Petition - Slow down traffic and make Eldon Road safe

Response from Hampshire County Council, December 2017

Thank you for your recently submitted petition raising local concern about traffic speeds and road safety on Eldon Road, King’s Somborne.

The County Council has a policy on the setting of speed limits that is supported by Department for Transport guidance. A range of factors are considered including road character and function, density and level of fronting development, accident history and road safety issues, current traffic speeds, the frequency of junctions and private entrances, and amenities that attract motorised and non motorised road users. To be effective speed limits rely on drivers reacting to a range of these factors, particularly those with a visual impact to encourage appropriate speed choices and better awareness of the surrounding environment. There is an expectation that speed limits should reflect and build upon of the natural reactions of drivers to the visual cues that surround them so that the majority of drivers will adhere to the limit without the need for police enforcement. Lower speed limits are generally associated with a higher density of  directly fronting accesses. Further information on policy and criteria is available on our website via the attached link https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadsafety/makingroadssafer

At present we are not considering further speed restrictions unless there is a proven casualty problem. This is in accordance with our current policy of prioritising investigation of sites where a treatable pattern of road casualty collisions exists, with a scaling back of speed limit reviews where they do not demonstrate a clear road casualty reduction benefit. 

A link to the higher level Traffic Management policy can be viewed via the link above. The road casualty collision history for this site has been examined and there is no significant and treatable pattern of collisions that would prioritise this location for further investigation.

The particular collision highlighted in your correspondence is the one road casualty collision that has occurred within the past five year period within the national speed limit section of Eldon Road. This incident occurred on the 25 February 2017 in daylight in wet or damp conditions, involving a delivery van driver that braked to avoid a car skidding on mud causing the vehicle to strike the verge and overturn onto the car. It is recorded that travelling too fast for the road conditions at that time is a likely factor in this collision. The evidence does not suggest that this unfortunate collision is contributing to a pattern of similar collisions in the local area but that site will be monitored with any worsening of this situation in the future being assessed.

Eldon Road is subject to a width restriction which means that larger and wider vehicles may only pass through the route if accessing premises. Contravention of this restriction may be reported to the Police who have the necessary authority to take enforcement action.

Safety is our priority, and reduced funding means that we must focus our resources where they are most needed, therefore we prioritise resources on safety measures where we have evidence that they will reduce casualties.  I trust this clarifies the Council’s position on this matter.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

Yours sincerely

Councillor Rob Humby
Executive Member for Environment and Transport