NEW 20 mph speed limits could be introduced outside five schools in Newton Abbot.

It comes after the majority of the town’s residents last year rejected new 20 mph limits on main and residential roads, but they did support them outside schools.

The proposal by Devon County Council, which is now inviting residents to give their views, would benefit St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Combeshead Academy, Decoy Community Primary School, Wolborough C of E Primary and Highweek Primary, as well as Newton Abbot College.

It would involve the introduction of a mix of mandatory and advisory 20 mph limits during school arrival and departure times.

Councillor Stuart Hughes (Conservative, Sidmouth), cabinet member for highways said: “We have worked closely with local members and our road safety team and have identified four areas for both mandatory 20mph limits and advisory limits.

“We would be grateful for any feedback or suggestions local residents, or businesses may have.”

Councillor Janet Bradford (South Devon Alliance, College) said: “Residents have been listened to and an expectation of slower traffic on roads near our schools must be a benefit for our children.”

Last year’s consultation found that 79 per cent opposed 20 mph speed limits across Newton Abbot, but responders did support (77 per cent) the scheme outside schools.

The rejection for most of the town led to the county council introducing a new ‘prioritisation system’ for considering 20 mph speed limit requests last year.

It led to more than 100 ‘expressions of interest’ from local communities across the county, with each then assessed to take into account average speeds at key locations and the number of vulnerable road users in the area.

The four ‘most in need’ Devon communities were then chosen in July – selected areas of Tiverton and Winkleigh, and all the roads in Atherington (North Devon) and Ashburton.

More areas will be considered in the future, councillors were told, following some criticism that only four were selected.

You can view or comment on the Newton Abbot traffic regulation order here: