Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has officially launched the first phase of new 20mph areas for Liverpool.
The 20mph signs are currently being installed in Kensington, City Centre, Old Swan and the surrounding areas.
It forms part of an initiative led by Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Primary Care Trust (PCT), with the backing of Merseyside Police, to radically increase the number of residential roads with 20mph speed limits over the next three years.
Plans are being driven forward to more than double the number of residential roads in the city with 20mph restrictions – from 31 per cent to 70 per cent.
Under the plans, Liverpool has been divided up into seven areas, and these are being prioritised based on the number of collisions. The scheme will cover the majority of residential roads, including roads outside schools on strategic routes, where possible.
Mayor Anderson said: “The introduction of the first of the new 20mph signs across Liverpool is a major milestone in making our roads, and our neighbourhoods, safer. This is a really important project, which will bring massive benefits to our city and will potentially save hundreds of lives.
“The number of accidents on our roads has been reducing over the years, but we are determined to cut them even further. We want to create a city for living in, rather than just a thoroughfare for vehicles, and an increase in 20mph roads will play a major part in helping us achieve that.
“We’ve worked closely with our communities over these plans, and the huge amount of support we’ve received from them shows there’s real backing for what we are doing. By introducing additional 20mph zones in our neighbourhoods and changing public attitudes to speeding, we can make huge strides in creating a safer city for all.”
The initiative is being backed by a comprehensive speed reduction campaign, the 20 Effect, which aims to get the community on-board, raise awareness, and provide education and safety training.
The campaign has gained support from a range of partners, including Merseyside Fire and Rescue and Merseyside Police, who have launched 20 Effect-branded appliances; Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs, actors from Hollyoaks and many schools and community centres.
The 20 Effect has received a positive response from all sections of the community and these supporters are now being mobilised to spread the messages and benefits of reduced road speeds to their own wider communities, networks and social groups.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport Councillor Tim Moore said; “Making our roads safer is a key priority for us and we’ve been working hard to bring local people on-board with our plans to increase the number of areas with 20mph speed restrictions. The 20 Effect campaign has been a real success, engaging all sections of the community, helping spread vital messages around road safety and promoting our vision for slower speeds on our residential roads.
“I’m delighted that the first of the new 20mph areas are being introduced on residential roads in Kensington and the city centre. It will usher in a new era of safer streets for local people.”
Research shows that a pedestrian has only a 50% chance of surviving if they are hit by a car at 30mph, compared to 90% if travelling at 20mph. The increase from 31% to 70% of roads going to 20mph could prevent at least 54 collisions every year, cut serious casualties by around 22% and save £5.2m in costs associated with these incidents.