Durham County Council is set to announce plans to double the number of schools in the county which will see 20mph zones introduced by 2018.
The council’s cabinet agreed in December 2014 to introduce 20mph limits outside 33 schools over a three-year period.
However, phase one of the project, which involved 13 schools in the Chester-le-Street and Bishop Auckland areas, was completed ahead of schedule and under budget due to use of smaller, less expensive signs.
As a result, the cabinet will tomorrow (11 May) be recommended to agree to use the money saved to introduce 20mph limits at an estimated further 33 schools, doubling the original number.
The initial 33 signs are now scheduled to be in place a year early with the additional 33 proposed to be added over the following two years.
Cllr David Boyes, chairman of Durham’s 20mph Overview and Scrutiny Working Group, said: “The project to bring in 20mph limits outside schools was introduced to keep our children safe.
“The efforts of both officers and councillors to date have seen results which have far exceeded the original objectives of the project and this is something in which we can all be very proud.”
The announcement came at the same time as the council revealed the four Chester-le-Street pupils who have had their artwork turned into road signs as part of a 20mph competition (pictured).
Designs by Josh Rowe, Lauren Roberts and Faye Haynes from Cestria Primary School and Ethan Arkle from Park View Lower School were selected by members of the council’s ‘Slow to 20 for Safer Streets’ project team.
John Reed, head of technical services at the county council, said: “The purpose of the Slow to 20 schemes is to reduce traffic speeds around the schools during drop off and pick up times, which will help to improve road safety for all road users as well as making walking, cycling and outdoor play more attractive.
“I would like to congratulate the winners on their designs for the new signage, which will go a long way to help enforce this important message.”