South East MEP seeks 20mph school speed limits in Kent

Image caption,
Oxford and Portsmouth have 20mph speed restrictions in residential streets

Kent County Council is being accused of "resisting" attempts to create 20mph speed limits outside schools without other traffic calming measures.

South East MEP Keith Taylor, of the Green Party, said the measure was "a clear safety issue" to stop children from being seriously injured or killed.

He said the zones were in use in other areas, such as Portsmouth and Oxford.

Nick Chard, cabinet member for highways, said it was not practical to have such a limit outside school hours.

Mr Taylor, who is responsible for road safety issues on the European Parliament's transport committee, said: "Both Oxford and Portsmouth have shown that 20mph residential streets reduce the speed of traffic without the need for other traffic calming measures."

He said it was a reasonable suggestion "yet there seems to be little enthusiasm to do this despite the overwhelming support of local people".

"The facts are clear, a pedestrian hit by a car travelling at 20mph is likely to suffer slight injuries, but at 30mph they are likely to be severely hurt," he said. "At 40mph or above they are likely to be killed."

In response, Mr Chard said road safety in Kent was paramount and it was more practical to have amber flashing lights warning of school crossings.

"I've asked officers to look at how we can get drivers to slow down," he said.

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