A HEADMASTER has welcomed a new 20mph zone along two roads busy roads surrounding a school.

A green light will shine during opening hours at Durham School, when a 20mph speed limit must be adhered to along Durham's Quarryheads Lane and Margery Lane. Once the school day is officially over, no light will show and the speed limit will return to 30mph.

The move comes as residents continue to push for the 20mph limit to be made permanent along the roads.

Councillor Elizabeth Scott said: “Statistics tell us that it makes a huge difference in terms of the number of collisions and the damage done if a person is unfortunately hit.

"If a person is hit at 20mph their chances of surviving are significantly higher than if they get hit at 30mph.

"In terms of saving lives, slowing down by 10mph is hugely important, particularly around schools where sometimes children can be a little bit spontaneous with their actions.

"They might take a chance when crossing the road, but if drivers are aware of children in the area, then they will hopefully drive with more caution.”

Alongside reducing the speed limit to 20mph during school hours, the programme delivered by Durham County Council aims to educate children on road safety awareness and will promote healthy initiatives such as walking or cycling to school.

Cllr Scott added: “Educating children on road safety is essential.

"It is important because parents naturally teach their children about road safety when they’re younger but if that message is repeated through education it will be more likely to stick.

"I think educating children on road safety plays a really important part alongside the introduction of 20mph zones.

"Road safety is something that we have to be mindful of, in an ideal world we would have less traffic on the road, but unfortunately that isn’t the reality.

"We must slow vehicles down and ensure that we have the measures in place to make the roads as safe as we can whether that’s road markings, altering road layouts, or schemes such as the Slow to 20 for Safer Streets.

“I knew that controlling road speed around schools was one way that we could increase road safety in the area and we have now done that. It has been a long process but I am delighted to say that now every school in our area does have a 20mph zone or will soon have one.”

Durham School headmaster Mr Kieran McLaughlin said: “The introduction of the flexible 20mph zones is warmly welcomed.

"Pupil safety and well-being is our number one priority and reducing the speed limit on Margery Lane and Quarryheads Lane will only enhance the level of safety surrounding our school.

"We would like to thank Councillor Scott for funding the project.”