Road Safety & Cllr. Harry Smith – Facts not Fiction

I was going over a question Cllr Smith was asked on the 18th October by my wife (which follows on from a further question) the previous year.

Harry said, “I understand from the Director of Technical Services that the investigations into the concerns raised by the petitioners are still ongoing due to a number of factors.”

John says, “The petition about Brow Road/Boundary Road/Worcester Road/Hoylake Road was handed in on the 8th October 2009 at the Bidston & St. James/Claughton Area Forum (see section 5 Public Question Time). Are you seriously saying that 375 days after the petition has been handed in investigations are still “ongoing”?

This was a time when you were Labour’s spokesperson on the topic. However standing order 21 forbids you from speaking about the petition at all!

Moving swiftly on:-

Harry said, “I understand that whilst it was the intention of the Director of Technical Services to report the findings of his investigations into the petitioners concerns to a meeting of the Highways and Traffic Representation Panel prior to the formulation of the 2010/11 Road Safety Block programme.”

John says “Yes, but doesn’t this contradict the answer you gave on the 2nd November 2009 when you told a full meeting of the council that it would be considered as part of the 2010/11 Road Safety Block programme?”

Harry says “this was not in fact possible due to the fact that part of Boundary Road is included in Government’s requirement that each Highway Authority in the UK undertake a review of speed limits on all A and B class roads and implement any changes by 2011.”

Yes, a review of speed limits of all A, B and C roads was agreed by a Labour-led Cabinet many months before the petition. However this covered all roads. In fact what was agreed was that a list of petitions/public enquiries would be made available to those doing the study (which cost about £400,000). See 4.1 of this this report (which was agreed by Labour councillors).

Other factors such as fatalities on Boundary and Hoylake Road should’ve factored in too. I’ve read through the Department for Transport Circular mentioned in the report. It mentions many things, but there is no legal requirement on Wirral Council to implement changes by 2011.

The sentence in the document is “Traffic authorities are, however, asked to review the speed limits on all of their A and B roads, and implement any necessary changes, by 2011 in accordance with this guidance.”

134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH

Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.