SHROPSHIRE Council has announced that the first stage of a major scheme to introduce 20mph speed limit restrictions outside schools in the county is set to begin.

Councillors voted to develop the project in September 2020, with a programme of data collection and feasibility work set to start and is designed to be put in place where road conditions allow and will help improve both safety and reduce emissions around schools.

The first batch of surveys will start next week, primarily in the vicinity of secondary schools, much to the delight of Steve Charmley, deputy Leader and Cabinet member for physical infrastructure, highways and built housing.

He said: “I am pleased that this work is progressing outside our schools so quickly, with the surveys due to be completed by the end of June.

“There is no single generic approach for the introduction of a 20mph speed restriction, and site-specific characteristics will determine the level of intervention that may be required.

“In some circumstances this may be physical traffic calming and in others current conditions could suggest that a 20mph speed restriction is unnecessary or inappropriate and would deliver minimal benefits.

“This is a very important project for Shropshire Council and I look forward to working on it in the coming years to the benefit of all our communities.”

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, added: “We are really pleased to be progressing with this work to introduce 20mph zones outside schools which do not have one already.

“The safety of our children is paramount, and we are delighted to be progressing this to deliver the greater benefits to the school community, local residents, highways users and also the environment.”

As surveys are programmed, the relevant town or parish council will be alerted and headteachers, who have already been notified, will be spoken to again.

Data collection and feasibility work will only be carried out where schools do not currently have a mandatory 20mph speed restriction or where schools with multiple access points would benefit from the introduction.

It is believed that benefits of the data collection include identifying funding, promotion of active travel, parking enforcement outside schools and engagement of school pupils, while the schemes of work is expected to start in April 2022.