MOTORISTS will have to slow down whilst driving through the town centre when a new speed restriction is introduced.

The 20mph limit will be in place on a number of streets in Darlington town centre to maintain and improve safety for pedestrians and drivers in the area.

The speed limit, which is the lowest that can be imposed on UK roads, will come into force on Monday, September 10, following discussions between the council, the police and bus operators.

The lower limit will be applied to all roads within the inner ring road.

The management of traffic in the town centre is under continual review and the area has a good safety record.

However, through engagement with the public, the council is aware that there are those who remain concerned about pedestrian movements in the town and the perception of excess speed of vehicles travelling in central areas.

The council has worked closely with bus operators before bringing in the new speed limit and will be looking to work with town centre businesses to ensure delivery drivers are made aware of the change.

Councillor Nick Wallis, cabinet member for leisure and local environment, said: “The town centre has a good safety record for pedestrians, but more can always be done to help people feel at ease when they visit.

“We hear from people that they feel vehicles travel too quickly in some parts of town – although our own speed measurement stats show they already travel close to the 20mph mark – but we hope that introducing the lower limit will help them to feel more confident.

“These changes have the support of the police, as well bus operators, who make up most of the vehicle movements in the town centre.”

Nick Knox, managing director of Arriva North East, said: “We are pleased to support Darlington Borough Council in their decision to introduce a 20 mile per hour speed limit around the town centre.

“Slower speeds bring many benefits to the town and local people, even simple things such crossing the road are made easier by reducing the potential risks.”

What are your views on a 20mph speed limit for Darlington town centre?

What are your views on a 20mph speed limit for Darlington town centre?

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