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Praise for 20mph speed zones installed at more than 70 schools across Wrexham

20mph speed zones have been installed outside more than 70 schools across Wrexham.

A total of 77 schools across the county borough now have 20mph speed zones in place, with just one school left to have the limit implemented.

The figures were detailed at part of Wrexham Council’s ‘Setting Local Speed Limits Policy’, which was presented to the Executive Board last Tuesday.

Speaking at the meeting, Lead Member for Environment and Transport Cllr David A Bithell said the policy was “all encompassing” and “brings everything together.”

Cllr Bithell continued: “It did go to the Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee and it brings together a number of projects we have been undertaking over the past few years in respect of 20mph zones.

“We are at the end of our journey at introducing 20mph zones outside schools and at the end of this financial year, 77 schools in the county borough with have a 20mph zone. There is just one outstanding to be completed.

“It has taken over eight years, it is a significant achievement we have undertaken throughout the county borough.”

It was also pointed out that it is thought that Wrexham Council is the only local authority in the Wales to have enforced so many 20mph speed zones outside schools

Seconding the report, Cllr Paul Rogers offered his congratulations to the environment department on the progress made so far in delivering the 20mph speed zones outside local schools.

Cllr David Kelly said: “We must pay tribute to policy officers for listening and for implementing the criteria.

“There is one section in my ward that has been waiting for a 30mph limit, we’re talking since the 1960s. It has only been achieved recently. I have a lot of praise for officers for getting to where we are.

“The enforcement issue because a police issues. We have to keep encouraging residents to get onto the police and GoSafe and come up with a percentage speed that proves the need for enforcement in certain areas.”

Cllr Rob Walsh called for clarification on what local communities worried about speeding in their areas can do to put a stop to it.

Cllr Walsh said: “I’m advice for local members and members of the public who are concerned, particularly as Cllr Kelly said about speeding in certain parts of the wards.

“What advice would you give if it doesn’t match the criteria necessary for that to be brought down to 20mph and 30mph. What other options, apart from enforcement options, would be available to the public and local members?”

Cllr Bithell pointed out that there are road safety officers in the environment department who work across the region, promoting casualty reduction and speed limits and that local members concerned about speeding should contact them for advice.

He continued: “With enforcing, whether its a 20mph, 30mph or 60mph, that is a matter for North Wales Police. The officers in our department have limited resources, but I know GoSafe in particular do surveys on the back of some of the work we do.

“I would recommend to the public, community councils or local members to contact the department to seek further advice.

“Also North Wales Police have been promoting supporting local communities and community councils where they can to use the speed gun and educate the public by taking part and promoting speed awareness in their local communities.

“I know at Rhos Community Council, we have purchased an interactive sign that we can move around. Other community councils have done it as well, it promotes a reduction in speed.”

Welcoming the report, Council Leader Mark Pritchard said: “I’d like to thank Cllr Bithell and the officers who have been on this long journey, which hasn’t been easy. Completing 77 2-mph outside schools, there have been all sorts of complications.

“I’d like to say that previous and present members and some no longer with us who started on this journey a long time ago, we were told then it would take 10 years and we have done it in eight.

“I’ve not looked at the stats, but I think Cllr Bithell is right, we probably are the first in Wales.”

Cllr Pritchard also jokingly pointed out he was “disappointed” that there was still one school without a 20mph zone and that he would be “very pleased” once it had been completed.

The report was supported unanimously by members of the Executive Board.

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