Traffic management: your questions answered
How can I get the speed limit on my road reduced?
The County Council is responsible for implementing and amending speed limits. Consideration is given to the character of the road, current traffic speeds and the injury accident record when assessing whether a speed limit should be changed. Hampshire County Council’s policy for setting speed limits is based on guidance from the Department for Transport.
How speed limits are set
Motorists are driving at excessive speed. Can a speed camera be installed?
The deployment of safety cameras (fixed or mobile) is the responsibility of Hampshire Constabulary's Safer Roads Unit. Safety cameras may be provided at sites where there has been a history of injury accidents and a significant percentage of drivers exceed the speed limit.
Motorists are driving at excessive speed. Can a flashing sign be installed?
Vehicle Activated Signing (VAS) has been developed to address the problems of inappropriate speed where other methods of reducing speed have not been effective or are not feasible. There are three main types of VAS:
These are permanently devices that typically display a recognisable sign, such as a warning sign. Following Department for Transport advice, these signs are used where there is a measured road casualty and traffic speed issue, and where no other suitable engineering measures can be provided
Speed Indicator Devices (SID)
SID signs display the actual speed of the approaching traffic.
Speed Limit Reminders (SLR)
These signs incorporate a speed limit roundel and sometimes a ‘SLOW DOWN’ message. They are used on a short term basis to raise awareness of speed limits where community concerns over traffic speeds exist.
The use of SLR and SID signs is managed across the county by District, Town and Parish Councils.
Motorists are driving at excessive speed. Can traffic calming be installed?
Traffic calming tends to be used at sites where there has been a history of injury accidents. It can be expensive to install therefore it is not possible for it to be used at all locations where there are concerns about speeding. Not all roads are suitable for traffic calming. In some cases street lighting needs to be provided or upgraded.
Whilst some forms of traffic calming can be very effective at reducing speed, there are drawbacks that have to be considered. For instance, road humps can be unsuitable on bus routes. Traffic calming may also have a negative impact on the appearance of a road.
Further information on traffic calming
Why are there no 30 mph repeater signs to remind drivers of the speed limit?
The presence of street lighting means that a road is subject to a 30 mph speed limit unless signs indicate otherwise. Legislation does not permit the use of ‘30’ signs on roads subject to this limit where there are street lights. Drivers should be aware that a road with street lighting and no other signs means a 30 mph speed limit is in force.
If a 30 mph limit is in force and there is no street lighting present then ‘30’ repeater signs are provided.
My road is used as a rat run. What can be done to reduce traffic?
In general, the public have a right to use the highway. If there is inappropriate use of a road it may be possible to restrict the type of traffic that can use it, but this would need to be investigated further. In some cases there are no suitable alternative routes in which to direct traffic. The closure of a road is considered to be a last resort when other measures such as signage and restrictions on movement have been ruled out. If a road is closed provision has to be made for a turning area.
Can I have a disabled parking bay outside my house? What are the criteria?
The provision of disabled bays is undertaken on the County Council’s behalf by the local district councils.
For Gosport and East Hampshire only:
You can request an application form from firstname.lastname@example.org. The County Council may provide a ‘Disabled Driver’ marking free of charge subject to the following conditions:-
1. A disabled driver marking will only be provided for a vehicle registered and normally kept at the applicant’s address. It must be regularly driven by the applicant, or by a resident member of the family or a resident carer to transport the applicant.
2.The applicant must be a holder of a “Blue Badge”, issued by the County Council. The Blue Badge number must be submitted on the application form.
3. The applicant must not have a vehicular access to his/her property, or own or have use of a garage or hard standing close to his/her property which could be reasonably used as an off-street parking area for a suitable vehicle.
4. The applicant must not have a vehicular access to his/her property, or own or have use of a garage or hard standing close to his/her property which could be reasonably used as an off-street parking area for a suitable vehicle.
Note:- Applicants are expected to take reasonable steps to render existing garages and hard-standings, which may be presently used for storage of other vehicles or goods, usable as a parking place.
5. There must be a suitable safe location on the highway for the vehicle to park where it will not give rise to undue congestion or be detrimental to road safety.
