Council launches £1m campaign urging drivers to love our streets

Calderdale Council is introducing blanket 20mph zone across Halifax town centre and elsewhere in Calderdale as part of a Love Our Streets campaign. Paul Butcher with the new signs.
Calderdale Council is introducing blanket 20mph zone across Halifax town centre and elsewhere in Calderdale as part of a Love Our Streets campaign. Paul Butcher with the new signs.

Slow down and love our streets - that’s the message from Calderdale Council chiefs who have launched a £1m campaign encouraging drivers to travel at 20mph across the district.

Under the £1m project, the first of its kind in West Yorkshire, the speed limit will be extended to cover almost all of Halifax town centre, with a new 20mph boundary to be established in July.

This will include Savile Park and Manor Heath as well as part of the town centre between Hunger Hill and New Road, with more signs added to hammer home the road safety message.

Priority has been given to areas that have had people killed or seriously injured in them - and the scheme will be extending to other residential areas around Calderdale over the next two years.

Local councillors, ward forums and community groups will be given information about the plans in their areas and can raise any objections.

A new website has been launched to support the campaign, which the council hopes will reduce air pollution and increase road safety.

Calderdale Council’s director of public health Paul Butcher said: “If people perceive the streets to be safer they’re more likely to go out and meet people.

“More people on the streets often means its a safer place and evidence shows a 20mph limit means an increase in people who walk and cycle and a reduction in car use which impacts on air pollution and physical activity.

“But we can only do all that with community support.

“We don’t want the police to have to enforce it. It’s about engaging with the community so that people driving at 20 mph becomes second nature.

“We’re trying to achieve a long-term behaviour change so that it becomes the norm to drive at 20 mph.”

A council survey of 2,000 people in Calderdale shows that 89 per cent backed the introduction of 20mph limits in residential areas, while 78 per cent said they would feel more confident letting their children play outside.

There were 562 people injured on Calderdale’s roads in 2014, of which 63 were children and young people, while 42 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in Calderdale in the last two years.