WESTHOUGHTON town centre could become a 20mph zone after it was given backing from councillors.

Consultation has been carried out on the proposal from Bolton Council’s Highways department to reduce the speed limit on Market Street from 30mph to 20mph.

Members of Westhoughton Town Council voted in favour of the plans.

Cllr David Chadwick, leader of Westhoughton Town Council, said “This is a genuine attempt to provide a pedestrian-friendly environment and would make Market Street a safer area and reduce possible conflicts between motorists and pedestrians.

“This is an important development for Westhoughton’s town centre and should not be underestimated.”

He said the current arrangements on Market Street, such as the kerb build-out at the junction of Market Street, Mill Street, Park Road and Bolton Road, make the road suitable for the speed reduction.

The 20mph proposal, which comes from Bolton Council, might include King Street. If given the go-ahead, it could be implemented within six months.

Cllr David Wilkinson, who represents Hoskers and Hart Common, said: “I suggested a 20mph zone in Market Street to Sean Harriss, chief executive of Bolton Council, in December 2011. The street is physically traffic-calmed already, and all it requires is a legal order.

“To me, it makes sense to address the minority of people who think it’s a race track. The minority of idiots who think it’s fun to speed through the town centre will be breaking the law, and then hopefully it will be enforced. Most people realise they are driving through a town centre but hopefully it will make it a little bit safer.”

The consultation period ended on December 14, and a decision is expected to made in the coming weeks.