Formby Labour Councillor Nina Killen holds public meeting to dis

Formby Labour Councillor Nina Killen with residents at the public meeting to discuss the 20mph zone proposals.

Formby residents heard both sides of the 20mph zone argument at a public meeting organised by Formby Labour Councillor Nina Killen on Monday evening.

Every household in Formby is currently being consulted on Sefton Council plans to make most of Formby a 20mph zone.

Residents are being asked which roads, if any, they wish to see change to 20mph. Liverpool Road, Altcar Road, Church Road and Southport Road will stay 30mph no matter what the results of the consultation.

In a similar consultation last year for the area around Piercefield Road, 1,581 households were consulted. Forty-two per cent of households responded to the consultation - 71% of whom were in favour of a 20mph restriction.

Harington Ward Labour Councillor Nina Killen organised Monday evening's public meeting.

Guest speakers included Rod King from the 20's Plenty campaign and Formby resident and opponent of the blanket 20mph restrictions Tony Taylor.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Killen said: "I would like to thank everyone for coming along to the meeting to take the time to find out more about the proposals and listening to both sides of the argument.

"This is a very contentious issue for Formby. That's why I called the meeting, so that I could gauge people's views at this stage of the campaign and to also give people the chance to have their say.

"Some excellent points were made on both sides of the argument which has certainly given us all plenty to think about before we submit our responses to the consultation, which is exactly what I hoped the meeting would achieve.

"We heard some interesting facts and figures about the numbers of accidents and the type of accidents in Formby over the past three years. For instance, there have been 46 injury collisions. Out of those, five resulted in serious injuries. Eleven involved pedestrians and 17 were as a result of speeding.

"But the question that we were discussing on Monday evening was, will the 20mph zones help to reduce that number?"

Cllr Killen said that while she personally supports the 20mph proposals, she will vote for the wishes of the majority of Formby.

Cllr Killen said: "I have three children. I supported the 20's Plenty from the beginning because I want to make the roads safer. But I do know that not everyone agrees with it.

"I carried out my own time trial travelling at 20mph and then again at 20mph to compare. Travelling from the BP garage to Beechwood Drive, there was a 45 second difference. At 20mph it took me 7mins 20 secs, while at 30mph it took me 6mins 35 secs. Traveling from Tesco to Larkhill Lane, there was a 22 second difference - 8mins 8secs compared to 7mins 46secs.

"The question for me is, will reducing speed on our roads save lives? Having looked at the evidence I believe it will. As one mother who attended the meeting said, if it saves one life, or prevents one serious injury, then it has to be a good idea.

"Since I was elected, speeding vehicles on our roads has been one of the biggest issues with residents contacting me to raise their concerns.

"So it is crucial that everyone has their say and takes part in the consultation.

"I'd like to thank Rod King, Tony Taylor and everyone who came along to the meeting."

In response to last week's Champion front page story, Cllr Killen said: "I have checked the signs on Freshfield Rd and they are correct, although I agree it is confusing for the road to go from 20mph to 30mph and then back to 20mph outside Formby High.

"We are currently consulting the whole of Formby about which other roads in the town might become 20mph. If the residents of Formby opt for the whole of Freshfield Rd to become 20mph then the 30mph signs can come down which will reduce the confusion significantly. I think that would be a very good thing."

The proposed 20mph scheme for the whole of Formby was advertised on page 39 of last week's Formby Champion and that has drawn criticism from residents.

Cllr Killen added: "The council decided to advertise the scheme at the same time as doing the consultation. This was so that when the final decision is made at Area Committee on September 4, the legal processes will have already been completed and the scheme can be implemented straight away, if residents and councillors want it to go ahead.

"Just because the scheme has been advertised doesn't mean it has to be brought in, and even though all the roads have been listed in the advert, we can still decide for some to be 20mph and some to be 30mph, or for all to stay at 30mph. Some residents have unfortunately deduced that the advert means it's a 'done deal' but that is not the case.

"We are carrying out the consultation because we want to hear the views of every household in Formby and I would like to see us go with the majority view."

 

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