The Bickerstaffe Record
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Winter 07 Bickerstaffe Record

Sensible Speed Limits – a campaign update

01.26.07 | 2 Comments

(This is the article printed in the Winter ‘07 Bickerstaffe Record. Comments are welcome)

A great response
The response to our petition campaign for the lowering of speed limits on several roads in Bickerstaffe and South Lathom has been overwhelmingly positive. To date, only two residents have declined to sign, one on the basis that s/he was happy with the speed limit, one on the basis that it wouldn never happen anyway (remember that’s what some people said about the HGV ban in Bickerstaffe!).

Liverpool Road as exemplar – others to follow?
The first response has come in from the Local Authority, in respect of Liverpool Road, and all those residents who signed the petition should now have had a copy of that response, courtesy of Rosie Cooper MP’s office. This response is promising, in that it acknowledges the need to review the limit on Liverpool Road and gives a timetable for this (to be done by Spring 2007). We are confident that this stretch of road falls within the guidance for 30mph limits set out in the new Department for Transport guidance.

The letter also gives a commitment to reviews of all A and B roads in the area, and this will include Skelmersdale Road and the length of Wigan Road, Dicketts Lane and Blaguegate Lane.

The school zone campaign
While A and B roads may be the priority for the Local Authority’s review at this stage, the guidance is not limited to these roads, and we will be pressing the case for a review of other roads where we have collected petition signatures, most notably the Barrow Nook ‘triangle’, and to the school area. In respect of the latter, the lobbying for a 20mph zone rather than a 30mph zone continues, and a ‘special case’ visit from the Cabinet Member for Highways has now been promised. Such a zone would be implemented under different legislation and would, we understand, necessitate a lower limit on Church Road as the ‘feed’ into the 20mph zone.

South Lathom considerations
Residents will have noted that we have not yet collected petition signatures in South Lathom along Wigan Road, Dicketts Lane and Blaguegate Lane.

While peititions on Liverpool Road, Skelmersdale Road and Firswood have been ‘no brainers’ because residents are overwhelmingly in favour of a 30mph limit, the position on the main road through South Lathom js somewhat more complex.

There are certainly factors that favour a lower limit, including the frequent accidents at the complex junction of Dicketts Lane, Lyelake Lane and Wigan Road. However, other residents have also argued that to impose a 30mph limit all the way from the Skelmersdale boundary would be to encourage a subtle ‘merging’ of urban and rural areas, and that this may militate against residents’ wishes to remain clearly separate from the urban area.

In addition, this stretch of road forms the key ambulance route between Skelmersdale and Southport, an important consideration.

In the coming weeks we will continue to seek views on whether residents, on balance, would like to see a 30mph zone through the whole or through part of the stretch. If you would like to give your view online, you can do so by posting a comment at our new website, bickerstafferecord.org, or just call Paul.

We will of course forward any information we receive to the new South Lathom Parish Council (see front page) so that they can present the views and interests of residents in South Lathom. We will also seek to support whatever case residents wish to put to the Local Authority on this important matter.

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