A CAMPAIGN is set to be launched for roads across Christchurch town centre to be dropped to 20mph speed limits.

Christchurch Town Council is being asked to support the 20’s Plenty for Christchurch effort due to concerns about road safety.

A motion by town centre councillor Mike Cox is due to go before the town council’s community committee today, Tuesday, April 12.

The campaign will call on BCP Council’s highways department to consider implementing 20mph speed limits in the town centre.

The motion says the exact roads for this reduced speed limit will be decided after consultation with residents and traders.

Overall it is proposed that 20mph speed limits should be in force in streets throughout Christchurch where people live, work, shop, play or learn, with 30mph as the exception on those roads, where full consideration of the needs of vulnerable road users allows a higher limit.

Councillor Cox said he decided to bring forward the motion following concerns raised by a town centre resident.

“There are concerns about the speed vehicles are travelling along roads in the centre of Christchurch,” said Cllr Cox.

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Mike CoxCllr Mike Cox

“The lower speed limit would make the roads safer, particularly around some of the schools. It is also would be better for the environment as pollution would be reduced.”

Discussing the current situation with the campaign, Cllr Cox said: “We are trying to get the town council to agree with it.

“Consultations with local residents and businesses will take place and hopefully they will be supportive.

“It is still early days.”

The BCP Council area already has a 20mph zone in place in parts of Broadstone, while a consultation is currently taking place for one in part of Branksome Wood in Bournemouth.

Cllr Cox said: “Once the town council agree to it, touch wood, it will draw up all the relevant documentation for an initial consultation.

“If it is an overwhelming no from the residents it will be a non-starter, but I would hope they would quite look forward to having slower vehicles on town centre roads.”

Town councillor Michael Tarling, who is seconding the motion, said statistics clearly show edthe increased chance of fatal injuries for pedestrians when vehicles are travelling at 30mph compared to 20mph.

"For me it is a bit of a no brainer," said Cllr Tarling.

"There is nowhere in Christchurch town centre where you need to go more than 20mph and often you will struggle to go any faster.

"It is a good message to send out that we are pro-pedestrian and to some extent pro-cyclist.

"I am very happy to support this scheme."

The overall decision over whether a 20mph speed limit should be introduced falls to BCP Council.

Christchurch Town and BCP Council member Lesley Dedman said: “I am totally in support of all things that can be done to improve road safety.

“I think we should really slow the traffic down where we can.”