20mph zones 'a waste of money'
Councillors who scrutinise expenditure on road safety say spending £400,000 creating 20mph zones could be a waste of cash.
Leicester City Council announced this month that more than 100 streets were to get the lower speed limit.
Some 84 per cent of residents who responded to a public consultation backed the move.
But concerns have been raised by the council's transport and climate change scrutiny commission because there were in total only 31 minor – and no serious – accidents on the chosen 114 roads between 2008 and 2010.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Commission member Councillor Nigel Porter said: "We are very aware of the need to make sure our roads are as safe as they can be.
"However, when we heard there had only been 31 accidents it struck me as unusual that we would be spending this much money on those areas.
"All of us thought we should think about this, before we decide to throw all this cash at it.
"I think the people who were seriously injured on other roads would rather see the money going directly to the most dangerous roads.
"With the hard times we face and the restrictions on budgets, we need to think more carefully about this.
"I have a horrible feeling this is a publicity stunt and we should think more about it."
Deputy mayor Rory Palmer, the council's transport spokesman, said: "Thirty-one minor accidents is 31 accidents too many.
"During the consultation there was enormous support for the plans and I think it is only right to give residents the assurance they need that the roads they live in will be safe."
Coun Palmer said the scheme, which would see £100,000 spent next year and the same in the following three years, was a small part of the council's proposed £2.5 million spending on road safety improvements.
He said details of where else the money would be spent would be announced next year, but that they would take into account accident blackspots.
Last week, the council announced £600,000 of cuts affecting areas including bus subsidies, libraries and services for homeless people.
More cuts are due to be announced this week.
The council is aiming to cut a total of £70 million over three years.
Coun Palmer said: "We've got a lot of tough decisions to make but road safety has to be a top priority."
People have until Tuesday, January 3, to lodge any objections to the 20mph zone plans.