Hundreds back 20mph campaign for village schools

Hundreds of parents are backing a campaign to have speed limits slashed to 20mph outside three village schools.

By Nick Frame
Friday, 2nd October 2020, 4:25 pm
Bell Lane in Ackworth.
Bell Lane in Ackworth.

Steven Westerman recently launched a petition for the changes in Ackworth which has attracted more than 360 signatures in just over a week.

The father-of-two is hoping the strength of feeling will help persuade Wakefield Council to take action and cut the limit outside Outwood Primary Academy on Bell Lane, Mill Dam Junior & Infants on Millgate and Ackworth Howard Junior &Infants on Station Road.

Having witnessed his own seven-year-old nearly step out into speeding traffic last year ago, he took the issue to Ackworth Parish Council which has backed his suggestion.

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But he says Wakefield Council has previously rejected the idea saying the low number of recorded accidents outside the schools did not merit such changes.

The 43-year-old, who lives opposite Outwood Primary Academy, said: “I put the feelers out beforehand and I’m really surprised by the response, it’s snowballed.

“I don’t want to be the one saying ‘I told you so’ if a child is killed or badly hurt as mine almost was - I’d rather it didn’t happen at all and think prevention is better than cure.

“The council is fully aware of the incidents on that road, but they are not aware of the near misses and the bad driving that goes on.

“Apparently, if a child is hit by a car at 30mph, there is a 50 per cent chance they will be killed.

At 20mph, this falls to just 10 per cent.

“For me, the former statistic is utterly unacceptable.”

To add your name to the petition, click here.Meanwhile, Glynn Humphries, Wakefield Council’s corporate director for communities, said: “We have recently undertaken a study to look at speed related incidents within 100m of all schools and in the last five years there were none recorded.

“We are in discussion with residents in Ackworth and they have been asked to provide some information and evidence as to the benefits of a 20mph speed limit.

“Once this information has been reviewed, and if there is the likelihood of a safer environment and a feeling that it will provide a nicer place to live, we will take the lead to make this happen.”