Delight at 20mph zone in Crewkerne
A CAMPAIGN to get a 20mph limit through Crewkerne has made major progress after Somerset County Council agreed in principle to the scheme.
Crewkerne county councillor John Dyke, who has campaigned for the limit since 2005 to ensure the safety of pupils on their way to Ashlands First School, wrote to head of Somerset highways Ioan Rees following a roads summit two weeks ago.
In his reply, Mr Rees said it was worth proceeding with the introduction of the limit in view of general support for the idea.
He said: "Whilst there are still some problems with a 20mph zone, I agree that this offers the only practical way of reducing speed in North Street. It should complement some of the ideas which have been discussed previously to manage traffic in a way that gives potential for improvement to the 'shared space' in the town centre."
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Details of the zone are still being considered, but Mr Rees thought it would cover Ashlands School in North Street, Market Street, East Street and the West Street/Gouldsbrook Terrace/Church Street area.
He said when the precise details of the scheme were formulated, they would be subject to detailed discussions with the police and town council.
Cllr Dyke said: "This is indeed welcome news. I am sure this will also solve the position at Ashlands school where I have been trying to secure a 20mph limit for at least the last four years. I am sure that Carol Wills, the head of Ashlands school, and the parents of all the children who attend the school will be thrilled at the news.
"I know too that residents of West Street will welcome the news since this is an area of the town where cars speed up as they see open road in front of them. It will also put Crewkerne in the same position as neighbouring towns like Beaminster and Axminster. It has been a hard slog and it has shown that getting all senior elected representatives together can lead to a successful result."
A 20mph zone was one recommendation of a transport study carried out two years ago by Somerset County Council. Crewkerne Town Council unanimously agreed to it, while calls from other parties, including Ashlands school, for such a limit have also been made. Work is also being carried out by steering group, A Better Crewkerne and District, into town centre traffic management.
The move comes following funds being available through Waitrose's £154,000 contribution towards traffic management which was a condition of planning permission for its store.
Marcus Barrett, Conservative candidate for the county council elections in June, said: "I am delighted to learn that after the 100-strong St Valentine's Day march, the petitions and the united front in going to County Hall, we now have people listening. But it is disappointing such pressure is needed finally to get things moving."
Campaigners, including Mr Barrett, who previously called for a 20mph limit just on North Street, were rebuffed by the highways authority which said there was nowhere to put the required signs. But with a larger 20mph zone being considered there should be other places to locate the necessary signs.