wednesday, the council said: “What’s the latest on 20mph speed limits? Last month, councillors approved a 20mph speed limit on roads from phase 2 of the project. And for roads in phase 1, the police have started to enforce the 20mph limit, which follows a programme of speed monitoring and motorist awareness.”

Protests by motorcycling groups took place in October and Wirral Council was accused of not listening “to the residents they are elected to serve.” However when councillors voted to move forward with the second phase of the scheme, the public seating area was largely empty.

Going forward, the council will look at some main roads that were included in the first phase as well as cul-de-sacs, which could potentially change back to 30mph. Council officers also acknowledged some mistakes had been made.

The enforcement of the new limits followed a targeted awareness campaign with Merseyside Police and Safer Roads Watch volunteers in Heswall, Wallasey and Port Sunlight. Nearly 300 car drivers had been contacted by Merseyside Police as of January 2 and the awareness campaign will continue.

 

by Ed Barnes – Local Democracy Reporter

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