Bradford Council is planning to introduce a new 20mph zone in the city centre and around a number of schools.

Proposals for the scheme were approved by the Council’s Executive Committee in January and aim to protect vulnerable road users including children, pedestrians and cyclists by improving road safety at key locations of the district. It is also hoped that it will also encourage more people to take up walking and cycling.

The zone covers Bradford city centre within the inner ring road and extends to include areas around the campuses of Bradford College and the University of Bradford.

The plan also includes the introduction of 20mph zones on a significant number of streets around Farnham and St Joseph’s Primary Schools, to improve safety for pupils on their journeys to and from school. The area covers over 1,500 homes as well as community and children’s centres and most of the streets around St Luke’s Hospital.

The scheme includes the introduction of a significant number of new signs and road markings to highlight the new speed limit.

The area of the zone has been carefully selected to include only streets where there are either existing traffic calming measures in place or the road layout and level of on-street parking and traffic and pedestrian movement already results in vehicle speeds generally around 20mph or below.

Several roads have been excluded from the zone due to their road type. These are Manchester Road (A641) and Leeds Road, Hall Ings, Princes Way, Godwin Street and Westgate (A6181). Also excluded from the zone are those streets which are in private ownership.

Because the zones cover such a wide area, the Council is holding two drop-in sessions for members of the public to view the schemes and have an input. The first will take place at the Oastler Market on Tuesday 26 February between 1pm and 4pm and the second will be at the View Room at Margaret McMillan Tower on Wednesday 27 February between 5pm and 6.30pm.

There will be separate consultation exercises with local residents, businesses and community groups for the 20mph zones around Farnham Primary School and St Joseph’s Primary School.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “There is real evidence that even relatively small reductions in speed can decrease the rate and severity of collisions, and that 20mph zones are very effective at protecting our most vulnerable road users, including children, pedestrians and cyclists.”

Sarah Muckle, Director of Public Health in Bradford, said: “All people have a right to safe roads. Introducing 20mph zones has the potential to bring about a range of health and wellbeing benefits for people in Bradford, particularly children. 20mph zones have not only been shown to save lives, but also have a positive impact on people’s physical and mental health.”

Dr Anne Connolly, GP and Clinical Board Lead for Children and Young People, Bradford City CCG, said: “As one of the youngest cities, creating a safe environment for our children is important. Traffic travelling at 30mph is too fast for many children’s visual abilities and many children are seriously injured if hit by a vehicle travelling at 30mph. The introduction of 20mph zones around some schools in the district means that we can create a safer place for our children to live and learn.’

Information about the 20mph zones is available at: www.bradford.gov.uk/consultations.

The consultation period for the city centre proposals runs until 5 March and the schools zones consultation period ends 7 March.