Roads across Wokingham Borough will have speed limits reviewed this year, as the council works to ensure our streets are as safe as possible.
This will focus on the major transport routes across the area, with residents and town and parish councils being able to nominate roads where they think changes are needed.
Residents’ concern over traffic speeds has been significant in recent months due to the COVID-19 situation, due to low traffic volumes and restricted movement as well as more pedestrians and cyclists being on our roads.
Lockdown saw very quiet roads nationally and some authorities reported instances of extremely excessive speeding.
In Wokingham Borough, thousands of pounds has been spent fixing roads, signage and other street furniture, which has been damaged in recent months due to speeding – as well as injuries to drivers.
The announcement of this review aligns with the National Police Chiefs’ Council ‘Slow Down, Save Lives’ campaign, running from 18 May to 7 June, which highlights the devastating impact speeding can have, not only increasing the risk of a collision but the severity of the impact at higher speeds.
Figures show that on average 17 people are killed and 126 are seriously injured every month in the UK, where speeding is believed to have been a significant factor.
“We are reviewing our speed limits to ensure that they are appropriate for the level of development, both completed and planned, as well as the number of vehicles and pedestrians using them,” said Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport.
“We want to hear from local groups, residents and business who would like to see changes to speed limits on roads near them to ensure they are safe.
“Traffic speeds and speed limits on Wokingham roads often divide opinion. Our team will review requests, alongside our data and with our partners at Thames Valley Police to decide whether these are appropriate.”
Each time we receive a request, officers undertake a formal review of the legal limit, current speeds and collision history before deciding whether a new speed limit is appropriate.
Any changes must be based on a robust and evidence-led approach. Officers evaluate all the available data alongside supporting information, environmental impacts and road characteristics, as well as consulting with Thames Valley Police, which enforces speed limits.
The council identifies roads where changes to the posted limit may be required through data collection and analysis, both directly and in partnership with parish councils operating Community Speedwatch.
These are schemes which allow volunteers to monitor the speed of passing vehicles using a hand-held speed detection device
In this review, the council welcomes comments from residents and businesses about their speeding concerns, suggested locations for speed limit changes and requests for information about the speeds measured on their roads.
Through the traffic regulation order process, where the formal change of speed limit will be consulted on, anyone can make comment upon or object to any proposed changes, before we implement changes to speed limits.
Residents should send their comments and requests by email to TM.Consultations@wokingham.gov.uk, clearly identifying ‘SPEED REVIEW’ and the roads affected in the title. Results will be published in the autumn.