Views being sought on Whitchurch 20mph speed limit trial

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A SURVEY has been sent to Whitchurch residents who will be directly affected by a trial to lower speed limits to 20mph.

The town is one of 10 places earmarked for the £200,000 ‘Residential 20’ scheme, put forward by Hampshire County Council to make roads safer.

The scheme could cost up to £48,000 for Whitchurch alone and would cover many of the town’s central roads, where speed limits are currently 30mph.

These include Alliston Way, Daniel Road, Evingar Road, and Lynch Hill Park, as well as parts of London Street, London Road, Micheldever Road, Winchester Street and Winchester Road.

Some 10,000 people in Hampshire who live in roads where the 20mph speed limit is proposed will receive questionnaires asking them what they think of the plan.

There will then follow advertising of the proposals before work on the affected roads starts this Spring.

Councillor Mel Kendal, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, urged people to respond to the letters.

He said: “It is essential for us to establish that we have the support of local people.”

The 20mph areas will be identified by road signs and marking on the road surface.

The county council said the police are unlikely to treat enforcement as a priority in the residential 20mph areas, but community speed watch programmes could help compliance.

The schemes are likely to stay in place, unless there are problems, but will be assessed, county officers say.

Comments (22)

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2:10pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Marina Morris says...

How many crashes/injuries have there been in these streets? Seriously, what a waste of money! £200K! Who's going to enforce it?
How many crashes/injuries have there been in these streets? Seriously, what a waste of money! £200K! Who's going to enforce it? Marina Morris
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Pacifier says...

I have come to the conclusion that HCC are a bunch of idiots, putting in traffic calming measures at great expense for no reason, failing to put in sensible measures where accidents are happenning at roundabouts on A30, now 20mph areas...Why not horse and carts only areas! Then of course we can spend/waste even more money trying to catch the hundreds of drivers who will ignore this, trying to treat those who endanger their lives by trying to overtake slow moving cars!! HCC YOU ARE INCOMPETENTS!!!"
I have come to the conclusion that HCC are a bunch of idiots, putting in traffic calming measures at great expense for no reason, failing to put in sensible measures where accidents are happenning at roundabouts on A30, now 20mph areas...Why not horse and carts only areas! Then of course we can spend/waste even more money trying to catch the hundreds of drivers who will ignore this, trying to treat those who endanger their lives by trying to overtake slow moving cars!! HCC YOU ARE INCOMPETENTS!!!" Pacifier
  • Score: 0

8:02am Sat 5 Jan 13

Buster Preciation says...

It would have made a better report if the reasons that these 10 locations had been chosen was given. I'm not aware that Whitchurch has a serious road safety issue. But I am aware that Whitchurch has a regional traffic police depot. Easy income?
It would have made a better report if the reasons that these 10 locations had been chosen was given. I'm not aware that Whitchurch has a serious road safety issue. But I am aware that Whitchurch has a regional traffic police depot. Easy income? Buster Preciation
  • Score: 0

10:36am Sat 5 Jan 13

Cyclestrian says...

In Liverpool, the NHS is paying for residential 20mph. This is because it has been shown that 20 reduces injury... risk of serious injury drops 6% with each 1mph slower. Also people feel safer, walk and cycle their local journeys, thus exercise more and the NHS has less obesity, heart problems etc to deal with. So 20 saves public money.

The most likely way a UK school age child will die is in a RTI. Safety for car occupants has improved greatly in recent years but we are killing and injuring more pedestrians and cyclists and school kids are particularly at risk.

Above statements backed by statistics and studies.

Whitchurch lobbied to be in the 20 trial. I wanted it for my area too but HCC said no to local councillors. 20 mph street make a pleasant, calmer, safer place where people, especially families, want to live.
In Liverpool, the NHS is paying for residential 20mph. This is because it has been shown that 20 reduces injury... risk of serious injury drops 6% with each 1mph slower. Also people feel safer, walk and cycle their local journeys, thus exercise more and the NHS has less obesity, heart problems etc to deal with. So 20 saves public money. The most likely way a UK school age child will die is in a RTI. Safety for car occupants has improved greatly in recent years but we are killing and injuring more pedestrians and cyclists and school kids are particularly at risk. Above statements backed by statistics and studies. Whitchurch lobbied to be in the 20 trial. I wanted it for my area too but HCC said no to local councillors. 20 mph street make a pleasant, calmer, safer place where people, especially families, want to live. Cyclestrian
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Pacifier says...

wow!! GENIUS! If we slow cars down to 2mph..just imagine the lives we could save!! Perhaps we could bring back training kids how to behave in the streets, particularily on rural roads....just another stupid thinking Cllr!
wow!! GENIUS! If we slow cars down to 2mph..just imagine the lives we could save!! Perhaps we could bring back training kids how to behave in the streets, particularily on rural roads....just another stupid thinking Cllr! Pacifier
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Paul_M says...

