20mph speed limit to come to village after trial

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A 20MPH speed limit trial has moved one step further to becoming a permanent fixture in a village.

A pilot scheme for a lower speed limit was signed off by the executive member for transport, Cllr Sean Woodward, at Hampshire County Council yesterday. It will cost about £4,500.

The council ran 11 trials across the county, including one in Wallington, near Fareham.

Wallington Community Association has welcomed the news.

Association member David Walton said: ‘We are very pleased. We believe it will be implemented at the end of next month. It’s something we have wanted to introduce for some time now.’

The decision follows a consultation with residents, which saw an overwhelming 91 per cent respond in favour in Wallington.

The Residential 20 project takes advantage of a relaxation in the rules surrounding signs in 20mph zones.

Ward councillor Paul Whittle said: ‘The roads through the village are used by a lot of schoolchildren to walk to school. I am delighted to see this implemented.’

The 20mph speed limits will be indicated using road side signs at the start of the limits and 20mph road marking on the road surface within the areas, minimising sign clutter.

Residents will be encouraged to promote awareness of their 20mph speed limit and monitoring will be carried out in a sample of roads to assess the impact of the new speed limit.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘The decision is an important step in establishing the viability of reduced speed limits in residential areas.

‘If successful, there is the potential to introduce similar schemes in other areas across the county.

‘We are only taking forward schemes where we have seen a positive response from residents – their backing is vital.

‘Success will depend on their support.

‘Guidance states that 20mph speed limits should be self-enforcing and, as such, the police are unlikely to treat enforcement as a priority in the 20mph areas.’

Mr Walton added: ‘It’s not necessarily about enforcement, it’s about raising people’s awareness and making drivers aware that there is a 20mph limit.’

A similar consultation in West Town, Hayling Island, saw 54 per cent of the 1,000 people surveyed in favour – not enough to be judged a mandate to take it forward. That scheme would have cost about £14,000.