A major expansion of 20mph zones is on the cards to help improve road safety in Leeds.
Over the next few months highway officials are to hold talks with councillors to discuss how more of the speed restricted zones could be funded and put in place.
In 2011, 26 people were killed in accidents on the city’s roads, 271 were seriously injured and nearly 2,400 people were slightly injured.
Coun Neil Dawson (Lab, Morley South) says the figures highlight the need for more 20mph zones near schools and on housing estates.
He said “Road safety is a critical issue in this city.
“I would like the council to have a comprehensive plan to roll out a 20mph maximum speed limit to all roads near to schools and estates where residents request lower speed limits, and to then have measures to ensure the limits are enforced.
“I would like to see more highways resources used to create 20mph zones and also agreement with the police and other agencies to ensure these reduced traffic speeds are enforced in these zones.
“Speeding is the major cause of most vehicle accidents.
If you are travelling at 30mph you should just about stop without hitting them. If you are travelling at 35mph you will hit them at a speed of 18 mph and will certainly injure them.
“The 20 mph zone created last year on Fountain Street in Morley near to Fountain School and Morley Academy, has been a great success. The biggest complaint is that we need to enforce the new limit, not that it is not needed.”
The council currently spends over £40m a year on highways improvements and Coun Dawson said if a fraction of that sum was spent on 20mph zones it would be big boost to road safety.
Coun Richard Lewis, executive member for development, told a meeting of the council 20mph zones were being rolled out across the city and agreed more could be done.
He said: “We had an initial programme of six schemes covering seven schools and that was completed last year. This year we will have 11 schemes covering 16 schools.
“This is the way we should go and I don’t find anyone objecting to 20mph zones. I am sure the schemes will make our roads safer and lead to fewer accidents.”
Over the next few months highway officers will consult with councillors to look at how we can take this forward.”