ROADS through Marlborough town centre could become 20mph zones after the town voted to introduce speed-calming measures.

But George Lane will not be included, despite being labelled a “huge hazard” for schoolchildren by concerned residents.

Local opinions range from calling the proposal a “total waste of council money” to others claiming that the limits will “make it safer for pedestrians” and “decrease pollution”.

Speaking at a public debate, Jill Turner, trustee of public health and member of Lockeridge Traffic Group said: “We had an accident in Lockeridge in 2015 and by 2017 we had got the speed lowered. Although it hasn’t cured everything, it has made a difference.”

Laura Mina, of Roger Meadow, said at the annual town meeting: “It will cost thousands of pounds but most traffic doesn’t go faster than 24mph.

“Who is going to police this? I can’t see it making much difference.”

On Monday town councillors voted seven to three to back the proposal, which will now be discussed at the Community Area Transport Group meeting on June 21.

The town council is offering to pay 25 per cent of the scheme’s £10,200 cost, and hopes the CATG will pay the rest.

Cllr Nick Fogg said: “I will support whatever is decided on behalf of the town council with the CATG.

“However, it will be disastrous if the change increases hazards, so we need more expert analysis on how effective it will be.”

Cllr Lisa Farrell said: “I’m listening to the people of the town and they say that safety must come first.”

The biggest concern among residents was introducing safety measures such as a zebra crossing or speed limit in George Lane. Metrocount devices installed around the town gathered data on traffic speeds and was used to highlight where 20mph zones could help. With speeds recorded at over 24mph, George Lane was deemed “too fast” to be considered for a 20mph zone.

Cllr Harry Forbes said: “Before committing money we should be looking at where the desire is and George Lane is where there is a genuine concern for safety. We should not do what is most popular but what is best for the town.”

Mayor Mervyn Hall called it an “opportunity to do something that affects traffic in Marlborough.”

Over 775 people had their say on lowering speed limits in London Road, Kennet Place, Oxford Street, Barn Street, Silverless Street, St Martins and Kingsbury Street in a recent consultation, with 65 per cent voting in favour of the measures.

. Residents voted by a majority of 65 per cent to introduce the measures, which is estimated to cost £10,200.