Petition - Implementation of 20mph speed limit in the Hamlet of Hensting

Response from Hampshire County Council, September 2018

Thank you for your recent petition requesting a 20mph speed limit on Hensting Lane.

In terms of setting speed limits we comply with Department for Transport criteria, which has some emphasis on the existing mean speeds and safety history.  The guidance also encourages that speed limits should be self-explaining and self-compliant, and it is therefore important that we set speed limits to reflect the road layout and conditions.  The Police are responsible for speed enforcement and they will not support any proposed speed limits that they feel will not achieve driver compliance and may merely create an ongoing enforcement problem.  Given the rural character of Hensting Lane, a 20mph limit would not be appropriate.

Early in June this year a report was published on the outcomes achieved from a comprehensive review of 14 pilot 20 mph “signed only” speed limits in Hampshire, which comprised of a mix of urban residential and rural village centre areas in the County.  The comparison of traffic speed data “before” and “after” the 20 mph speed limits were implemented showed an average reduction of just 0.4 mph demonstrating that reduced speed limits of this type have had very little, if any impact on driver behaviour.

Furthermore, the ongoing funding cuts have significantly affected our ability to investigate and implement traffic management measures.  As a result, our remaining resources are targeted at casualty reduction with priority given to locations with patterns or clusters of treatable injury accidents.  We have access to the Police database of all injury accidents reported in Hampshire and this is used to formulate our traffic and safety scheme programmes.  With no recurring history of casualty incidents throughout Hensting Lane, there is no justification for inclusion on our scheme programmes compared to other less fortunate locations.

The warning signs and SLOW markings that you refer to have been arranged by Winchester City Council as part of their Traffic Management Agency Agreement with HCC.  The works have been ordered, but if you require any further updates please contact Neville Crisp at WCC at NCrisp@winchester.gov.uk

I hope this clarifies the position.

Yours sincerely

Councillor Rob Humby
Executive Member for Environment and Transport