SPEED limits of 20mph will not be put on roads where nobody has been killed or seriously injured.

Councillor Fionuala Foley, who stepped down from her role as the borough council’s cabinet member for highways on Thursday, told councillors that there was “a very long list” of councillor requests for lower speed limits throughout Swindon.

She said: “There just isn’t an unlimited pot of money, and everyone wants something. We have to spend our resources where they’re most needed.

“You have to look at the killed and seriously injured figures, and if there hasn’t been a serious injury on a road, then it’s not likely there will be a 20mph zone installed.

“Near misses don’t count.”

Coun Foley cited the example of Windsor Road where she had requested a 20mph limit after several cars had left the road and crashed through walls but because nobody had been hurt, the 30mph limit had not changed. “We have to put the money where accidents do happen,” she said.

Labour group, leader Coun Jim Grant had put forward a motion calling on the council to “grant 20mph speed limit requests on roads which have clear demonstrable support from ward councillors and the local community".

Speaking in support of the motion Labour councillor Steve Allsopp said: “The experience is more people walk, and more people cycle and more people walk their children to school in 20mph areas, and there is more community well-being and coherence. They are one of the best ways of addressing health inequalities.”

He added: “The current policy is to wait for an accident. But if there’s been an accident, there’s already been a cost.”

A Conservative amendment calling on Coun Maureen Penny, as the new cabinet member for highways to “investigate specific cases for the introduction of 20mph speed limits as raised by ward members” was passed with the votes of Conservative councillors against Labour and Liberal Democrat votes.

Earlier in the meeting Coun Foley had responded to a question from resident Gail Grant about streets in the Badbury Park development in Coate.

She asked why streets in the development had 30mph limits when, in her view, that was a dangerous speed, and why other new developments such as Wichelstowe had 20mph zones.

Coun Foley said: “The roads in Badbury Park have not yet been adopted by the council. They are still owned by the developer and we can’t set a speed limit, nor enforce it. They have been designed for 20mph speeds, but it’s obvious some drivers still manage to drive at higher speeds, which is frustrating, but at the moment, while the developer still owns the roads this council can do nothing.”