6. Markings will not be provided where their use will result in a contravention of a Traffic Regulation Order such as a waiting restriction.
7. If a marking is required in front of another person’s property the applicant should consult the occupiers and ask them to confirm their approval in writing to the County Council.
Disabled bays marked on the highway are not for the sole use of the applicant and can be used by any driver displaying a valid Blue Badge in their vehicle.
Enforcement of disabled bays
Generally, the disabled parking bays in residential areas will be advisory markings and not legally enforceable. An enforceable disabled parking bay will have a legal Traffic Regulation Order applied to it and will have an accompanying sign stating ‘Disabled Badge Holders Only’. If such a restriction exists, this can be enforced by the relevant district council’s Civil Enforcement Officers (except in Gosport, where the Police enforce parking restrictions).
Cars are parked on single and double yellow lines and close to junctions. What can be done to avoid this?
The enforcement of parking restrictions is undertaken by district councils except in Gosport.
Report a problem - contact details
Where vehicles are parked close to a junction, but where there are no waiting restrictions (yellow lines) in place, the Police may still be able to take action if they consider that the vehicle is causing an obstruction to the highway or is parked in a dangerous location.
If this is a regular occurrence it may be necessary for double yellow lines to be implemented. This would require the introduction of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), which is a legal document that enables the restriction to be provided and enforced. There is a statutory process for introducing a new TRO, which includes a period of public consultation. The procedure can take a number of months to complete.
The implementation of waiting restriction TROs is undertaken on the County Council’s behalf by most of the district councils.
The residents in my road are having difficulty parking, can we have a residents parking scheme?
Residents parking schemes are only effective in locations where non-residents regularly park on the road. This could be in town centres or near to other public amenities that attract visitors or commuters. Resident parking schemes are not effective where the problem is simply related to lack of space for residents or residents’ visitors, or where residents do not utilise their off street parking facilities such as garages or driveways.
Whilst there are advantages to the implementation of a residents parking scheme there are also some disadvantages:-
- Discourage commuter/shopper parking in residential streets;
- Residents find their on-street parking is easier and more convenient;
- May improve the flow of traffic;
- May improve the availability of parking space for residents;
- May improve the management of parking from new development.
- Possible knock-on effect of displaced commuter / shopper parking;
- Costs of introducing and operating the scheme;
- Payment for permits;
- Permits do not guarantee a parking space;
- Permits do not guarantee a space outside your property;
- Restrictions on visitor parking and parking for tradesmen etc;
- Can reduce overall levels of on-street parking due to the need to mark out formal parking bays.
The introduction of a residents parking scheme requires a legally enforceable Traffic Regulation Order to be implemented. Permits are issued, usually at a cost to residents, to enable the scheme to be administered/enforced. The details of schemes vary between district councils.
The implementation of Traffic Regulation Orders including resident parking schemes is usually undertaken on the County Council’s behalf by most of the district councils.
The enforcement of residents parking schemes is undertaken by the district councils’ Civil Enforcement Officers, except in Gosport. where the Police are responsible for doing this.
Who is responsible for the enforcement of waiting restrictions in my area?
The enforcement of parking restrictions is undertaken by district councils in all areas except Gosport and East Hampshire.
Can the parking restrictions outside of my house be removed or changed?
The removal or amendment of yellow lines requires the implementation of a legally enforceable Traffic Regulation Order. Careful consideration is required to make sure that the removal/amendment of the yellow lines or parking bay does not create a road safety or congestion problem.
Waiting restrictions are usually implemented to resolve a particular safety/congestion issue and therefore their removal would generally only be supported if it is clear that the original issue would not return if the restrictions are removed. This also applies to the removal of any parking bays on the road.
The implementation of Traffic Regulation Orders is usually undertaken on the County Council’s behalf by most of the district councils.
I have a dropped kerb to my house but I regularly have my driveway obstructed. What can be done?
Obstructions of dropped kerbs can be enforced by the Police, or by Civil Enforcement Officers where parking enforcement is undertaken by district councils (all areas except Gosport).
The Civil Enforcement Officer can issue a Penalty Charge Notice if a vehicle is parked where the kerb has been dropped to allow access to pedestrians or motorists. The Police enforce obstructions to the highway in general.
