Lib Dems in forefront of move to reduce road accidents and save lives across Birmingham

20mph sign

Liberal Democrat councillors in Birmingham have drawn up a plan to cut speeds in residential roads and will be submitting it to Birmingham Council for approval this week. Road safety campaigners have stated that lowering the speed limit to 20mph could cut accidents to children by as much as 70%.

Councillors David Willis (South Yardley) and Paula Smith (Hall Green) will argue to reduce many speed limits from 30mph to 20mph. Councillor Willis said: "Lower speed limits will make streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists and car users alike and could encourage more people to walk and cycle." He added that half of people hit by a car doing 30mph will die compared to ten per cent at the lower speed.

During 2011 there were 28 fatal, 395 serious and 2,089 slight injury accidents in Birmingham. Councillors will explain that any lower speed limits would be introduced on a phased programme and in full consultation with local communities. It is hoped communities would approve as there are already 20mph speed limits around some of the city's schools.

This proposal could be accepted as it has been welcomed by the Labour Cabinet member responsible for community safety.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of road safety charity Brake, said: "Slowing down to 20 gives drivers far more chance to react in an emergency and avoid hitting someone, significantly reducing the threat posed to the most vulnerable road users .Slowing traffic could encourage more people, and particarly children, to cycle and walk, as road safety is a major deterrant.