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Green light for 20mph trials

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Pilot schemes for 20mph limits are well on the way to being implemented in 11 residential areas across Hampshire following yesterday's Economy, Transport and Environment Decision Day.

The decision follows an extensive consultation with all residents affected by a trial speed limit. Almost 11,000 questionnaires were sent to residents who live in the roads where the 20mph limits are proposed and people also had the opportunity to complete the questionnaire online. At least two thirds of people who responded to the public consultation supported the trials, with the percentage of those in favour in each area ranging from 67 per cent (Hart) through to 91 per cent (Fareham).

The Residential 20 project has been developed to take advantage of the Department of Transport's recent relaxations to the signing requirements associated with 20 mph limits. The pilot schemes are intended to test the effectiveness of this new approach. The County Council is to implement 20mph pilot schemes in residential roads in:

Whitchurch, Basingstoke
Medstead, East Hampshire
Cherbourg Road (and surrounding roads), Eastleigh
Wallington Village, Fareham
Clarence Road, Connaught Road, Albert Street and Albany Road area, Hart
Hythe, New Forest
Farnborough North Camp, Rushmoor
Stanmore, Winchester
Floral Way, Andover

It was originally proposed that a 20mph limit be trialled in West Town, Hayling Island, but, in light of mixed views from residents who took part in the consultation, this area is not being progressed.

Following consultation conducted by Winchester City Council it has also been agreed that a further two pilots are to be taken forward under agency agreement by the City Council in Highcliffe and Winnall. These two pilots are possible because of separate central government Local Sustainable Transport funding.

Statutory advertising of the new speed limits is required (for 21 days) providing further opportunity for residents' views to be considered before implementation.

The 20mph speed limits will be indicated in the pilot areas using road side signs at the start of the limits and 20mph road marking 'roundels' on the road surface within the areas, minimising sign clutter. Residents will be encouraged to help promote awareness of their 20mph speed limit via a publicity campaign. 'Before' and 'After' speed monitoring will be carried out in a sample of roads in each area to assess the impact of the new speed limit.

Councillor Woodward said after his Decision Day: "The decision is an important step in establishing the viability of reduced speed limits in residential areas. If the trials are successful, there is the potential to introduce similar schemes in other areas across the county.

"The new limits are being trialled to directly address the concerns of local communities. We are only taking forward schemes where we have seen a positive response from local residents - their backing is vital if the new limits are to have an effect. Success will depend on their support because the majority of drivers along these roads are either residents or their visitors.

"Department for Transport guidance states that generally 20mph speed limits should be self-enforcing and, as such, the police are unlikely to treat enforcement as a priority in the residential 20mph areas. It is encouraging that the consultation revealed that there are residents in each area who would be prepared to take part in a Community Speed Watch scheme if enforcement becomes an issue."

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