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20mph limit pilots come into force

May 25, 2011 11:54 AM
By WC release

This is not a story about a go-slow in the RAF but about a road safety initiative in Wiltshire - a county where those three words have never before appeared in the same sentence.

The experimental limits are in force in the villages of Westwood, Limpley Stoke, Biddestone and Great Cheverell with Great Bedwyn to follow shortly.

If the changes prove to be successful, more could be put in place in the future.

The move follows similar trials by other local authorities including Portsmouth and Hull, alongside indications that the government is looking to make changes to its 20mph limit policy.

This could encourage councils to be more flexible in their approach to speed limits based on local circumstances, casualty reduction and wider community benefits.

Traffic-calmed 20mph zones are already in place in Wiltshire for the majority of new housing developments, however the effectiveness of sign-only 20mph limits is less known.

Martin Rose, principal highway engineer, said: "We collected extensive data prior to the introduction of the experimental 20mph limits and will be closely monitoring their effectiveness over the next 12 months.

"We will be using the results of the pilot schemes to help us formulate future guidance on the use of 20mph sign only limits in Wiltshire."

Lynda Wearn, chair of Cheverell Magna parish council, said: "We welcome the introduction of the 20mph limit in the village. The reduced limit will greatly improve road safety especially for vulnerable users including children walking to school, pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users and people horse riders.

"This is in part the result of our own campaign to reduce speeding and improve safety, but also the result of wholehearted support from Wiltshire Council".

The trial will run for a maximum of 18 months.