New 20mph zones ‘not for cash’

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Blanket 20mph speed limits being introduced across city residential areas are not a revenue-raiser to hit drivers with fines, insist Lancashire County Council and Lancashire Police.

Limits on dozens of 30mph residential roads are being made 20mph. But police and the county council say they will operate an “education rather than enforcement” attitude.

They limits are being brought in after a national survey in 2010 found eight out of Lancashire’s 12 districts were in the top 50 of the UK’s 408 council areas for children killed, or seriously injured.

Although the 20mph limits will be enforceable, Lancashire Police says prosecution would be a “last resort”.

But speeding drivers are warned that special operations will be carried out to target certain areas, and that schools and communities are helping out. Parish councils may also be armed with speed camera technology.

The new limit sees the introduction of “smiley face” speed signs to encourage drivers to stick to the limit.

Its introduction follows a School Road Watch operation in which students from Cathedral RC Primary School, on Balmoral Road, helped police check speeds on roads near their school. Pupils spoke with drivers found to be speeding.

Sam East, county councillor for Lancaster East, said: “There’s a real difference between the injuries if hit by a car at 20mph instead of 30mph.”

Chief Inspector Debbie Howard, of Lancashire Police roads policing unit, said: “The number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads is at the lowest in 30 years but we are not complacent.”

Speeding drivers could face a fine of £60 and three penalty points on their licence, or elect for the case to be heard in the magistrates court.

The Speed Indicator Device will be moved around the 20mph speed limit areas, covering Quarry Road in the city and Manor Lane in Slyne-with-Hest this month.