BEWDLEY Town Council has called for a 20mph speed limit to protect pedestrians in the tourist town’s centre.

The local authority, which aims to build on the active 20’s Plenty campaign on the High Street, will communicate with county councillors, the police and community groups to seek support for the traffic slowing measures.

Philip Edmundson, an independent community and health concern councillor on the town council, said: “Continued heavy traffic into Bewdley means that pedestrians are at risk, especially because the road system is not designed for modern traffic levels.

“We need to consider that 80 per cent of child casualties happen on non-school trips and that families need wide area limits for child protection from road injury, which is their top risk.

“Older people are even more likely to die or be seriously injured because 20mph is 10 times safer than 30mph for 60-year-olds.

“Bewdley Town Council, which overwhelmingly supports this initiative, recognises that Bewdley is a great place to work, live and visit.

“To make sure it remains this way for many years to come, we need to make it a safer environment.

Bewdley Development Trust has also recently consulted with 45 local people on the issue of traffic management in the town.

Residents flagged up problems including congestion, speeding, parking and inadequate public transport during the open forum event, on Tuesday, July 8. while solutions such as introducing a 20kph speed limit, new zebra crossings and a shuttle bus service were considered.

Robert Smith, chairman of the trust, said: “We would be really interested to hear from local people who were not able make the open forum on their views about how local traffic management can be improved.”

Other ideas discussed at the event included a new footbridge over the river, two-way cycle routes along Severnside North and South and encouraging more vehicles to use the bypass.

Bewdley Development Trust believes progress in the town’s traffic management since the 2003 riverside and town centre study has lagged behind improvements on other issues, including riverside frontages, flood protection and the refurbishment of St George’s Hall.

Residents can contact the trust with their views on 01299 405516.