Will 20mph limits really make our streets safer?
AS the sun beats down in Rosslyn Drive, Aspley, children from across the estate are out on their bikes and scooters, making the most of the summer holidays.
But parents are careful to prevent them from wandering into the road, fearing the speed that cars travel along the street – despite the 20mph limit.
The limit was introduced about three years ago to slow drivers down.
And Nottingham City Council now wants to see the limit rolled out across the city.
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But residents in Rosslyn Drive say the change would only have an effect if it is enforced through measures like speed cameras.
Julia Howitt, 53, said: "It makes no difference at all here. I'm not sure what they can do to get it to make a difference.
"There's speed humps in Rosslyn Drive but people shoot down this road off the island – it's unbelievable."
Anthony Wakefield, 69, who has lived on the street for more than 40 years, agreed.
"When I reverse out of my drive some of the cars that come along here could take my back end off," he said. "The 20mph limit just doesn't stop them. They'd be better off getting a speed camera up here."
The first new area that could see the scheme in place is Sherwood.
The results of the survey last year showed 63.1 per cent of the 991 residents who responded supported the proposals.
A roads and B roads, including Mansfield Road, Hucknall Road, Sherwood Rise, Nottingham Road and Valley Road, would be excluded from the 20mph zone.
Residents now have four weeks to submit further comments to the council, as part of the formal, legally-required consultation.
Councillor Jane Urquhart, portfolio holder for planning and transport, said: "I am expecting the final decision on the 20mph speed limit for Sherwood to be made before Christmas. In the meantime we are starting informal discussions with residents and organisations in neighbouring areas of Basford, Bulwell and Bestwood to get their views on introducing similar 20mph restrictions on their roads."
Any new 20mph speed limits that are introduced will be enforced with signs. No humps will be put in.
Road safety charity Brake supports the proposed limit.
But a spokesman said: "The benefits of lower speed limits are numerous.
"Ultimately we need to work towards 20mph being the norm in towns and villages to prevent needless tragedies and make our roads and communities safer for everyone.
"But the council needs to ensure that it is talking to and engaging with, local communities. Putting up speed limit signs does not go far enough.
"Local councils need to explain to local residents why these measures are being introduced, where they are being placed, and specific benefits they will bring."
It has not yet been decided whether the same A road and B road exclusions that will apply in the Sherwood scheme will apply in the rest of the city.
Cheryl Spray, 28, from Bestwood, agreed with the plans. She said: "I think it should be made to 20pmh in most areas as it would dramatically reduce the number of road accidents and deaths, and would make people pay more attention."
Brendan Bradley, 47, from Bestwood, was less confident that a lower speed limit would make a difference.
He said: "I think people abide by the speed limit around here anyway but if it does help improve the area then it is a good idea."
Roads in the city with the highest number of accidents include Mansfield Road, Upper and Lower Parliament Street and Maid Marian Way.
But the number of people killed and seriously injured on the city's roads fell by half, from an average of 260 to 138, between 2000 and 2010.
Brian Macdowall, a spokesman for the Association of British Drivers does not think a 20mph speed limit will solve road safety problems or benefit the environment.
"Blanket speed limits are not the answer for improving traffic safety on any roads," he said. "It's simply not borne out by road safety statistics.
"What it will do is force drivers down to using second gear most of the time, which will increase emissions and be worse for the environment.
"The probability is that the police will not have sufficient funding to enforce it. It's gesture politics at its worst."