A TWO-year plan to make all of Bolton's residential streets 20mph zones has been delayed due to a shortage of cash.

More than a year after councillors voted on the proposals, leaders say that only “limited progress” has been made in the town.

They have now called on the government to intervene and invest more funding into Bolton.

Cllr Norman Critchley, who put forward the “20’s plenty” motion in April, 2013, said: “The council is not getting on as quickly as I would have hoped.

“There is a problem with cash and we have got to tread a very careful line to do it.

“If everyone knew all residential roads in Bolton are 20mph, it would send a very positive message for anyone coming into the town.”

Councillors say the plans would make Bolton’s roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

But transport bosses say it is unlikely that all of Bolton’s residential roads will be 20mph within the two-year time frame set out.

Horwich town centre became the biggest 20mph zone in the borough earlier this year, after almost £18,000 was spent on speed restrictions. Some roads in Smithills have also had 20 mph signs installed after residents called for changes.

A report by the Transport Select Committee has now called on the government to make it “easier and cheaper” for local authorities like Bolton Council to introduce 20mph speed limits on high-risk roads.

Highways boss Cllr David Chadwick said it would take a “substantial sum of money” to fund the scheme — to cover the price of signage and legal traffic orders.

He added: “All councillors are supportive of residential roads having a 20mph speed limit, but there is a cost to it, and in this current financial climate where we keep seeing budgets cut it is difficult.”

Cllr Critchley added: “Within my ward of Bromley Cross which has roads like Darwen Road, Blackburn Road and Chapeltown Road, it would be virtually impossible to make it 20mph.

“But you can introduce it for all the areas around it and it means that if an accident does happen a pedestrian or cyclist is more likely to survive.”

Green Party member Alwynne Cartmell, part of Bolton’s 20’s plenty campaign, said the council needed to “seriously focus” on the issue.

She said: “I do release with so many constraints on their budget it is difficult — but enlarging the 20mph areas would reduce costs to the police and NHS.

“In many places, Bolton people are seriously afraid of crossing the roads. Zebra crossings and red lights are often ignored by motorists.

“How many serious accidents do we need in Bolton before this is treated as a priority?”