If this is shown to be a regular problem, an advisory access protection marking can be painted, which is a white line in front of your dropped kerb to highlight the presence of the access. These markings are provided on the County Council’s behalf by most of the district councils.
What can be done to prevent parking on the grass verges and pavements?
Parking on grass verges and footways can cause damage to both the verge and footway itself and possibly any utility services that may be located beneath the surface.
If a vehicle is parked in such a way that causes an obstruction it may be possible for the Police to take action. Some district councils have implemented legally enforceable Traffic Regulation Orders that prevent parking on the grass verge. If this is the case there will be a traffic sign present that indicates that a restriction is in place. If such a restriction exists, this can be enforced.
Any waiting restrictions in place on the road (yellow lines) apply to the full extent of the highway which may include the footway and any verges. Therefore, enforcement may be possible by the district council (or by the Police in the case of Gosport).
We regularly have lorries/vans and commercial vehicles parked in our road. Can this be stopped?
The parking of vans and lorries in residential areas can be difficult to resolve. In many cases, as long as a van is taxed and not causing an obstruction there is often little that can be done to prevent this.
In the case of a lorry or a commercial vehicle, investigations can be undertaken with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) to see if the vehicle falls under their regulations. In these cases VOSA may take action to ensure that the vehicle is parked in its designated operating centre, rather than in residential roads.
The Police have some powers under other legislation and may be able to offer assistance in some cases. The Road Traffic Act prohibits heavy goods vehicles from parking on footways unless they are making a delivery/unloading. In exceptional cases, a legally enforceable Traffic Regulation Order could be considered
I have noticed an untaxed or abandoned vehicle. Who should I report it to?
Abandoned vehicles should be reported to your local district council and untaxed vehicles parked on a public road can be reported directly to the DVLA.
Can I park my caravan/trailer or boat on the road?
Any vehicle, caravan, trailer or boat left or parked on the highway could be classed as an obstruction of the public highway and if deemed as such can be dealt with by the Police.
Can I have direction signing to my business, attraction or facility ?
Specific direction signing for community facilities and services can be permitted on the public highway in some circumstances, such as where the location is not clear and alternative directional information for visitors has been provided.
The need for signing must be balanced against the County Council’s responsibility for road safety, traffic management, minimising sign clutter and the environment. With this in mind care must be taken not to overload the roads with unnecessary signing as increasing roadside information where it is not essential reduces the effectiveness of signing and can be detrimental to road safety.
Signing can normally be permitted, where a clear need is identified, from the nearest point on the main road network or the nearest village, whichever is the closer.
The County Council does not fund this signing and the full the costs of providing the signs must be borne by the applicant.
Can I have a brown tourist sign to my business?
Specific direction signing for tourist facilities and attractions can be permitted on the public highway in some circumstances.
We have trouble with people playing on the grass outside, Can we have a ‘no ball games’ sign?
In some areas there may be byelaws with respect to ball games on public open spaces and in these cases district councils may erect a ‘no ball games’ sign.
Hampshire County Council does not erect such signs and where young persons are causing nuisance through ball games this should be reported to the district council. The Police do have some powers to enforce this nuisance where it exists on an area deemed to be public highway.
You cannot see any of the road signs because of overgrown hedges and/or trees. Can the hedges and/or trees be cut back or the signs relocated ?
We live in a road where lots of children play, can a sign be put up to warn drivers?
Children playing on residential roads can cause concern for their personal safety. However, the responsibility for their safety lies with the individuals concerned or their parents or guardians to ensure that their safety is not compromised.
Warning signing can be provided in the vicinity of playgrounds where children are encouraged to play in a safe environment, and serve to alert drivers that children may be travelling to and from the amenity. However, such signing cannot be provided in residential areas where children may play in the road or on areas of green.
Animals are frequently encountered on my road can we have warning signs?
To be effective, warning signs need to be used sparingly. The placing of warning signs on the highway are subject to national criteria which take account of the number of movements made by the animals concerned. It is essential that the sites meet the criteria to ensure that driver respect for the sign is maintained.
