CAMPAIGNERS who have fought for a speed limit reduction to come into force outside a school where drivers were clocked travelling at more than 70mph hope to have their calls finally answered in the new year.

Members of the ’30 For A Reason’ group - which centres around Millhouse Primary School on Lee Lane in Millhouse Green - have been urging action for the last three years.

Of the town’s 70-plus primary schools, it is the only one to have a 40mph limit outside its gates and following campaigners’ meetings with Barnsley Council’s highways department and South Yorkshire Police, progress appeared to have been made in securing a 30mph limit.

However, it remains a 40mph zone and campaigner George Reid has urged the authorities to sign off on the idea to start the official process after receiving almost 600 signatures from concerned parents and residents.

“It is the only primary school in Barnsley that opens its gates onto a 40mph road,” he told the Chronicle.

“Our aim is to reduce the speed limit to 30mph, as it statistically makes it 80 per cent more likely a child will survive if hit by a car.

“Our goal is to get this change before a school child is killed.

“Sir Steve Houghton, leader of council, and head of highways Matthew Bell met me for a meeting and promised they would support a reduction in the speed limit.

“Sadly, a dog was then killed in a hit-and-run in Millhouse Green.

“In February, South Yorkshire Police agreed to support a 30mph reduction too.

“So now with all that support, there really is no reason not to get this reduction.

“It’s been three years in the making, but the final puzzle of the jigsaw piece is getting the highways department to expedite the official process to get the speed limit change.

“It really needs pressure from all angles to help give this the final push over the line and finally get the 30mph limit for the safety of the schoolchildren in Millhouse Green.”

The group had a speed survey done on the road which saw average speeds of 45.2mph recorded, with 76mph the fastest.

Coun Hannah Kitching, who represents the Penistone West ward, added: “This is a long time coming and there’s been a lot of back and forth between the police and council, who basically said it was the other’s responsibility and vice versa.

“We’ve supported the campaign from the start as it is a fast road and it’s a serious safety issue for children and people who live locally.

“It’s a 40mph limit but we know that’s regularly ignored, but even when people drive at 40mph it still feels too fast, especially when HGVs do it.

“We’re still hoping that the reduction to 30mph can be done given the apparent support from the council and police as well as the hundreds of people who have signed the campaign group’s petition.”

A council spokesperson confirmed the local authority is looking into the request.

“We are aware of the concerns raised by the residents of Millhouse Green and the campaign led by Mr Reid,” they added.

“Early in 2024, we will work with our colleagues at South Yorkshire Police to review the current data and assess the feasibility of reducing the speed limit to 30mph outside the primary school.

“This is part of our ongoing commitment to improve road safety for our communities across Barnsley. "