Leicester CC has included nearly 1,200 residential streets across Leicester in a wide-ranging road safety programme to create 20mph zones.
The programme which began in 2011 has seen the speed-reduction work rolled out in communities across the city, and now includes 67 schemes comprising 254km of roads, which equates to around a quarter of the city’s road network.
Further schemes will also be completed, mainly in residential areas near to schools and other local facilities, and where there has been strong local support for measures to make the roads safer and to encourage more walking or cycling.
So far, the council says, £1.5million has been invested or committed to city council-funded 20mph zones, as well as others funded by developers as part of local planning agreements.
Additionally, urgent ongoing action to tackle the risk of coronavirus infection by improving social distancing and aiding sustainable transport, such as pop-up walking and cycling routes and pavement widening schemes, could also see further 20mph zones brought in at the city centre and local neighbourhood shopping areas.
The latest 20mph scheme to be approved will cover the streets around one school in the city, following consultation with residents and businesses in the area, 89% of which supported the implementation of a 20mph zone, and 86% of which also approved of a speed hump and pavement-widening outside the school entrance.
The scheme will cost about £40,000 to install, and is due to be in place in August.
Though a small number of schemes were put in place in the 1990s and 2000s, starting with Bede Island in 1999, they were brought together under a wide-ranging programme of works following Peter Soulsby’s election as City Mayor in 2011.
He said: “The work we have carried out since 2011 shows our commitment to making residential streets across the city safer for everyone who lives in those communities, by cutting vehicle speeds. We have been listening to residents and local ward councillors about local issues and what measures they want to see put in place. In some cases that has meant new schemes, while in locations we have extended existing 20mph zones.
“We are now facing the additional challenge of coronavirus, and the design considerations involved in making streets safer, with wider pavements, new cycle ways and a rethink of they way people use public spaces. 20mph zones have an important role to play in keeping all road users safe as we see a rise in the number of people choosing to cycle or walk.”
A rolling programme of 20mph zones has already included the areas around 72% of the city’s 114 schools across the city, with 10 more citywide schemes in the pipeline for the coming year.
Department for Transport figures show that for every 1mph reduction in speed, the frequency of accidents drops by 5%.