The roads outside nine Doncaster schools are set to get a 20mph speed limit in a bid to put the brakes on irresponsible drivers.
Doncaster Council has announced initial plans for nine schools but also proposes to roll out similar safety measures to schools across the borough in the future.
Ros Jones pledged during her election campaign to make road safety changes outside every school over her term in office and the announcement follows a number of local campaigns by schools, parents, pupils and others.
She said: “The safety of our children must be a top priority – we want to reduce the risk of accidents.”
The nine schools to get 20mph limits are Wadworth Primary School, West Road Primary School in Moorends, Edenthorpe Hall Primary School, Branton St Wilfrid’s C of E Primary School, Arksey Primary School, Auckley Junior and Infant School, Tickhill St Mary’s C of E Primary and Nursery, Carcroft Primary School and Thorne Brooke Primary School.
These schools were chosen following special requests and are a reasonable geographic split, in context with the schools that are already within 20mph areas.
In the borough, more than 200km of roads are already 20mph zones, and they run past 40 out of a total of 120 schools.
Welcoming the plans, Coun Bill Mordue said: “The council is committed to a scheme to reduce speed limits outside schools. We know how important this is to parents and of course to children.
“We know for roads in general, reducing speed limits by just 10mph makes a massive difference to the stopping times of vehicles, cutting the risk of serious accidents by more than a third.
“We want the new limits to send a clear message to motorists to slow near schools.”
Road safety campaigner and Don Valley MP Caroline Flint said: “This announcement is a welcome step in the right direction. It shows all of those people who have signed petitions that their efforts are not being ignored. I believe that even during very tough financial times, Doncaster – like many other good councils – can afford to introduce 20mph zones near schools.”
Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband added: “I welcome Mayor Jones’ plans. It’s proven that 20mph zones help reduce the number of accidents and the parents and headteachers I’ve contacted in my constituency are very supportive of the campaign.”
Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton said: “Enforcing lower speed limits near schools is a sensible move. I believe parents, teachers and pupils will welcome this news.”
Work to introduce the limits is in progress – beginning with the initial legal criteria to advertise the new proposals and consult with public notices.
Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies had opposed calls for the 20mph limits to be brought in and said it was not backed by police.
He said cars speeding outside the school was not a major issue, pointing out the roads were too busy for cars to be able to travel at speed.