CAMPAIGNERS battling for anti-speeding measures near a busy school have expressed their delight after Barnsley Council’s highways bosses announced 20mph warning signs will be installed by the summer.
Members of Speed Awareness Group Ardsley (SAGA) formed three years ago as a result of witnessing frequent near-misses on Doncaster Road, which has a 40mph limit.
Although the road’s speed camera has been decommissioned and will be removed due to a low strike rate - despite campaigners claiming cars have been spotted driving at twice the limit - nearby Oakhill Primary School will receive a ‘much-needed’ intervention.
It’s also been confirmed that mobile speed operations - carried out by South Yorkshire Police - will also step up on Doncaster Road.
John Evans, from SAGA, said: “This is a major step forward as people do take notice of the flashing signs, especially when they warn a school is nearby.
“Our concerns have been made to the various authorities over many years.
“This has been given the full and still ongoing support from locals, including ex-councillor Wayne Johnson and Coun Andrew Gillis.
“We feel confident, that the schemes proposed will reduce the number of accidents and improve road safety for residents of all ages within the community.”
Cash for the project - which will result in signs being installed by the time children return from their summer holidays in September - comes from the council’s neighbourhood road safety initiative, which promises quick fixes in areas identified by councillors on residents’ behalves.
Matt Gladstone, executive director for place at Barnsley Council, added: “We will be installing flashing 20mph signs on Doncaster Road, near Oakhill Primary School, in the summer.
“This is part of the pilot scheme which is one of the mechanisms being used to improve road safety across the borough.
“The history of vehicle collisions around the site shows that in the period between 2017 to 2019, only one slight injury collision was reported within a 200-metre radius.
“We don’t have any evidence that there have been many near-misses and would encourage members of the public to report every accident.
“We have agreed with South Yorkshire Police that we will continue to monitor vehicle speed and collision data at the site, and should these factors increase, we will, of course, consider additional interventions.”
Coun Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesperson for environment and transportation, thanked councillors in the area for their help in shaping the scheme.
“Local councillors, and members of the public, often tell us that particular roads are dangerous, but sometimes the information from police about collisions might not back that up,” he added.
“We understand these concerns, and we have listened.
“This proposed pilot funding presents a different opportunity to look at local intelligence and feedback from the community to consider locations which we believe do present a risk and where action might be needed.
“The cash available under this initiative is in addition to the £639,000 proposed investment for the 2021/22 financial year.”
The number of casualties killed or seriously injured on Barnsley’s roads has been increasing since 2016 - something which SAGA members believe will continue unless preventative measures are brought in.
Joanne Wehrle, manager of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, urged drivers too slow down.
“Speed is a critical issue for the safety of our roads - no-one was ever killed by a stationary vehicle.
“We all have a part to play in keeping each other safe and we want to help everyone understand why speed matters.
“Every mile per hour you travel above the speed limit massively increases the risk of fatally injuring someone in a collision.
“The pain and heartache caused by road collisions changes lives forever and we are determined to do everything we can as a partnership to prevent this.”