COUNCILLORS could soon have more power to put their local knowledge to good use by requesting lower speed limits on dangerous roads.

At Thursday’s full council meeting cross-party members of Cheshire West and Chester Council backed a motion from Cllr Stephen Smith, Labour member for Elton, to help make the borough’s roads safer.

The motion calls for members to have the power to scrutinise speed limit assessments in their wards, and for the current policy on setting speed limits to be broadened to make roads safer and cleaner.

“I find it really difficult when stringent regulations and restrictions decide what speed limits are appropriate and when other factors are ignored,” Cllr Smith said.

“We all have roads within our wards that may not meet the highways criteria for a speed reduction, but we know based on our local knowledge and the local knowledge of our residents that residents and visitors would definitely benefit from a slower, safer and more appropriate limit.

“This motion is essentially calling for what I would call a common sense approach.”

Cllr Smith’s call was inspired by Rake Lane, a road in his ward with a pub and caravan park, that acts as cut-through between Chester and Cheshire Oaks.

He told members that the road has no footpaths and attracts ‘plenty of horse riders’ – but it is currently set at the national speed limit, and while residents are calling for it to be set at 30 mph, CWAC is currently proposing a 40 mph limit for the road.

Cllr Charles Fifield, Conservative member for Weaver and Cuddington, agreed that the policy on making roads safer ‘is something that needs to be looked at’.

He added: “A similar issue has cropped up in my ward in relation to Gorstage Lane and Weaverham Lane – a similar set of circumstances where there is no pavement and it is being used as the most direct walking route by children who go to Weaverham High School.”

The motion was passed, with just one abstention.