Highway Safety – Resident’s Survey

20 miles per hour speed limits – what are your views? 

One of the powers of a Parish Council is to ‘make payments to a highway authority for traffic calming schemes for the benefit of the council’s area’. Winsley Parish Council has undertaken various road safety schemes and, in response to residents’ concerns, introduced 20mph speed limits in Turleigh and Dane Rise in 2016. Following recent questions raised by several residents the Parish Council debated whether to look into extending 20mph limits in Winsley, taking into account the effectiveness of 20mph limits and the costs involved.

Since the 20mph limits in Turleigh and Dane Rise were introduced a number of reports have evaluated 20mph schemes. In November 2018, the Department of Transport published an independent survey of the effectiveness of 20mph speed limits. The report concluded that 20mph limits introduced in residential areas resulted in an average speed reduction of just 0.7mph and had made no significant impact on road safety. Evidence also suggested that the character of the road (width of road, presence of junctions, straight or curved etc.) had a bigger influence on drivers’ speed than whether the limit was 30mph or 20mph. The findings of the DoT survey were broadly in line with reports published by BANES in 2017 and by Wiltshire Council on the establishment of 20mph zones in the County.

There are costs with introducing 20mph limits and it’s likely that costs would have to be met entirely by Winsley Parish Council, through the annual precept. Surveys of traffic volume and speed using metro-counters would need undertaking; these cost £150 each and to provide a clear picture up to five might be required. Using results from these surveys the Parish Council would then consult with Wiltshire Highways on any appropriate highway engineering. Options could include:

  • Designating roads a 20mph zone, costing up to £17,000 (total costs for Dane Rise and Turleigh were £10,000);
  • Installing a Speed Indicator Device (SID), which electronically displays a vehicle’s speed and can be moved to different locations, costing approximately £1,500 plus installation costs of £200 per location;
  • Physically narrowing a road to introduce one-way priority traffic operation, costing up to £34,000 depending on length;
  • Installing a double speed cushion layout on some roads, costing up to £11,000.

Having discussed this issue the Parish Council agreed, at their meeting on 4th December 2018, to invite opinions from all residents about highway safety on the residential roads in Winsley. Do you consider there to be a problem with traffic speeds or not? What action, if anything, would you like to be taken and where?

Supporting documents:

The Survey form can be read and downloaded here: