EVERY school in Basildon borough could have a 20mph speed limit outside to improve safety.

Basildon Local Highways Panel, which pours cash into road projects on behalf of Essex County Council, has set aside £15,000 to see whether they can bring in the restrictions.

Highways bosses and PSCOs are to set up camp outside schools to see how fast drivers are going and may even set up cameras to snare speeders.

After this, the new speed limit could be introduced outside all of the schools in the borough, or brought in where there are specific problems.

Keith Bobbin, Labour county councillor for Pitsea and chairman of the panel, said: “This is something I really support as there are a lot of children scared to cross the roads near to schools because of fast drivers.

“It is a big priority for us. In certain estates, such as Felmores, it is a major issue so we will see what the review brings up and then take it from there.”

If the proposals are given the go-ahead, it will represent a uturn for County Hall, as earlier this year the Tory administration claimed that cars were going too fast to bring in 20mph zones.

A series of surveys carried out at several schools saw average speeds ranged from 24mph to 34mph.

The authority said drivers have to be travelling at 24mph or under for a 20mph zone to be “achievable”.

However, campaigners did win a five-year battle for a 20mph zone outside Brightside Primary School, in Brightside, Billericay.

But parents claim the measures do not go far enough.

Nicola Levy, of Southend Road, Wickford, has two children, Charlie, ten, who goes to Hilltop Junior School, and George, 12, who goes to Beauchamps High School – both in Wickford.

She said: “It is a good idea but the trouble will be enforcing it. A lot of drivers don’t even go 30mph down the roads let alone 20mph.

“Unless they are going to install speed cameras to catch drivers I can see the majority of people continuing to go fast.”

The Echo asked Essex County Council for a comment but it did not provide one before the paper went to press.