Sunday, 6 October 2013
Another council seeing road sense. This time 20 zones
Norfolk County Council has ruled out introducing area-wide 20mph speed limits in its urban areas, saying they deliver little benefit in terms of accident reduction. The DfT published a new speed limit circular in January, which supports the implementation of area-wide 20mph speed limits, something the previous 2006 circular advised against (LTT25 Jan).
But Norfolk’s director of environment, transport and development, Mike Jackson, told councillors last week: “Within Norfolk at present, the commitment of funds to the implementation of ‘blanket’ 20mph schemes would not offer good value for money compared to other measures to reduce casualties.” He added: “The council should continue to prioritise schemes that target reductions in killed and serious injuries and should not divert resources to area-wide 20mph speed restrictions, which offer little benefit in this regard.”
Norfolk is interested in the DfT’s invitation for councils to come forward with applications for 40mph zonal rural speed limits. “There is scope within Norfolk to identify a rural zonal speed limit trial area,” said Jackson. He said the most suitable area would be within the North Norfolk coastal area and that a study would be needed to determine the “extent, costs and benefits”.
Norfolk has just updated its speed management strategy in association with Norfolk Constabulary. References to Home Zones and Quiet Lanes have been deleted in line with their removal from the DfT’s own circular. Norfolk says Home Zones are “principally an issue for new development and are covered in the council’s guidance to developers”.