You know what, Pacifier? You are right, it really is genius. Lives really will be saved!

Research indicates that each 1mph reduction in speeds produces a 6% reduction in the incidence of collisions. Severity is also reduced, and while I don't know a statistic for the change with each mph rise or fall in speed, a pedestrian has about a 3% chance of being killed by a car at 20mph, and a 45% chance of death if the car is doing 30 mph.

A 20 limit also reduces pollution - don't believe all the baloney you sometimes read about cars beingmost fuel-efficient at speeds higher than 30, that simply isn't true for sound reasons which you will have learnt in school Physics - and can reduce congestion which often arises due to sharp changes in vehicle speeds, which cearly are less if speeds are lower in the first place.

Finally, lower speeds reduces the intimdatory nature of trafic and makes streets not onnl safer but more pleasant an environment for people to occupy, especially children going out to play.

What I think you might call a win win win win situation
You know what, Pacifier? You are right, it really is genius. Lives really will be saved! Research indicates that each 1mph reduction in speeds produces a 6% reduction in the incidence of collisions. Severity is also reduced, and while I don't know a statistic for the change with each mph rise or fall in speed, a pedestrian has about a 3% chance of being killed by a car at 20mph, and a 45% chance of death if the car is doing 30 mph. A 20 limit also reduces pollution - don't believe all the baloney you sometimes read about cars beingmost fuel-efficient at speeds higher than 30, that simply isn't true for sound reasons which you will have learnt in school Physics - and can reduce congestion which often arises due to sharp changes in vehicle speeds, which cearly are less if speeds are lower in the first place. Finally, lower speeds reduces the intimdatory nature of trafic and makes streets not onnl safer but more pleasant an environment for people to occupy, especially children going out to play. What I think you might call a win win win win situation Paul_M
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Sat 5 Jan 13

AndrewRH says...

It is quite popular across UK to have 20mph in residential areas - see The Independent earlier this week.

Whitchurch is a small town in north west rural Hampshire. It has two schools, a popular tourist attraction (Silk Mill), BMX & skateboard track, QEII field, meadow, lovely shops, several pubs and an active, diverse community. My family are proud to call this lovely town home.

Having 20mph here will help people feel even safer letting their kids walk or cycle to school, and cycle themselves to the shops or over to a friend's house.

The town is already 30mph but in most areas people cannot drive that fast anyway due to parked cars, etc. Simple math shows that if you could do 30mph end-to-end then it would take about 1 minute more - what's called locally 'The Whitchurch Minute'.

People I have spoken with in town think that 1 minute or less is nothing compared to the feeling of safety and livability 20mph brings to our community.

People who don't live in our town eg those that rat-run through or come from other villages just to get to main line train station are being encouraged by our elected Hampshire County Councillor to email him about the scheme - he lives 21 miles to the south - near Alresford. The official questionnaires & responses are restricted to just those that live in town and had to be in by last Friday, 4 Jan 2012.

Contrary to what mentioned by Pacifier above, there are no traffic calming measures under the new 20mph schemes - just signs.

Costs could have been lower if the entire town had been made 20mph as originally envisioned as that would require fewer signs & associated installation costs.

However, routes generally used by people from outside town to get to the main line train station were left out.

Aside: I wonder if outsider-commuters remember that the temporary car park near the train station closes in a few months time? Once it does, people will park on the nearby Newbury Street where it remains 30mph - hence effectively making it one lane and reducing the speed anyway...

