By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
County councillors will reduce speed limits and increase the number of speed cameras on Nottinghamshire’s roads to bring down the number of people killed or injured every year.
The authority says it aims to reduce the number of casualties by 40 per cent in the next decade – from 286 in 2020 to no more than 171 in 2030.
The 40 per cent target is a continuation of the authority’s previous goal, which saw the average number of road deaths and injuries fall by 45 per cent in the decade up to last year.
The move was discussed at the council’s transport and environment committee on Monday, July 19 and received unanimous backing from councillors.
A report to the meeting said the council will support more speed enforcement, community speedwatch schemes, safety cameras and highway improvement schemes to make roads safer.
Additional measures such as driver education – particularly around drugs and alcohol – as well as better roads maintenance will also help the council achieve its new target.
However, some members said the council could go further.
Councillor John Wilmott (Ash Ind) from Hucknall North said: “While I fully support the reduction target, I fail to understand the council’s current, reactive attitude to road safety.
“I say that because of how many times members are told the council ‘will not consider road safety measures because there’s not enough accidents, deaths or near-misses’.
“This is despite warnings from the public and members alike. There doesn’t seem to be enough organisation, we’ve got to get ahead of the situation.
“Wouldn’t it be fantastic for there to be no deaths at all, because of the work we’d done beforehand to get hold of the problem?”
Cllr Penny Gowland (Lab) represents West Bridgford North added: “The right thing to do is look at the way roads are designed, we need to look in all planning applications.
“Long, straight roads encourage speeding, anybody who drives knows that, and it’s sometimes very hard to slow down on those roads.
“As well as having average speed cameras we should design the roads right, and listen to problems [from residents].”
However, despite their councillors’ concers, Cllr Neil Clarke (Con), chairman of the committee, pointed out that the authority didn’t have the money to do everything it might want to.
“Why don’t we do more?” he asked. “It’s back to the word balance. If we had limitless resources we could have a speed camera on every road and a zebra crossing everywhere.
“Unfortunately it’s trying to prioritise them and get the order going, so that we can do the best we can with the resources we’ve got available.”
A further report on the issue will be presented to the committee in the autumn with more details of how the 40 per cent target will be met.