Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man town centre and village speed limits could be cut to 20mph

Parliament Street, Ramsey Image copyright Google
Image caption Parliament Street in Ramsey currently has a speed limit of 30mph

Speed limits in town centres and villages on the Isle of Man could be lowered to 20mph from next year, a government minister has confirmed.

Areas in line for a reduced limit include Douglas, Ramsey, Peel, Port Erin, Castletown and Port St Mary.

Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer said the plans would create "safe spaces" for pedestrians and cyclists.

Local authorities around the island will be consulted over the proposed changes later this month.

Mr Harmer said the restrictions were "about subtly changing the balance within our town centres".

"It isn't about zipping through from one street to another but about enjoying the space that we have," Mr Harmer added.

"It's about re-emphasising the balance so that people can enjoy the space by being able to walk and potentially cycle in those areas."

'Grown-up debate'

The restrictions could also be extended to nearby residential streets.

Traffic calming measures could include signage, different coloured tarmac, and "subtle" changes to the design and layout of entrances on some roads.

Any works would be financed from the department's existing highways maintenance budget, Mr Harmer said.

The changes would be separate from the plans outlined earlier this year in the government's Active Travel Strategy, he added.

Welcoming the plans, president of the Isle of Man's Institute of Advanced Motorists Derek Flint said it was time for a "very grown-up debate" over speed limits on the island.

"We live in changing times with regard to attitudes to road safety... we've got to make sure that the road spaces are safe for everybody."

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