~Andrew~
It is quite popular across UK to have 20mph in residential areas - see The Independent earlier this week. Whitchurch is a small town in north west rural Hampshire. It has two schools, a popular tourist attraction (Silk Mill), BMX & skateboard track, QEII field, meadow, lovely shops, several pubs and an active, diverse community. My family are proud to call this lovely town home. Having 20mph here will help people feel even safer letting their kids walk or cycle to school, and cycle themselves to the shops or over to a friend's house. The town is already 30mph but in most areas people cannot drive that fast anyway due to parked cars, etc. Simple math shows that if you could do 30mph end-to-end then it would take about 1 minute more - what's called locally 'The Whitchurch Minute'. People I have spoken with in town think that 1 minute or less is nothing compared to the feeling of safety and livability 20mph brings to our community. People who don't live in our town eg those that rat-run through or come from other villages just to get to main line train station are being encouraged by our elected Hampshire County Councillor to email him about the scheme - he lives 21 miles to the south - near Alresford. The official questionnaires & responses are restricted to just those that live in town and had to be in by last Friday, 4 Jan 2012. Contrary to what mentioned by Pacifier above, there are no traffic calming measures under the new 20mph schemes - just signs. Costs could have been lower if the entire town had been made 20mph as originally envisioned as that would require fewer signs & associated installation costs. However, routes generally used by people from outside town to get to the main line train station were left out. Aside: I wonder if outsider-commuters remember that the temporary car park near the train station closes in a few months time? Once it does, people will park on the nearby Newbury Street where it remains 30mph - hence effectively making it one lane and reducing the speed anyway... ~Andrew~ AndrewRH
  • Score: 0

5:21pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Pacifier says...

Yup that sounds like the straw sucking rural beings who want to disinvent the wheel...lol
I can imagine even less people visit this backward thinking backwater anyway!
Yup that sounds like the straw sucking rural beings who want to disinvent the wheel...lol I can imagine even less people visit this backward thinking backwater anyway! Pacifier
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Marina Morris says...

Make it 10 mph if you like but the question remains the same: who's going to enforce it? (Andy why?)
Make it 10 mph if you like but the question remains the same: who's going to enforce it? (Andy why?) Marina Morris
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Cyclestrian says...

I'm an urbanite and a techie and travel lots. Live in suburban Hants. Never sucked straw. I see quality of family life and community in European housing with 30kph limits. Also in US 25mph strictly respected. Why can't we have that here?
I'm an urbanite and a techie and travel lots. Live in suburban Hants. Never sucked straw. I see quality of family life and community in European housing with 30kph limits. Also in US 25mph strictly respected. Why can't we have that here? Cyclestrian
  • Score: 0

10:57pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Pacifier says...

ha ha ha...a cyclist!!!! Thought one of you would come out of the haystack!!
ha ha ha...a cyclist!!!! Thought one of you would come out of the haystack!! Pacifier
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Sun 6 Jan 13

jonone says...

£200k on reducing a speed limit? What rot - how about spending money on improving road layouts and signage - most near misses I have result from idiots who cannot read road signs. I have lost count how many times I have been cut up at Basingstoke's various roundabouts by people incapable of reading road signs or understanding roundabout lane discipline. Problem is that a speed limit can be policed by a camera and people doing 25 mph will rake in cash for the Christmas party, whereas those I mention require the police to put their doughnuts down and do some real work.
£200k on reducing a speed limit? What rot - how about spending money on improving road layouts and signage - most near misses I have result from idiots who cannot read road signs. I have lost count how many times I have been cut up at Basingstoke's various roundabouts by people incapable of reading road signs or understanding roundabout lane discipline. Problem is that a speed limit can be policed by a camera and people doing 25 mph will rake in cash for the Christmas party, whereas those I mention require the police to put their doughnuts down and do some real work. jonone
  • Score: 0

8:16pm Sun 6 Jan 13

AndrewRH says...

jonone: Basingstoke councillors are contributing towards the £7 *MILLION* cost to change* Basingstoke road layouts - not doughnuts but hamburgers :-)

Are your councillors spending your money to benefit just people who drive rather than improving safety for the more vulnerable users too, especially children on their way to school?

~Andrew~
* see "'Hamburger' on the menu" in Basingstoke Gazette from 1 July 2012 for example
jonone: Basingstoke councillors are contributing towards the £7 *MILLION* cost to change* Basingstoke road layouts - not doughnuts but hamburgers :-) Are your councillors spending your money to benefit just people who drive rather than improving safety for the more vulnerable users too, especially children on their way to school? ~Andrew~ * see "'Hamburger' on the menu" in Basingstoke Gazette from 1 July 2012 for example AndrewRH
  • Score: 0

11:57am Mon 7 Jan 13

jonone says...