The criteria enables signing to be considered over a determinate length of road where animals enter onto the highway.
Under these circumstances warning signing can be an effective means of alerting drivers and protecting the animals, particularly as their behaviour is unpredictable. The signs are used to give warnings of wild animals, farm animals, horses being taken along or across a road, or of straying animals from unfenced land. The types of sign that are approved are:
- Wild Horses
- Accompanied Horses
We have started a neighbourhood watch scheme, can we have some signs?
To put up a neighbourhood watch sign you will need to be part of an approved neighbourhood watch scheme set up jointly with the Police.
The neighbourhood watch group suggests sign locations and submits them to the County Council for approval. The number of signs should be kept to a minimum. Suggested sign locations can be sent to to the County Council for consideration:
Please note that signs will not be approved for sites on traffic signals, traffic sign assemblies that include regulatory signs, telegraph poles (unless you have written permission from BT), or electricity poles.
Who should I report damaged,dirty and missing traffic signs to?
Can a 'no cycling' sign be put up to stop people from cycling on the pavement?
Since it is illegal to cycle on a pavement (unless there are signs which state it can be used by cyclists) there is no need to erect signs.
If signs were provided alongside some pavements it could suggest that it is acceptable to cycle on those pavements without signs. Please refer concerns about cycling on pavements to the Police.
There are a lot of cyclists that use this route, can it be designated as a cycle route?
Not all routes are suitable for encouraging cyclists.
The width of the road (or footway), the level and mix of traffic and type of junctions can determine whether a road is suitable for providing facilities such as marked on-road cycle lanes, a shared cycleway/footway or designating it as an advisory cycle route.
The County Council is continuing to develop a network of on and off-road cycle routes.
Can you stop lorries from using the road where I live?
A restriction can only be considered for a road if there are excessive through-movements of lorries over 7.5 tonnes in weight during a day, and if there is a suitable alternative route. In cases where the road is very narrow it is possible to consider a restriction for lower lorry flows so long as there is a suitable alternative route. It is not possible to impose a complete ban on lorries since access will need to be maintained for vehicles delivering to premises within the road.
A large proportion of lorries are under 7.5 tonnes in weight and would still be able to use a road that has a weight restriction in place.
In some locations advisory signs can be provided to warn drivers that certain roads are unsuitable for lorries if more appropriate routes exist. However, in many rural areas lorries need to use narrow lanes in order to access farms and industrial premises.
Can I close a road to hold a street party or other event?
It will depend on the nature of the event and the type of road as to whether it can be closed. For instance, obtaining approval to close a cul-de-sac for a street party will be more straightforward than closing a major through-route for a sporting event.
The event organiser will need to provide suitable temporary signage for the closure and in many cases will have to provide signage for a diversion route. The event organiser may also need to obtain public liability insurance. Larger events taking place on the highway may need to be referred to the local Safety Advisory Group, which includes representatives of the emergency services and local councils.
Can the road layout be changed to improve visibility from my driveway/private access?
The property owner would need to take steps to improve visibility, for instance by lowering their hedges, walls or fences. Where there is a footway adjacent to the property the County Council may be able to extend the dropped kerbs, enabling the driveway to be widened. We can carry out a free estimate for extending the dropped kerbs.
More about dropped kerbs
An accident has occurred, is the Council going to change the road ?
The County Council keeps records of all accidents involving injuries that have been reported to the Police. Accident information is closely monitored, and those locations where there has been a history or pattern of accidents are flagged up for further investigation, and alterations or improvements to the road are carried out if deemed appropriate.
The most serious accidents are investigated individually as part of the County Council’s Casualty Reduction Programme, which is a partnership with the local district councils and the Police.
Can I arrange for a mirror to be erected to aid visibility?
We are not permitted to erect mirrors on the highway except at traffic signal-controlled junctions where it has been identified that there is a specific risk of large vehicles not seeing cyclists as they make a left turn. These mirrors are not permitted for use in other locations.
Although mirrors are occasionally seen on some roads, these have usually been put up on private land and would not have been provided by the highway authority. Experience shows that mirrors can reduce the ability to judge another oncoming vehicle's speed.