By Jenni Davidson
Central Brighton and Hove is to get a 20mph speed limit from April next year.
The 20mph zone will run from Sackville Road in the west to Freshfield Road in the east and north as far as Old Shoreham Road.
Only the seafront, Old Shoreham Road and Sackville Road will be excluded from the speed restriction.
Councillors approved the measure at a meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Transport Committee on Tuesday (27 November).
If the change is successful, the council plans to extend the scheme across the rest of Brighton and Hove.
A 20mph speed limit has already been piloted around Portslade Old Village and Stanford Infant and Junior Schools.
The decision follows a public consultation in which 55 per cent of the 3,689 people who took part were in favour of the lower speed limit.
The aim of the scheme is not only to cut road accidents but also to encourage people to walk and cycle by making streets safer and more pleasant.
In a presentation to the committee, transport planner Emma Sheridan said that the change would not significantly increase journey times.
She explained that about 70 per cent of travel time in the city centre was spent waiting at traffic lights and junctions, so a slower speed limit would add only a few minutes to a journey.
She added that the difference could be offset by easier merging at junctions when traffic was moving more slowly.
The move has support from all three political parties on the council, although they disagreed on some of the details.
Geoffrey Theobald, Conservative group leader, abstained from the vote because he believed that too many main roads had been included.
Labour group leader Gill Mitchell voted for the measure but pointed out that council’s scrutiny committee had recommended that it only be introduced in residential areas.
She also expressed concern about the possible effect on buses and taxis and whether the police would be able to enforce the speed restriction.