ADVOCATES for additional speeding measures have been given a boost as discussions are set to take place on the possibility of introducing more 20 mile-per-hour zones in Worcester. 

A new Member Advisory Group has been formed to review the current criteria on imposing the reduced speed limits on the city's streets. 

Campaigners say it is currently too hard to implement change under the current benchmarks, despite the demand from residents. 

However, Councillor Alan Amos - who will chair the Member Advisory Group - has said while he'll consider amending the criteria, he doesn't think 20mph are the answer to snaring speeding drivers. 

He said: "Following a council debate last year we said we'd have a look at the criteria for 20mph speed limits to see if we need to amend or update them in any way. 

"Just to be absolutely clear, this is definitely not about plastering 20mph zones all over the city. 

"On the whole, introducing 20mph speed zones doesn't work, they aren't enforced by the police and they're actually quite expensive because normally you need engineering works to make them effective. 

"Instead of just putting up a sign you need to introduce measures such as speed bumps, build outs and so on to slow the traffic down. 

"It's extremely expensive, in one case implementing a 20mph zone in a single street in Redditch cost the council in excess of £50,000. 

"It's not as simple as putting up a sign and then everybody slows down, if that were the case, we could have them all over the place. 

"We do put them down in certain circumstances but bearing in mind pilots show they aren't effective in reducing speeds, they take a large amount of consultation and planning, police don't enforce them and they are very expensive, obviously we need to proceed carefully and sensibly.” 

Councillor Matthew Jenkins, who found out yesterday he will be part of the Member Advisory Group, says there is a lot of existing evidence showing people want more 20mph zones, and cited their success in neighbouring cities such as Birmingham. 

The Green Party member also insists it can be achieved in a cost-effective way. 

He said: "It's seen very much from a highways engineering perspective, where things such as accident statistics are used as the deciding factor.  

"But there is a lot of evidence about the public health benefits of slowing speed limits where people live. 

"Slower speeds mean more people feel like they can walk or cycle. 

"If you're walking on the pavement with a small child and a car whizzes past, you're going to feel uncomfortable and you're going to feel worried. 

"It's a way of getting people out of their cars and creating a much nicer environment. 

"The support is definitely there, that's the annoying thing, we know the people want it and I want to do it, but it's just being stopped. 

"A lot of the roads I'm looking at, for example Shrubbery Avenue, Flag Meadow Walk and St George's Lane, they're all Victorian style properties with lots of cars parked on the road.  

"Those cars often essentially create a singular lane, meaning drivers have to pull in and give way so that others can pass by, so they actually act as a natural speed limiter anyway. 

"The places I'm talking about aren't wide, main roads where you might need to put in some kind of speed bumps. 

"But even if in the odd case they were, why don't we let the local councillor decide whether they want to spend some of their money. 

"We have budget, we have a divisional fund, and we also have a highways fund as well.  

"So, if we want a 20mph speed limit in an area and we're willing to stump up the cash, let us do it."