‘MAJOR’ progress in road safety across the borough - including plans for all schools to be assessed to see if 20mph zones will keep kids safer - was discussed by councillors this week.

During Tuesday’s overview and scrutiny meeting, councillors were given an update on the progress against all the recommendations which were made at the end of 2020.

These included assessing all Barnsley schools to see if a 20mph zone will ensure safer journeys, a local road safety strategy, a new local road safety working group which has been launched with a number of partners, and that the number of road casualties in Barnsley continues to reduce, as does the total number of people killed or seriously injured.

A major development since the 2020 meeting has been the £90,000 Neighbourhood Road Safety Pilot which considers locations which many not quality for improvements under traditional criteria.

The pilot programme invited local members to highlight up to three issues in their ward - of the 47 suggestions made, five have been taken forward and a further 15 will be addressed as part of other programmes.

Coun James Higginbottom, cabinet spokesperson for environment and transport, said: “Feedback from elected members on our Neighbourhood Road Safety Pilot has been extremely positive and this process has been a welcome addition to the annual decision-making process regarding how we improve road safety for our residents.

“Local members and communities bring a huge amount of local intelligence about road safety which is so valuable.

“The members on the Overview and Scrutiny Commission have given us some really valuable feedback on the progress we’ve made.

“Our professional officers, elected members and strategic partners will continue to work together as effectively as we possibly can to prevent people being killed and seriously injured on our roads.”

There was reportedly a ‘strong message’ from councillors that statistics will not be the only guide to where road safety improvements are made - and that the road safety strategy will also be used to tackle many of the issues that are raised.

Coun Jeff Ennis, chair of the overview and scrutiny committee, added: “This was an excellent session and it’s clear elected members have a depth of knowledge on road safety in their wards because they have their ear to the ground and know what’s happening in their communities.

“Our South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership does an excellent job, and I’m reassured that councillors, professional officers and our partners continue to do fantastic work in helping keep our residents safe.”