Dear Mr Sprott
I refer to your recent petition concerning the above.
You will recall this issue was reviewed by our Traffic Management team following your previous enquiry in 2014 and I attach for your information a further copy of the email response to you dated 12/05/14. At that time it was explained that the injury-accident record within the 40mph section of road did not warrant our intervention, with no personal injury accidents recorded in the five year study period. You were also provided with some details of the two fatal accidents that occurred in 2007, and it was clarified that these unfortunate incidents had no similar causation factors reported by the Police and I would further clarify that neither incident was attributed to vehicle speed.
Since our previous investigations there has been one injury accident reported on this section of road. This occurred on 17 May 2016 and involved a car turning right into New Farm Road in collision with a westbound pedal cycle. The cyclist sustained slight injuries and the Police recorded a driver error causation of poor turn/manoeuvre, with speed again not recorded as a factor.
I note you have referred to a more recent collision at New Farm Road junction. The Police have confirmed they attended the incident, which occurred on 5 May 2017 involving two vehicles, and that no injuries were sustained.
It is important that we establish the causes of accidents in order to determine whether our intervention is required and the most appropriate course of action.
With none of the previous incidents related to vehicle speed, a reduced speed limit would not be appropriate in terms of the County Council’s policy for speed limits. The safety record within the 40mph section of road remains good, with only one injury accident reported within the last five years and this is a difficult situation to improve upon.
I would add that the Police carried out a survey over a 7 day period commencing on the 29 March 2017 on this section of road, which revealed mean speeds of 36.2mph westbound and 36.0mph eastbound. The overall data did not meet Police intervention levels for enforcement and they stated that they would not support a 30mph limit unless physical speed reducing measures were also provided to ensure compliance with the lower limit. Evidence has shown that lowering speed limits by signs alone achieves only a marginal reduction in speed, and the Police do not support proposed speed limits that they feel are unrealistic and will merely create an enforcement problem. Physical traffic calming measures are costly to design and implement, have impact on amenity and traffic flow and therefore their use is generally reserved for locations with a proven history of speed related injury accidents.
Reduced funding for local authorities means that we need to focus our reduced resources on dealing with casualty reduction, and target new safety measures where we have evidence that they will reduce casualties. The Traffic and Safety Group has access to the Police database of all injury-accidents reported in Hampshire and this is used to prioritise our programmes of traffic and safety schemes. The database is continually monitored and any worsening situation on Winchester Road in future will of course be assessed.
I hope this further clarifies the position.