Speed Limits Cut On Hampshire Roads?

Hampshire County Council is set to agree a programme of recommended speed limit changes on 48 sections of the county's roads.

A report, to be considered by the Executive Member for Environment and Transport on 17 January, will provide details of an in-depth review of speed limits on all 'A' and 'B' roads, maintained by the County Council - a total of 292 routes equating to 1255km of road.  

A programme of speed limit changes is being recommended for locations on 140 routes. The programme has identified, as a first priority for implementation, a number of locations for recommended speed limit changes, based on accident rates.  

The aim of the review and subsequent programme of recommended revisions to speed limits was to ensure that road users are clear about the maximum speed they should travel at across the County, and to identify suitable stretches of road with higher accident rates as a priority for speed limit changes.

Councillor Mel Kendal, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, commented: 

"Roads are the arteries that keep our economy going and it is important that people can safely travel on them to go about their day to day business. Road safety is a top priority for the County Council and although it is impossible to eliminate the risks of accidents completely, a lower speed limit, in suitable circumstances, can help significantly to reduce the level of risk on appropriate routes.  

"We are proud of our record in road safety and will protect our investment in road safety schemes, targeting resources on the basis of a sound evidence base. The programme of schemes that I will be considering is based on objective evidence in line with Government guidelines."

The speed limit review has followed Department for Transport (DfT) guidelines and, in prioritising the recommended programme of changes, has applied the DfT collision rate threshold analysis. This is the injury accident threshold for upper tier roads, which reflects expected levels associated with a road carrying a given level of traffic and an appropriate balance between safety and mobility.  The DfT recommended threshold is a collision rate of 35 per 100 million vehicle kilometres.  Higher speed limits however, may be considered acceptable where the accident rate is below this threshold.