A CAMPAIGN has been launched to have 20mph speed limits introduced outside every school in Bridgwater.

Bridgwater Town Council has challenged Somerset County Council (SCC) to end its ‘piecemeal approach’ and introduce 20 zones to the lot, after voting unanimously to support the campaign

This follows a campaign by residents in Polden Street to get the speed limit reduced outside Eastover School, which is also hitting out at the number of lorries using the route as part of a ‘rat-run’ around the town.

The Mercury has also reported on a similar campaign started by parents, councillors and staff at Willowdown School.

Now Eastover representative Cllr Dave Loveridge has called on the town council to support the campaign. 

Cllr Loveridge said: “In Eastover, residents have made the case tirelessly over the years that there have been several near misses with children and there are elderly people trying to cross what are quite narrow streets.”

Campaigner Ernie Grant said: “Residents have also noticed cracks in their houses due to large vehicles travelling down Polden Street which is meant to be a three-tonne area and we want to deter these from cutting through side roads and staying on the main roads.”

Town Council leader Cllr Brian Smedley has undertaken a survey of all the schools in the town and has drawn up a list of priority areas.

Cllr Smedley said: “The residents have made the strongest possible case for Eastover and it is naturally top of our list to put before county council when they next consider these schemes after the May elections. 

“Some schools have adequate signage – Hamp, Sydenham, St Johns and St Francis are already covered, but Eastover is neglected here and residents are rightly angry.”

An SCC spokesman said: “Road safety outside schools is really important to us and we make sure there are appropriate signs in place.

"Any request for a change in speed limit is carefully considered in line with Department for Transport criteria, though 20mph speed limits are often hard to enforce unless other measures are put in place to slow traffic.”