Are 20mph speed limits needed in all residential areas?

20MPH ... should that be the speed limit in all residential areas?
20MPH ... should that be the speed limit in all residential areas?

CURB your speed. That was the cry from campaigners following a collision in Marsden which saw a horse killed.

But should blanket 20mph speed limits be introduced in built-up residential areas? We sought the views of shoppers.

A clamour for the introduction of more 20mph limits on selected South Tyneside roads has gathered speed since the death of a horse in Marsden.

Horse lovers are calling for blanket speed limits outside stables and livery yards following an accident in which a horse died and its female rider suffered a broken ankle in a collision with a van in Lizard Lane, Marsden, South Shields, on Sunday, July 13.

Another suggestion raised is the creation of more ‘Pegasus’ crossings in the borough – which direct motorists to give ‘special consideration’ to horses in particular


But there is a wider debate over speed clampdowns with calls for 20mph limits in all built-up residential areas close to schools.

We sought the views of shoppers in King Street, South Shields.

And the response was unanimous – lowering the speed limit will save lives. That was certainly the view of builder Michael Emmerson, 55, of the Holder House Estate, South Shields.

He said: “I know that stretch of road where the horse was killed because I used to live in Whitburn and my wife kept a horse there.

“She regularly had problems with spending traffic. There is also another hazard – golf balls flying across from the golf course.

“I would always defend the use of 20mph limits in locations where there are schools and where there are horses.”

BT worker and sometime comedy compere Luke Milford, 24, of Sea Winnings Way, South Shields, said: “I used to drive on that road where the horse was killed when I was at university and you really pick up speed when you roll down that hill.

“I can easily see how that accident happened.

“Speed limits make perfect sense in areas where there are pupils walking to and from school, but there has to be a limit. In open areas I think 30 mph is fine.”

Student Sophie Anne Richardson, 18, of South Frederick Street, South Shields, added: “I don’t drive yet but you do get 18-year-olds who really go crazy when they pass their test and don’t think too carefully about the consequences.

“That’s unacceptable and speed limits are a way of curbing that behaviour.”

Retail worker Steph Baker, 20, from Westoe, is also familiar with the Lizard Lane area.

She said: “There should be speed limits on the whole stretch of that road because it is dangerous.

“My mam lives on the other side of that hill and the road is extremely narrow. I think action should be taken to widen it.

“More generally I would back any limits outside schools. Any action to stop that has to be supported.”

Horse lover and retired Westoe Colliery miner Vic Strom, 66, from Boldon, is a staunch believer in road safety.

He has raised concerns to South Tyneside Council over motorists ignoring a ‘no right turn’ sign in North Road, Boldon Colliery.

Mr Strom said: “I’m fully in support of speed limits to protect the horse riders and their animals. Crossings for horse riders should also be considered.”

Support worker Natalie Bolam, 28, from South Shields, added: “That part of Lizard Lane is really narrow. Horse riders need all the protection they can get.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul