As local councillors for Freemantle Ward, speeding traffic is one of the top issues raised with me and my colleague Brian Parnell, by local people.
Being close to the city centre many of the roads are used as rat runs to get into town and to the station and they can get very busy indeed.
Also the local schools have grown enormously. When I first became a school governor at Freemantle school it was a small infant school. Today it is a primary with 500 children. Similarly St Marks School has expanded considerably and Banister has been completely rebuilt with both schools now all through primaries. This means a lot more cars and children walking, cycling or scooting to school. Speeding traffic and dangerous parking is a big concern from parents that I talk to.
Brian Parnell and I have surveyed hundreds of residents over the past year and the overwhelming majority favour slowing down the traffic in residential roads. The view is not universal but from the feedback we have had, about 80 per cent are in favour.
We have been talking about this issue with the council for years and people keeping asking us when will it happen. Introducing 20mph limits is a fairly simple and cheap process. Department of Transport rules changed a few years ago to make the process much easier for councils. All that is required are the signs, the introduction of a legal order - a traffic regulation order, and a formal survey to seek residents' views. We know council budgets are very tight these days but we also know the city council is making a huge amount of money from parking charges and fines, including the new 1st permit charges which hundreds of people in Freemantle Ward now pay. It is quite proper that some of this money is spent on improving the local roads and road safety measures like 20mph limits.
We have been talking for years about the problem and it is now time for the council to act and with so many more children now at local schools this has to be made a priority.