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Frome councillors join campaign for 20mph limit

COUNCILLORS are backing residents in Frome who feel more 20mph limits should be introduced in  the town centre, around schools and in residential areas.

The call for reduced speed limits comes after concerns were raised in a recent issue of the Frome Times where readers felt the speed of motorists in the town centre was “an accident waiting to happen.”

Frome Town Council responded to these concerns from worried residents by vowing to pedestrianise the town centre, but many residents feel a reduced speed limit would also be of benefit outside schools and in residential areas, as well as the town centre.

In May last year, local schools, parents and road safety campaigners backed a nationwide campaign for more 20mph zones which was headed by the road safety charity, Brake. The GO 20 campaign wanted children to be able to walk to school without fear or threat from fast traffic and called on local authorities to implement 20mph limits in towns and villages, alongside other measures such as safe pavements, paths, and crossings.

And 12 months on, there are renewed calls for action.

Frome Town and Mendip District councillor Adam Boyden told Frome Times, “I think there is substantial support for more 20mph zones around all schools in Frome. All school heads want a 20mph limit around them if they have not got one already.

“On the town centre, I do think there is at times a speeding problem. Overall I would support all measures to make our streets safer for the whole community including our children and elderly people.

“So I would support GO20’s campaign, and look forward to seeing a local campaign group spring up. I also note that the Liberal Democrat party has adopted 20mph as a campaign. There was a ‘20s Plenty for Frome’ campaign launched a few years ago, and although that did not catch on and get widespread support, that was perhaps due to how the campaign was run rather than the merits of the arguments about the need to get us all to slow down.

“I am also helping county cllr Sam Phripp pursue more effective traffic calming on Stonebridge Drive, which should include a 20mph limit in this residential area near the college, and efforts to make that road safer by either reducing the gap between the humps (which people can drive at speed through) or replacing them with modern flat-top humps, but I understand we are still waiting for Somerset Highways to respond positively on that.”

Leader of Frome Town Council Mel Usher agreed that a reduced limit would be a positive thing for the town. He said, “I think there is a problem with speeding around the town centre although not necessarily in the Market Place itself where the issue is congestion and pedestrians being secondary to cars. Times have changed, no-one wants to prevent car use but it needs managing for the benefit of everyone.

“We need to ensure that pedestrians have priority in the town centre, they should be able to cross where it most suits them and not be shunted to odd places to dodge the traffic. 20mph zones have worked in other towns and I definitely agree with this restriction near schools. Accident survival rates are much improved where speed is lower.”