There is currently great interest across the country in introducing 20mph speed limits and it is a subject that is often raised by residents in this Borough.
20mph speed limits and zones are intended to improve safety. We believe that proposals for them should be evidence based and assessed against objective criteria.
While some local authorities have adopted a blanket approach to 20mph limits and introduced them across large areas of residential streets, others, including Richmond, have followed a more local implementation. We are not averse to introducing speed limits and have a process for evaluating proposals that we receive from residents.
Main roads may be unsuitable for traffic calming due to bus routes, emergency services requirements, etc.
We may choose to introduce 20mph limits and zones without requiring majority support from residents in some priority locations:
You may feel less intrusive approaches could be tried in the first instance, rather than a fully signed speed limit. If so, we would be interested to hear from you.
Speed detection devices are erected on lamp columns and show motorists their speed, often with a ‘smile’ or ‘frown’. Such devices are usually erected for 2 or 3 weeks before being moved to another site and then brought back at regular intervals. This is to avoid complacency and familiarity among drivers.
In some situations adjustment to parking bays can help to calm traffic but each situation would need to be considered on its merits.
Speeding traffic can also occur at certain times of the day indicating a possible ‘rat running’ problem and other restrictions can, on occasions, prove successful.
You may nominate a road that you believe should have a 20mph speed limit. You should first discuss this with your neighbours.
As part of your nomination you will need to provide evidence that half of households on the road support the proposal. They must also agree that traffic calming measures (such as road humps and build outs) may be introduced if needed to sustain the desired speed reduction. This is because without traffic calming features, speed limits rely solely on a change in driver behaviour and evidence shows that the lowering of speed tends to be small and not sustained over time.
We will ask residents to suggest and comment on locations for 20 mph limits during forthcoming Village Plan consultations. Valid petitions received by the Council prior to starting a Village Plan consultation will be shown as a suggested 20 mph location and subject to comment.
Each nomination is carefully considered on its merits against objective criteria.
Council officers will firstly evaluate the impact of a suggested 20mph location in the context of the wider area and traffic management requirements. For example:
Officers will determine a survey area and collect data including accident rates, vehicle speeds and traffic volumes as appropriate.
Funding for the scheme, including any traffic calming requirements and the ongoing maintenance of signage, must be identified and approved by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Streetscene.
The scheme will then be presented as a formal consultation to households across the area likely to be affected by the proposals. If a 20mph zone with traffic calming is proposed then residents will be consulted on any required alterations to parking arrangements at the same time.
If 51% of consulted households agree to the proposals then they will be taken forward.
Updated: 21 June 2017