AndrewRH wrote:
jonone: Basingstoke councillors are contributing towards the £7 *MILLION* cost to change* Basingstoke road layouts - not doughnuts but hamburgers :-) Are your councillors spending your money to benefit just people who drive rather than improving safety for the more vulnerable users too, especially children on their way to school? ~Andrew~ * see "'Hamburger' on the menu" in Basingstoke Gazette from 1 July 2012 for example
I have no idea what impact the reworked roundabouts will have on lane discipline - if the left hand lane on the Junction 6 northbound offslip remains as is, there will be no change! (It's labelled A30 Alton, yet many people read it as "I'm too important to queue in the correct lane, will burn round and shove in futher down)

As for improving safety for "vunerable" users e.g. school kids, Popley Way has a number of safe crossing points, many of which are totally ignored. I see parents with their kids near Marnel school crossing the road yards from a traffic island, light crossing or subway - purely because they can't be bothered to walk a few feet for a safer location.

Too much responsibility road safety is taken away from the people who should look out. When I cross a road, my safety is MY responsibility.
[quote][p][bold]AndrewRH[/bold] wrote: jonone: Basingstoke councillors are contributing towards the £7 *MILLION* cost to change* Basingstoke road layouts - not doughnuts but hamburgers :-) Are your councillors spending your money to benefit just people who drive rather than improving safety for the more vulnerable users too, especially children on their way to school? ~Andrew~ * see "'Hamburger' on the menu" in Basingstoke Gazette from 1 July 2012 for example[/p][/quote]I have no idea what impact the reworked roundabouts will have on lane discipline - if the left hand lane on the Junction 6 northbound offslip remains as is, there will be no change! (It's labelled A30 Alton, yet many people read it as "I'm too important to queue in the correct lane, will burn round and shove in futher down) As for improving safety for "vunerable" users e.g. school kids, Popley Way has a number of safe crossing points, many of which are totally ignored. I see parents with their kids near Marnel school crossing the road yards from a traffic island, light crossing or subway - purely because they can't be bothered to walk a few feet for a safer location. Too much responsibility road safety is taken away from the people who should look out. When I cross a road, my safety is MY responsibility. jonone
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Mon 7 Jan 13

laurence86 says...

Currently 30 is the maximum speed allowed, but those of you who can remember your driving test should know that you should drive to the conditions of the road. Meaning that if there are children about or people looking to cross the road, you shouldn’t be doing 30. But if the road is clear and there is no threat of someone stepping out you should be able to do 30. This seems like a perfectly good system that seems to work rather well. Therefore why do we need to spend a huge sum of money to reduce the maximum speed allowed? Maybe in this recession we should save a bit of money, maybe we could save ourselves even more by sacking the jobs worth who came with this pointless exercise!
Currently 30 is the maximum speed allowed, but those of you who can remember your driving test should know that you should drive to the conditions of the road. Meaning that if there are children about or people looking to cross the road, you shouldn’t be doing 30. But if the road is clear and there is no threat of someone stepping out you should be able to do 30. This seems like a perfectly good system that seems to work rather well. Therefore why do we need to spend a huge sum of money to reduce the maximum speed allowed? Maybe in this recession we should save a bit of money, maybe we could save ourselves even more by sacking the jobs worth who came with this pointless exercise! laurence86
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Tue 8 Jan 13

jonone says...

laurence86 wrote:
Currently 30 is the maximum speed allowed, but those of you who can remember your driving test should know that you should drive to the conditions of the road. Meaning that if there are children about or people looking to cross the road, you shouldn’t be doing 30. But if the road is clear and there is no threat of someone stepping out you should be able to do 30. This seems like a perfectly good system that seems to work rather well. Therefore why do we need to spend a huge sum of money to reduce the maximum speed allowed? Maybe in this recession we should save a bit of money, maybe we could save ourselves even more by sacking the jobs worth who came with this pointless exercise!
Very good point - and exactly the reason that "safety" cameras don't live up to their name in fog, rain or ice.
[quote][p][bold]laurence86[/bold] wrote: Currently 30 is the maximum speed allowed, but those of you who can remember your driving test should know that you should drive to the conditions of the road. Meaning that if there are children about or people looking to cross the road, you shouldn’t be doing 30. But if the road is clear and there is no threat of someone stepping out you should be able to do 30. This seems like a perfectly good system that seems to work rather well. Therefore why do we need to spend a huge sum of money to reduce the maximum speed allowed? Maybe in this recession we should save a bit of money, maybe we could save ourselves even more by sacking the jobs worth who came with this pointless exercise![/p][/quote]Very good point - and exactly the reason that "safety" cameras don't live up to their name in fog, rain or ice. jonone
  • Score: 0

11:55am Wed 9 Jan 13

Cynical Reader says...

