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Road safety is being stepped up outside schools across Eden with the introduction of 20mph advisory speed limit signs. Signs have already been installed at Calthwaite, Lazonby, Patterdale and Warcop primary schools and on Penrith’s Bridge Lane near Ullswater Community College.
New flashing lights and signs have also been ordered for Kirkoswald Primary School.
Now, a programme has been approved by Cumbria County Council’s Eden Local Committee to enhance safety at more than 20 other school sites over the next three years.
The improvements are being funded by local committee and will act as an extra reminder to motorists to take care when driving near schools.
And to ensure the work is completed in a quicker timescale, committee agreed to transfer £11,000 of unused funds from its school crossing patrol budget to put towards the scheme.
At schools where warning signs and flashing lights are already in place, 20mph advisory speed limit signs will be added and at schools where there are currently just warning signs, both flashing lights and 20mph speed limit signs will be installed.
The flashing lights can be switched on at the start and end of the school day when pupils are going to and from school and indicate to drivers that the lower advisory speed limit applies when the lights flash.
At a number of schools no work is proposed. This may be due to the location already being within a 20mph zone, or that the road outside the school carries little passing traffic with very low observed speeds. When the agreed programme of works has been complete however, these schools could then be reassessed.
Twenty-miles-per-hour advisory speed limits can now be installed more easily at the discretion of highway authorities following the parliamentary passing of amendments to the Road Traffic Regulation Act.
Councillor Martin Stephenson, Chairman of Cumbria County Council’s Eden Local Committee, said: “Road safety, especially outside schools, is of paramount importance and this extensive district-wide improvement scheme we’re funding will help encourage drivers to reduce their speed and make the roads around our schools as safe as possible.
“This issue is a good example of how local committee is responding quickly to new opportunities that fall under our remit and I’m very pleased Eden is at the forefront of using the new powers we have under the Road Traffic Regulation Act.”