Response Letter Fothergill
Date: 08 May 2017
Re: Request for assistance — S seed reduction measures in the Charltons
Thank you for your letter dated 15th December 2016 addressed to Cllr Fothergill highlighting the concerns of the Parish. Your letter has been passed to me for a response as the Service Manager for Traffic Management.
Although we received this letter from your clerk on the 5'h April, unfortunately we cannot find any record of the original correspondence which explains why you had not received an earlier response. I can only apologise if this was an oversight on our part at all.
I understand from colleagues that these issues have been discussed at a number of meetings involving County Councillor Dean Ruddier representatives of the Parish Council and the Area Traffic Engineer (ATE) and that various improvement works have been carried out in recent years as a result. I also understand that Cllr Ruddle is looking to put forward a Small Improvement Scheme for The Charltons to reduce traffic speeds.
In relation to your request for a 30mph speed limit right through the villages, as I am sure you are aware, in order to change a speed limit we have to go through a statutory consultation process to change the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) and as part of this we have to justify the proposed changes and demonstrate that they are likely to be effective. This can be a lengthy and costly exercise.
The Department for Transport (DfT) guidance for setting local speed limits (circular 01/2013) has clear criteria for where local authorities should install speed limits. This is to ensure consistency throughout the country. The guidance is also clear in that speed limits should be evidence led, self-explaining and seek to reinforce people's assessment of what is a safe speed to travel. They should encourage self-compliance and should be seen by drivers as a maximum rather than a target speed. Research has shown that a change in speed limit signs alone has very little effect on actual vehicle speeds and that the speed of vehicles is moderated by the surrounding environment rather than the posted speed limit. Where motorists do not understand the reasoning behind the implementation of a speed limit, a high level of non-compliance is likely to occur, and indeed this may lead to disrespect of speed limits elsewhere.
The key factors that need to be considered when reviewing a speed limit is: history of collisions; road geometry and engineering, road function; compositions of road users; existing traffic speeds: and road environment.
Whilst I am aware that you benefit from the deployment of a SID device near the Georges' Lane junction for which data can be obtained, in order to carry out a comprehensive review we will need to gather some further speed data on both Ilchester Road (south of the mini roundabout) and on Primrose Hill (near Chessels Lane). When this data has been collected we will then be able to assess your request against the DfT guidance.
In terms of a 20mph when the crossing lights are in operation, this is a safety measure that we have used successfully at many sites across the County. You may have seen this locally at llchester. Please note such signs are not enforceable, though as the signs are only active during the most prevalent times, they do tend to be respected. I will also ask the local Area Traffic Engineer to assess the suitability of this site for 20mph when lights show.
With regards to the white lining refurbishment, we will place an order with our lining contractor for this to be done although it could take a few months.
When we have carried out the investigation work as detailed above we will contact you again to discuss both the outcome of the assessments and the options going forward.
I hope the above explains our current position but if you require any further information please contact me.
Bev Norman (Mrs)
Service Manager - Traffic Management
Cc ClIr Dean Ruddle