All that is needed is a lot more responsibility from drivers AND pedestrians.
Whenever has a pedestrian been
charged with dangerous walking??
All that is needed is a lot more responsibility from drivers AND pedestrians. Whenever has a pedestrian been charged with dangerous walking?? Cynical Reader
  • Score: 0

8:20pm Wed 9 Jan 13

James1970 says...

It might make drivers think about the road ahead a bit more - who knows it could save a life
It might make drivers think about the road ahead a bit more - who knows it could save a life James1970
  • Score: 0

8:34pm Wed 9 Jan 13

AndrewRH says...

James1970 wrote:
It might make drivers think about the road ahead a bit more - who knows it could save a life
Spot on. Also...

Hampshire County Council stated in April 2012: "The proposed ‘Residential 20’ programme is intended to move away from...historic casualty-led criteria and will instead focus on improving the quality of life for local communities by introducing lower speed limits aimed at reducing the impact of motorised traffic in residential areas."

~Andrew~
[quote][p][bold]James1970[/bold] wrote: It might make drivers think about the road ahead a bit more - who knows it could save a life[/p][/quote]Spot on. Also... Hampshire County Council stated in April 2012: "The proposed ‘Residential 20’ programme is intended to move away from...historic casualty-led criteria and will instead focus on improving the quality of life for local communities by introducing lower speed limits aimed at reducing the impact of motorised traffic in residential areas." ~Andrew~ AndrewRH
  • Score: 0

12:37pm Thu 10 Jan 13

jonone says...

James1970 wrote:
It might make drivers think about the road ahead a bit more - who knows it could save a life
And who is teaching the pedestrians to take care too? I can look out all I like and drive at 20mph and it doesn't stop kids waltzing in front of my car with a "f**k you" attitude. (Usually the sort of kids that if they did get killed, the parent would be more upset by the loss of benefits income)
[quote][p][bold]James1970[/bold] wrote: It might make drivers think about the road ahead a bit more - who knows it could save a life[/p][/quote]And who is teaching the pedestrians to take care too? I can look out all I like and drive at 20mph and it doesn't stop kids waltzing in front of my car with a "f**k you" attitude. (Usually the sort of kids that if they did get killed, the parent would be more upset by the loss of benefits income) jonone
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Thu 10 Jan 13

laurence86 says...

jonone wrote:
James1970 wrote: It might make drivers think about the road ahead a bit more - who knows it could save a life
And who is teaching the pedestrians to take care too? I can look out all I like and drive at 20mph and it doesn't stop kids waltzing in front of my car with a "f**k you" attitude. (Usually the sort of kids that if they did get killed, the parent would be more upset by the loss of benefits income)
Good point, parents need to teach children that the road is not a playground
[quote][p][bold]jonone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]James1970[/bold] wrote: It might make drivers think about the road ahead a bit more - who knows it could save a life[/p][/quote]And who is teaching the pedestrians to take care too? I can look out all I like and drive at 20mph and it doesn't stop kids waltzing in front of my car with a "f**k you" attitude. (Usually the sort of kids that if they did get killed, the parent would be more upset by the loss of benefits income)[/p][/quote]Good point, parents need to teach children that the road is not a playground laurence86
  • Score: 0

2:33pm Thu 10 Jan 13

AndrewRH says...

laurence86 wrote: "Good point, parents need to teach children that the road is not a playground"


Some roads could be a place for children to play, especially if they are in residential places where vehicles are moving slowly.

It wasn't too long ago that many children played in the roads near their homes.

The Independent, for one, carried an article about mothers reclaiming the space for their children... See 28 Aug 2012: "Free-range fun: Would you let your children play in the street?"
laurence86 wrote: "Good point, parents need to teach children that the road is not a playground" Some roads could be a place for children to play, especially if they are in residential places where vehicles are moving slowly. It wasn't too long ago that many children played in the roads near their homes. The Independent, for one, carried an article about mothers reclaiming the space for their children... See 28 Aug 2012: "Free-range fun: Would you let your children play in the street?" AndrewRH
  • Score: 0

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