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Thursday, 20 November 2014

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Speed curb on cards for road outside Dalston schools

Campaigners are close to winning their long-running battle to get drivers to kill their speed outside two village schools – but the local lollipop man isn’t sure it will make the area safer.

Suzanne Brown photo
Suzanne Brown

A new 20mph limit is on the cards for a busy stretch of road running past Caldew School and St Michael’s CofE Primary School in Dalston, near Carlisle.

Signs are expected imminently after county councillors last year approved the move to cut the existing 30mph limit as part of a raft of measures for schools situated on A and B roads in north Cumbria.

Stephen Fraser, headteacher of the primary school, has been keeping pupils’ families updated.

He said: “I hope that very soon the 20mph limit is imposed. It could be that they will be killing the speed before drivers get to Nestle and hopefully it goes right through past the school. I want to ensure that as far as possible everything is done to slow down vehicles outside school.”

But Stephen Carruthers, the school crossing patrol man and bicycle repairer, doesn’t think lowering the speed limit will help him or the children he helps to cross the road before and after school.

“Lowering it will only make things worse,” he said. “It is the volume moving through the village, not necessarily the speed which is the problem and that is only going to get worse as there are new houses being built.”

He added: “When it is busy all you will have is more frustrated people trying to cross the road. It will be traffic moving more slowly, bottling everything up.

“I have to look after groups of people and I have to look for a safe gap to step out to stop traffic. If it is moving more slowly it will stretch out the rush hour period and I will have to try harder to find gaps when the cars are moving more slowly.”

Suzanne Brown, owner of the SuzieBou gift shop in the centre of the village, is a mother of two boys who attend St Michael’s School.

She said: “It is always helpful to have lower speed limits, especially around schools, but there are also other places in the village where speed should be looked at.”

A Cumbria County Council spokesman said: “The introduction of 20mph speed limits outside Dalston’s schools were part of last year’s programme which saw a roll-out of lower speed limits.

“The works for erecting the signage have been ordered and an exact installation date will be clarified shortly.”

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