Plans to cut speeds on A180 and A18, but will it curb accidents?
A DECISION on controversial plans to cut up to seven speed limits across North East Lincolnshire will be made next month.
The proposed changes include reducing the speed limit on the A180, between Pyewipe and Westgate from 70mph to 50mph, and cutting the limit on the A18 Barton Street from 60mph to 50mph.
Residential streets within the East Marsh and Sidney Sussex wards would be made 20mph.
Other proposals including extending the 30mph limit in Healing, making the route between Great Coates and Healing 40mph, and limiting Aylesby village to 30mph.
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However, public concerns over North East Lincolnshire Council's plans – which it claims will "cut collisions and improve traffic flow" – led to a special select committee being formed to discuss the issue.
A series of meetings will be held to allow the committee to hear from interested parties – ranging from members of the public and the Institute of Advanced Motorists to emergency services and road safety charities.
Members of the committee will also be taken on visits to all the areas earmarked for speed cuts, before a final discussion and decision-making meeting on Thursday, February 21.
At the committee's first meeting council officers and police revealed the latest accident statistics for each road and the factors believed to have contributed to each – which are printed in the panels below.
PC Barry Gardner, casualty reduction officer for North East Lincolnshire, added: "Many factors contribute to road traffic collisions, however, speeding means less time to identify and react to what is happening.
"Humberside Police endorses the implementation of all of the proposed reductions in speed limits."
PC Gardner said the A180 is one of the only urban dual carriageways in the country that still has a 70mph limit.
He added: "Reducing the speed limit to 50mph would still allow the free-flow of traffic but would cut the potential for collisions by reducing harsh acceleration and braking on the approach to roundabouts."
He said that introducing a 20mph limit of all residential streets in East Marsh and Sidney Sussex wards would reduce the "number and seriousness of collisions."
However, panel member, Councillor Peter Jackson, disputed whether cutting speed limits would directly reduce casualties.
He said: "I challenge the agenda that has been set by various agencies over the last couple of years that reducing speed will reduce casualties.
"It takes away the responsibility from drivers and road users by putting them into a straight jacket."
Chairman, Councillor Karl Wilson, said: "In my opinion, it seems that so far there is overwhelming evidence for reducing the speed limit of the A18 and introducing the two 20mph zones, but the details for the A180 seem sketchy.
"It doesn't seem to make sense to have such a major road as 50mph."
Keep reading your Grimsby Telegraph for updates.