Bishopsworth Tory Councillor Richard Eddy is set to test the Mayor over the effectiveness of the city’s speed zones in reducing road accidents.
This feature was one of the main justifications originally given for the citywide rollout of these schemes, at the controversial cost of £2.3 million. In addition, the argument is often advanced that slower speeds have higher survival rates in the event of a collision.
The citywide extension programme was finally completed last month with its implementation in Cllr Eddy’s Bishopsworth Ward.
However, critics point out that evidence from the local authority which first launched this initiative – Portsmouth – actually showed there was an increase in deaths or serious injuries following its introduction.
In Bristol, the road safety case was not conclusively confirmed by either of the two pilot trials conducted in the south and east of the city.
Now, Cllr Eddy is seeking an assurance from Mayor Ferguson at the next Councillors’ Question Time Forum that there will be a review of the pre-and-post “20’s plenty” position at a Neighbourhood Partnership level.
Cllr Eddy (Con, Bishopsworth) said: “I remain extremely sceptical over many of the extravagant claims made for the imposition of this initiative at huge expense.
“No-one has yet to produce definitive data or convincing evidence to back the argument that these have made our streets any safer. In fact, if anything, statistics tend to point in the other direction.
“There is an obvious case for the introduction of speed zones around schools and defined problem areas where there is a demand for them raised by local people.
“But this is a far cry from the expansive and expensive scheme we now have in Bristol.
“This controversy demands that a detailed analysis of their effect is undertaken through the Partnerships.
“After all of the political hoo-hah generated by this issue, the Mayor needs to establish in basic practical terms that all of this investment and disruption has been worth it.”
CONTACT RICHARD EDDY tel: 0117 9656544