Agenda item

Phase 2 Speed Limit Review Update


(a)       That the progress made to date and the legal challenges and subsequent changes in approach which had led to a delay in the process be noted; and


(b)       That the amended legal process in order to progress the delivery of a Single Consolidated Order be supported


The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) introduced a report to provide an update on progress of the County-wide Speed Limit Review.  


The Chief Officer provided background information and explained that the report sought to update the Committee on the progress made to date as well as providing details of a number of legal challenges against the proposed process which have since been overcome.  The report also sought to inform the Committee of the revised timelines associated with the progress of a Single Consolidated Order covering the entire highway network, whilst also clarifying proposals to expedite those member requests that were supported by the Department for Transport (DfT) criteria.


The Chief Officer referred to the key actions which had been undertaken and explained that in order to eliminate the over reliance on Legal Services, Streetscene and Transportation officers had developed a system of approved templates which had now enabled the completion of a ‘Single Order’ for which all speed limits (both existing and proposed) were to be advertised.  Utilisation of this revised approach had streamlined the previous over complicated procedure standardising the order writing process for any given eventuality. 


The Chief Officer invited the Highway Strategy Manager to report on the key considerations as detailed in the report concerning the progress on delivering the review of speed limits on all public highways.  The Highway Strategy Manager advised that following the proposal to advertise the ‘Single Order’ via the use of a modern map based schedule, officers had now completed a map based system covering the County’s highway network for which individual Map Books had been created.  Each Map Referencing Book contained a clear indexing system which enabled members of the public to easily locate individual areas of interest both within their immediate place of residence and across the County. 


The Chief Officer reported that whilst progress had been made with the Consolidated Order it had not been without its challenges as detailed in the report.  The Highways Strategy Manager reported on the challenges which were received regarding the advertisement of 30mph and 60mph speed limits and referred to the national legislation concerning speed limits and street lighting.   He went on to explain that for the purposes of speed limits street lighting could take many forms and consisted of County Council owned lighting columns, Community Lighting, and Footway Lighting.  Whilst the Authority’s internal systems accurately recorded the positioning of all County Council owned and maintained Street Lighting Columns, it would not include the different classifications of lighting described and it was necessary that the accurate positioning of every street lighting column was known (regardless of ownership) before determining whether or not a 30mph or 60mph speed limit would require the making of an order.  The Highway Strategy Manager advised that a detailed survey had been internally commissioned to accurately record the extent of all street lighting on both 60mph and 30mph speed limits (regardless of ownership) which is scheduled for completion in October 2018.  When completed officers will re-examine the data to determine which speed limits are regulated by ‘default of Street Lighting’ and those speed limits which will need to be regulated by an order.


            The Chief Officer advised that due to the delays that had occurred as a result of legal challenges it was anticipated that the Single Order would be advertised early 2019.  On completion of the required statutory process, both the Singular Order and the Members’ requests which had been supported by the DfT Criteria, can be consolidated with Phase 1 Speed Limit Review (completed in November 2016) which would ensure the Council would hold a single consolidated and compliant order covering the County’s highway network.  When the single Consolidated Order was in place a 5 year review of all existing speed limits within the County (with the exception of the areas already examined within the Members requests) will be undertaken to ensure compliance with the DfT Criteria with any revisions being made via an amendment to the main Consolidation Order.


Members expressed their thanks to the Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) and his team for their work on the speed limit review and the highway network.


During discussion officers responded to the questions and concerns raised by Members around speed enforcement and safety on rural roads and country lanes.  The Chief Officer explained that the Authority did not have the power to enforce speed limits but could provide tracking evidence to the Police when necessary.  In response to the question regarding safety on rural roads, the Highways Strategy Manager advised that accidents had to be reported to the Police in the first instance before the Authority could take action.  In response to a further question concerning the objections to the Authority’s proposals to advertise and implement 30mph and 60mph speed limits the Chief Officer said the Authority welcomed feedback and worked positively with objectors to achieve the mutual aim to implement the correct speed limit in an area.




(a)       That the progress made to date and the legal challenges and subsequent changes in approach which had led to a delay in the process be noted; and


(b)       That the amended legal process in order to progress the delivery of a Single Consolidated Order be supported.

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