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Brightside to get a 20mph speed zone
7:00pm Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in Echo News
CAMPAIGNERS have won a five-year battle to get a 20mph speed limit on a busy road outside a school.
Parents, councillors and staff at Brightside Primary School have long been worried about the speed and the weight of traffic on Brightside, Billericay.
It has long been used as a shortcut for drivers headed for the A12, nearby Perry Street and Mountnessing Road.
After a long campaign, Essex County Council has finally given the 20mph limit its blessing and earmarked £20,000 for signs and other measures.
George Jackson, who lives in Brightside, said over a six-day period residents had recorded 7,740 vehicles driving past the school, many of them breaking the 30mph speed limit.
He added: “It has taken almost five years of dogged determination to reach this point.
“We felt the speed of traffic was both unsafe and unacceptable. We thought the fact we recorded more than 7,000 vehicles coming down a school road in six days was remarkable.”
The 20mph zone is being created even though only one accident has been recorded in the road between 2006 and 2011.
Billericay West Basildon councillor Tony Hedley said the decision was important, as winning the Brightside 20mph zone could set a precedent. He said: “No one wants to see anyone hurt, particularly young children, and the road was being used as a ratrun.
“This is one of very few schools in the area which will have a 20mph zone introduced, but I think there is a growing momentum about these types of restriction and in future we’ll be seeing a lot more of them.”
The school has more than 350 pupils and its main entrance is on Brightside.
Kate Stout, deputy headteacher, said: “The new speed limit will encourage people to drive safely and more responsibly, and help keep our children safe.
“The limit is 30mph now, but a lot of drivers go faster than that, so having these restrictions is a positive step.”
A county council spokesman said: “The design for this has been approved, with a view for implementation next year.
“From the speed surveys held previously we know the average speed recorded was below 29mph and this meets the criteria for a 20mph advisory limit.”
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