'Get on with 20mph zone in Shrewsbury' call after school barrier damaged
Councillors are urging Shropshire Council to get a move on with implementing a pilot 20mph limit in a part of Shrewsbury following a "dangerous incident".
A safety barrier at Woodfield Infant School was demolished in an apparent crash in Copthorne Road on Sunday evening, leaving the metal barriers twisted and wrapped in incident tape.
Councillor Julian Dean of the Green Party fears that the budget for a 20mph speed limit zone in Copthorne and Porthill is being "drained away on consultants".
The consultation closed in December 2022 but Councillor Dean said nothing has happened to bring it about.
"I fear there has been a leakage of money," said Councillor Dean.
But the councillor does not believe that 20mph signs on their own would slow down a percentage of drivers.
There would need to be "engineering solutions", he says.
"Signs would help but would not address the problem," he added.
"There are regular issues at Copthorne Road and at the Pengwern Road junction.
"I am worried about leakage of funding when consultants who don't live in Shrewsbury have to go back to the drawing board.
"There was 80 per cent support for a 20mph area but no final design has been completed. It is bouncing between the council, the consultants and Active Travel."
Councillor Dean says though that road humps are "out of fashion" along with other solutions like "raised centre lines".
"There are ways of doing it to make drivers take a bit more care. Then a culture shift is needed to drive at 20mph," he said.
He added on social media: ""The delays in the 20mph zone are unacceptable and both Councillor Rob Wilson and I continue to push on this.
"The money allocated is leaking out of the system on endless consultant fees.
"Meanwhile the government is making it harder to win 20mph zones. But I have been told that the scheme is still alive.
"For me, this latest incident shows that there has to be some 'engineering', however light-touch, that will actually force down speeds, alongside the signs.
"It's really frustrating when we know that all this has been widely agreed but still we have to wait for final designs and yet more hoops to be jumped through before work is actually done."
Councillor Wilson has also posted about damage at a roundabout "which still hasn’t been fixed after being destroyed by a vehicle in May".
A spokesperson for Shropshire Council said that if there is money remaining after the New Street one-way system has been made permanent, it will be used to fund the implementation of 20mph zones.
The spokesman said: “Councillor Dean has been advised that Shropshire Council received funding from Active Travel England Fund 2 to deliver a number of schemes, including introducing a one-way system on New Street, and the closure of Crowmeole Lane.
"Both were initially temporary Covid measures, with New Street now set to become permanent.
“With the remaining funds we have commissioned WSP to undertake design work on the 20mph zones in Copthorne and Frankwell.
"If there is budget remaining after the New Street measures have been made permanent it will be used to fund the implementation of 20mph zones.
“We are aware of the accident by the school and we will await the report from the police to fully understand the causes, and also review any recommendations.
"However, it’s important to note that this didn’t happen during the school day.”