20mph limit will be extended in fast-growing town
Plans to introduce a new 20mph speed limit through the centre of one of the West's fastest-growing towns have been approved.
North Somerset Council is to introduce the new limit in Portishead as part of a £200,000 package of improvements to resurface and improve drainage in the High Street.
Work will be carried out at the same time to install new traffic-calming measures, including raised road tables at crossing points and a new zebra crossing at Coombe Road.
The new limit and safety measures are expected to cost £44,000., which is being funded out of Local Transport Plan Budgets.
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Council leaders have been calling for a reduction in the speed limit – which is currently 30mph – for several months.
A 20mph limit was introduced in the Cabstand and in part of Harbour Road in September 2009 as part of the trial to turn off the traffic signals.
And because it has proved successful in reducing the speed of traffic, the go-ahead has now been given to extend it right along the High Street.
The new speed limit will run from the Cabstand to the mini roundabout at Brampton Way.
Portishead councillor David Pasley put forward the idea of a 20mph speed limit when he was chairman of the town council last year. He said: "The 20mph speed limit at the Cabstand has gone some way towards slowing down the traffic in that area of the town. There is a problem with motorists driving too fast through the town centre, especially at night.
"The town is growing in size and that is bringing with it an increase in the number of pedestrians in the High Street.
"I put the idea of reducing the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph forward last year and I think it is a sensible move forward to extend the current one to run right along the High Street."
North Somerset executive member for highways, Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, said he believed the new limit would make the High Street safer for pedestrians. Mr Ap Rees said: "The response from the traders clearly indicates they were happy to have a 20mph limit in the centre of Portishead.
"Not only will this improve safety for pedestrians, it will also make the High Street more attractive for people to go shopping."
Work started on resurfacing and improving the drains in the High Street in October, but is now being done in two phases following concern from traders about the effect it could have on businesses in the run up to Christmas.
Portishead Town Council also asked for the timing of the scheme to be reconsidered to avoid it having an impact on local trade.
The road works are now being done in two phases – with tThe first section of the works in High Street, between Bristol Road and Clist and Rattle, will be completed by December 10, with work on the main section of the High Street starting on January 10.